It’s no secret among parents that keeping your little darlings entertained for more than five minutes at a time can be quite the challenge. Children have naturally short attention spans, fuelled by their curiosity and their need for almost instant gratification.
This makes for a pretty interesting life with young children, as you never know what’s going to be on your plate from one second to the next! However, there are also some occasions where their naturally flighty nature can cause you some problems and a birthday party can easily be one of them!
As we get older, our own birthdays start to become a little obsolete, except for the major milestone ones. So many of us go above and beyond for our children’s birthday celebrations – and who doesn’t love to spoil their kids, right?
Hosting the party, however, and keeping everything running smoothly can sometimes be a different story. Lots of children all in one place can easily create a hyper atmosphere, and if tensions are running high, there is always the potential that something will upset your child on their special day. No parent wants that to happen, especially if you have put time and effort into curating a great party for your little one.
So, with all that in mind, there are a few things you can do to make sure your child’s birthday party goes off without a hitch.
When you are a child, you tend to treat friendships differently to how you do when you are an adult. At present, you probably have around six or seven good friends who you would invite to a special occasion, and you would maybe even only class two of them as ‘close friends.’
During childhood years, however, we don’t tend to think like that. If your child is naturally sociable, they are probably ‘friends’ with everyone in their year group at school – so this could mean up to fifty kids! Whether you’re hosting the party at home or in a rented space, this is a lot of children to be responsible for at one given time.
Consider putting a cap on the attendance – even if your child disagrees, it will make everyone’s lives a lot easier. One way to make sure you don’t get oversubscribed is by sending out official invitations from a company such as Pure Invitation. This will stop other parents and children getting wind of the event via things like social media and turning up unannounced, thus putting more pressure on you.
Have entertainment prepared
We all know that when children are bored, they can sometimes start to act up to garner attention. To avoid this at your child’s party, make sure you have plenty of activities for them to see them through the whole afternoon.
You may also want to consider offering a ‘quiet activity’ alternative in case there are any children attending who feel overwhelmed by doing things in large groups. Use your imagination with what to provide: you could go down the sporting route, play classic games like apple bobbing or even set them a challenge like inventing a dance routine or play.
Cut down on the sugar
Kids party food is notoriously sugary and sweet. Of course, you are not going to slave away over gourmet food for them for hours, when it’s unlikely to be appreciated.
Convenience food does tend to be better for children’s parties, and as long as they’re not eating it regularly, it isn’t particularly harmful either. However, it can pay off to be mindful of the amount of sugar in some of these foods. Snacks like pic and mix sweets and party rings have an astonishingly high sugar content, as do many flavoured carbonated drinks.
Offer these things in limited supply so that the children do not get overly hyper off all the sugar. Plus, a sugar high is immediately followed by a crushing low, which could mean you have twenty very sleepy, moody children on your hand’s midway through the afternoon! By all means, serve SOME sugar snacks (it is a party after all) but consider offering some alternatives as well.
Fresh fruit is a good replacement for dessert options and squash can go down just as well as pop, without giving your young guests that sugar and caffeine rush. There is a bit of art to hosting a successful kids party – but by keeping everything under control, there’s no reason why both you and your child can’t have an amazing day.
Are you planning your child’s birthday party? Is it stressful? I’m hoping to plan Alfie’s birthday party at the end of the year ready for his 8th birthday in February – after a couple of years of asking for one, I think I’m actually going to do it this time!