little party animals:
seven tips for fun-packed celebrations
Celebrating your child turning one year older can provide fun times and laughter for them and their friends, and memories to treasure for you. But there's lots to think about during the planning stage of every birthday bash. Little ones have short attention spans, lots of energy and an insatiable appetite for sweets. With our seven practical tips, you can keep things running smoothly and make sure everyone has fun!
all hands on deck
Toddlers don't have a lot of social skills, bless 'em. Big gatherings can overwhelm them (and you – a room full of toddlers is tough work!). Enlist the help of other mums and dads and call in favours from friends – the more adult support the better.
As children get older they need lots more space to party. They'll probably want to invite lots more friends too. Hiring a venue like a village hall, café or an outdoor play area is a good way to handle this – plus means no squashed sweeties on your carpet.
keep it short and sweet
Two hours doesn't seem like a long time, but for children it is. Pack the time with plenty of games and activities to stop boredom turning into tantrums. You don't want to send anyone home hyper, so fill the last half hour with a quiet activity like storytelling or colouring in.
plan fun and games
Magicians, bouncy castles and children's entertainers add magic to a party, but don't feel like you need to spend a fortune. Children over five will be just as happy with DIY games like Pass the Parcel or Musical Statues. Toddlers prefer unstructured play and group activities like singalongs.
lay on a spread
It's always best to keep the treats until last and surprise kids with them rather than building up anticipation and risking over excitement. Moderation is key – there'll be lots of running about, and you don't want any sicky tummies. Ask all the parents about allergies and intolerances well in advance.
play it safe
Keeping everyone safe is even more important than making sure they're having fun. There are bound to be a few bumps and scrapes during the day, so keep plenty of plasters and antibacterial cream handy as well as a list of phone numbers in case of emergencies.
The best parties end with a goodybag. Fill them the night before with a few small trinkets (such as a plastic toy, a sticker pack, bubbles and a balloon) along with a slice of the birthday cake. Keep the goody bags hidden away until the party ends.
With forward planning and enough helping hands, you have the ingredients for a party your little one and their friends will love, and you’ll even enjoy throwing it too.