Send out your invitations with plenty of notice, two weeks is a good amount of time.
Ensure that you put a clear start and finish time on your invitation. There is nothing worse than guests lingering on after the party when you are exhausted. One and half hours is a great time-frame for toddlers.
Keep the numbers down while they are young, there is plenty of time in the future for the whole class to be invited.
A general rule of thumb for the number of guests in these early years, is take the age of the child and add two guests to this number. For example your two-year-old would cope well with four children at their party.
Plan your child’s party around a time in the day that best suits them. Morning parties are often the best before they all get tired and cranky.
Be prepared for tantrums and tears from your child. Being the host and centre of attention can be quite stressful.
Place gifts on a “Present Table” to prevent them from being opened then and there and strewn across the room without anyone having any idea who gave what. It will also stop them from being broken before the party is over.
Stick with the old motto “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid). Young children love to know what is coming next and love the routine of a party.
Here is a basic plan to follow:
Arrival time with a few nibbles on a table.
General mingling and settling in period (give out name labels if you don’t know names).
Play party games. Have a list and be ready to move on if there is a lack of interest or understanding. You may need some extra moms to keep things moving.
Stop for some party food. Seated or standing around a table is ideal to reduce the amount of mess. Individual servings, pre-plated, are best for small children.
Play one or two more games while you clear the mess away.
It’s time for singing “Happy Birthday” and cutting the cake.
If there is time, it’s always enjoyable to open the presents while the guests are still there. Have a pen and paper handy to write down exactly what was given and by whom so you can send out the “Thank you” cards.
Goody Bags are still a great favourite with everyone as the children leave. They don’t have to only contain lollies.
For more information see Parenting.