Educational Administrator & Owner of Bricks 4 Kidz : Michele Masjedi
Party planning isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day, you could bake a simple sheet cake, invite the class via handwritten invitations, and play simple games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and tag. These days, there is definitely a one-upmanship when it comes to birthday parties for your kids. Parents are always looking for new and innovative ways to bring the “fun” to a party. We thought we’d share some party planning tips to help sort out the stress of planning your child’s next birthday party.
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- Make sure your child is happy with the theme. Sounds simple, but usually it’s the parents who are coming up with the creative idea. Kids don’t want to disappoint their parents so they’ll often say “Okay” to whatever you come up with.
- Think about what your child is really interested in. Anything can turn into a party theme: swimming, soccer, music, fashion. Do they have a favorite movie or a favorite video game? Choosing a theme should be relatable to your child in a personal way.
- Keep the kids busy. Kids today are so much more sophisticated than they were when we were growing up. The games that served us well probably won’t go over great today. Take that theme and run with it.
- If your child likes to shop, set up a fun and inexpensive “store” and give the guests cute purses with fake money in them. Let them “shop” for their own goodie bag products.
- If your son wants to be an architect and likes to build things, how about a Bricks 4 Kidz Lego Party where each child will be able to create their own masterpiece building?
- Love Super Heros? Have fun capes in different colors and let each child choose a super power for the day.
- The time of day will be a huge factor in determining the types of food you will serve. Mid-day parties will be expected to provide lunch, mid-morning or afternoon parties can get away with snacks and cake. A lot may depend on your budget, or the age of the children involved. Afternoon parties for small children might not be a great idea if they normally nap at that time.
- As parents, we often go overboard on serving food. Children usually just want to grab a bite and go back to playing. Kid friendly food doesn’t just have to be pizza, however. Hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls, veggies and dip instead of chips and dip. Small water bottles with fun labels on them are a great alternative to juice boxes or soda.
- A birthday isn’t really a party with out a cake, but remember that very few kids will eat an entire piece of cake, so don’t go overboard (or you’ll be eating cake for weeks). You can get inexpensive theme cakes at most local markets these days. You don’t have to necessarily spend a lot at a fancy bakery. Don’t see what you like from their normal books of cake designs? Just ask if they can create something special for you. Most in-store cake decorators would jump at the chance to be creative and do something fun.
- Opening up gifts is going to be a matter of your personal preference. There really is no right or wrong answer. Some people prefer to open up their gifts during the party so their guests can see the look on their faces. Other people would rather wait until the guests leave to open up the gifts.
- If you are opening up the gifts in front of all the guests, please remember to have someone write down each child’s name and the specific gift that was given. Too often people think they’ll remember who gave what… it rarely happens.
- Remember to share with your child that EVERY gift is appreciated, no matter how large or small it is. And handmade gifts and cards are STILL always the best kind.
- If you open the gifts after the guests have left, please make sure you send a thank-you note. It’s hard for a parent to know whether the birthday child actually received the gift if no one saw them opening it. Gifts DO tend to get shuffled and lost on occasion.
- Remember that this is your child’s party and HE/SHE is the one who should be having fun. As a parent, we might be stressing over the cake not coming out quite right, or a game not going over well… it doesn’t matter. Kids pick up on our feelings pretty fast, so if we aren’t enjoying the party, chances are they won’t either.
- Keep an eye out for those kids who might not be participating. Sometimes we forget that it’s hard for kids to fit in, especially if you are inviting a mix of school friends and activity friends. Introduce everyone to each other at the beginning of the party and make sure you or your child includes everyone in all the games.
Michele Masjedi is a former teacher and current Administrator and has dedicated her career to encouraging hands on educational and fun experiences for children! She runs a preschool and infant toddler program. Yehouda Masjedi has an extensive background in business management and sales. He is an avid builder and lover of Lego bricks! Michele and Yehouda are the proud parents of 3 young children who also are Lego brick fanatics!
Bricks 4 Kidz provides extraordinary programs for kids using Lego@ Bricks and STEM principles. Each activity is designed to trigger a child’s imagination and build their self-confidence. We come to you… for birthday parties, after school programs, summer camp classes and any event where you need to provide activities for children.