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How to Host a Superb Kid Birthday Party!

By Martyn Purdy

How do you plan a children's birthday party... and still remain sane?

Relax, don't panic and keep it as simple as possible is the answer.

Kids don't care if the room has been vacuumed and cleaned. Think about it for a moment, kid's will make the tidiest of room's look like a disaster zone within minutes of turning up. They won't care whether the table napkins match or what time it is!... all they will want to do is have fun, play games and eat lots of goodies!

So, what's the best way to ensure that your child's birthday party is one to remember? (at least until the next party invitation arrives!)

Firstly, take a little time to think about the party theme. Will it be an outing to the local burger house, a trip to an amusement park or will you have a theme party at home. With sufficient forward planning, you won't be losing any sleep worrying about the party.

Make a list of who is coming to the party? The general rule of thumb is to invite as many guests as you feel comfortable catering for.

Ask the birthday child what they would like to do. Don't be tempted to pressure them into having the sort of party YOU would like... it is their special day after all! Once you have decided on a theme, then the party activities to keep the kids happy become a priority. Many traditional games can be adapted to fit just about any party theme.

If the party is to at the local restaurant, go along and speak to the manager to agree the food menu and leave the rest to them. An outing to the amusement park or zoo may require additional party planning, with transport being just one item needing consideration. Many of these venues have party facilities available so all you need to provide is the children and a credit card to pay the bill.

If the party is to be at home, then selecting a theme can be fun. Whether it's Pirates, Finding Nemo or Dora the Explorer... this is your opportunity to get creative!

With so many character theme party goods available, the choice is endless. If you're planning to hold the party outdoors, it would be a good idea to have at least one room inside your home decorated, in case of rain. Try to limit the party activities to pre-designated party areas (as much as possible), so you are able to relax and enjoy the party without worrying about the mess being made.

Ok, it's now time to get ready for the party! You"ve decided on the party theme and how many guests will be invited... Now the preparations and fun begin!

Don't forget to keep your birthday kid involved whenever possible. Get them to suggest party game ideas, then choose the decorations and food together. Feeling relaxed? Hope so, because organizing a kid birthday party should be fun for everyone!

Allocate a budget for the party and decide whether you hire a professional entertainer or enlist the help of friends and neighbors? Don't be afraid to ask a friend to help clear empty dishes, run a game or two and even take the some party photos.

Set a time for the party. Two or three hours should be plenty of time. If the children are under 5 years old, then one and half hours should be time enough. One great tip is to hold a toddler party in the morning, as youngsters tend to get a bit "cranky when they get tired!

Plan your party games in 15-20 minute intervals. If you find the kids are happy playing a particular game let them carry on... why spoil their fun? On the other hand plan more activities than you think you will need. Some games may be greeted with a "groan and you may well need to play another game sooner than you expected.

Send out your birthday party invitations 2 to 3 weeks in advance of the party date, then make a follow-up confirmation phone calls after about a week. People tend to be very busy nowadays and a small invitation can get easily forgotten, usually under a mountain of junk-mail!

Don't spend more time or energy than necessary on things that don't really matter. When organising the party food keep snacks plain and simple. Remember that kids love eating food with their fingers and your party day could be a great day to let them do just that!

Buy an undecorated cake from your local baker and decorate it yourself, making a terrific party theme cake... or get the bakers to make a completely finished themed birthday cake!

Finally, imagine that the big day is here and your first guest arrives for your child's birthday party. Stay calm, keep a good sense of humor and enjoy the precious party time with your guests. Above all, keep the party flowing and let the children set the pace.

You will look back afterwards, when flicking through your fabulous party photo's, with the immortal words... "It was well worth the effort"


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