- If organising an amazing party for your child is “all too much” – choose a party venue with a package that can cater for all your needs. Let someone else do all the work and then clean up afterwards, as well.
- If the RSVP date has passed and there are some guests who have not replied text or email and ask if they are coming – it could have been an oversight on their behalf. That way you will know exactly how many guests to cater for.
- You may find that there are some unexpected guests, siblings or parents at the party – don’t allow this to become a problem, include all the children in the games and get the parents to help.
- Don’t try and do everything yourself, get family, friends and the children to help and if you forget something on the day, call on someone to help you out.
- Be prepared and creative, try to make your own decorations and food at home as it is often more cost effective.
- Customise the old party games to your party theme and let the fun begin.
- Teach your child to be a great host by incorporating opportunities for them to make their guests feel welcome eg. Greet the guests at the door, or handout the party bags and thank them for coming.
- Make sure the party place is safe and fun and remember to make sure the Birthday Child is comfortable and relaxed, by planning a party that they want, rather than what you think they want.
- If possible keep the present opening until all the guests have gone, so that there are no awkward situations where the present is not what was expected.
- And if planning an outdoor party, always have a back-up plan !
Selecting the perfect gift, especially for someone else’s child is always hard. The questions are: will it be liked, is it educational, is it durable, and is it safe and much more. So where do you start?
Consider what activities the child enjoys and what they are actually interested in. It is important to remember not to over complicate things by getting the biggest, brightest or most challenging toy, when more simple items can be interesting and developmentally appropriate. Just because you think a toy is boring or out-of-fashion does not mean it should be discounted. Remember, toys should be used to develop children’s imaginations and encourage them to interact with others, and create their own stories. It is the toy’s job to encourage the children to play together and get along, to develop negotiating and compromising skills so that they can learn and grow.
It can be tempting to buy the child a toy that matches their party theme eg a barbie for a barbie party but it is often better to think creatively and think out of the box.
Take note of the warnings and instructions provided and try to follow the recommended age labels (where appropriate). And keep the family in mind when buying gifts, don’t make them too loud, difficult to clean or difficult to use.
Under 2’s - soft toys, bath toys, contrasting colours and patterns, cloth books, bright blocks, sensory or plush toys, activity quilts
2 – 3’s - card or board games, sports equipment, dress-ups, construction sets, puzzles, art and craft, books, dolls and trucks
4 – 6’s - music and musical instruments, books, outdoor toys/pool toys, sporting games and equipment, Lego, DVD’s, Smiggle stationery
7 – 9’s - DVD’s, music , books, recipe and hobby books, clothing and fashion items, complex puzzles, board and card games, Smiggle stationery
10 and up - fashion clothes and accessories, popular toys and games in the current fads, i-tunes gift cards