Relax; Planning a Preschool Birthday Party Event is within your grasp. Have you decided to give a birthday party for your preschooler? Then take heart. Some tips, and ‘how to’s’ are on their way to you below.
Has your preschool child discovered birthday parties? Has your child already attended a birthday party? Preschool opens a whole new world to your preschooler. A small party in the classroom may start the birthday party enthusiasm. Perhaps a classmate has had a birthday party and invited the whole class. Scary, and then those birthday invitations begin to flood into your mailbox.
Start with a talk with your preschooler.
What kind of party does your preschooler have in mind? This answer becomes the basis of your party planning. They may want their party to be the same as a friend’s party. They may want it to be entirely different from any of their classmates. It is unlikely that your child will ask for something expensive. Your question(s) are about theme, or color, e.g. a jungle motif, a princess castle. This is not about where to hold the party or how much to spend. If your child wants a party similar, or just like a classmate’s party, you may want to call the parent of that preschooler. The call is to discover if that child will be grievously upset by a repeat of the same type of party. Remember, that it will be the theme of the party, not want the party entails. Of course, you will want your child’s birthday party to be somewhat different. Make friends, not enemies.
Decide on a setting for your preschooler’s birthday party.
Preschooler’s are excitable and will be distracted by the fun at the party; they will be messy. Choose a location that will facilitate easy clean up after the party to minimize your efforts. A fast-food restaurant or similar child-friendly restaurant may be just right. A child friendly restaurant may have a small room that your party can utilize. If the weather is warm, a local park, or park district is a likely place. (The park district may even offer an indoor option especially for birthday parties for preschoolers and small children.) Choose the location that best suits your highest priorities for the party. If you get tense at the party, it will ruin it for you and possibly for your child. Your opinion counts.
Choose the day
If you dread the idea of spending hours upon hours with a swarm of preschoolers on your weekend, you might choose to have the party in the evening. If you have chosen a fast food restaurant, you could choose to have the party on a weekday at suppertime. With all the considerations, you may find that 1 or 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon turns out to be your best option.
Setting the length of the party
The advantage to planning a short defined birthday party is twofold. First, young children get over-tired and over-stimulated easily. There is nothing more stressful than a room filled with whining and crying preschoolers; preschoolers that are running, jumping and screaming. Second, you will be able to keep the party moving along more easily and you will be less stressed yourself. You don’t want to come home from the party wrung out like a dirty dishrag.
(is the planning and implementation of a complex task, and the planning and control of the flow of the children, supplies, and food.)
Plan on how many adult helpers you will need. Be realistic. You can compare how many adults were present at other parties and judge by how well those parties were organized. If you choose to have more than 3 or 4 children at the party, you will need some extra help. Preschoolers need a lot of attention. Even with only 3 or 4 children, think about who will be watching the others while each child has a monitored bathroom break. (If you are in a restaurant, an unscrupulous person can easily cart off young children. To be on the safe side, always be cautious in public places. Sorry, in today’s world this is a reality.)
Sometimes, teens can be helpful here. Be careful! Teens can become distracted and over-stimulated as well. Ask only the teens that you know have a good track record of keeping commitments.
The number of guests depends upon your disposable dollars, the location you choose, and the number of adults you will have helping you. Be conservative.
With the number of your preschool guests in mind, decide how you will give out the invitations. If you will be sending them to preschool to be passed out, you must invite all the children in the class. You may find that the preschool or kindergarten requires you to invite everyone, if you choose to have your child pass the initiations out at class. If not everyone will be invited, mail the invitations. Use courtesy in all your choices.
Fill everyone’s dance card, so to speak. Have each activity planned including the length of that activity. Don’t plan a series of energetic physical activities, one right after the other. The children will need some help in staying focused and occupied. Remember that the cake with all that sugar will set everyone popping. Intersperse more quiet activities, or have all the quiet activities.
Also, have everything distributed equally. Small children are deeply concerned with fairness. The better the activities are planned, the less trouble you will have and the party will provide happy memories.
Crafts are a good possibility. Everyone will be happy to take something home.
When carrying out the activities, or crafts, give detailed explanations and directions. I have a story about this one. I had a friend that taught preschool. One day she decided on an activity in which each child would make bubbles by blowing into a straw placed in a small bathroom cup of dish detergent. Can you imagine what happened? Well, she forgot one important direction. She forgot to tell the children to take a breath before they put the straw into the solution, and to take their mouths off the straw to take a breath before blowing into the solution again. There was a lot of crying, and spitting, and coughing that afternoon. No one experienced any serious or problems lasting more than a few minutes. She was very lucky.
Don’t get dictatorial. Breathe and have some fun, too.
More planning decisions, opening gifts can be boring for the other children. How will you keep them content during this time? If everyone wants to open the gifts at the party, have another activity ready should this go downhill. Depending on your culture or family values, you may want to coach your child before the party regarding the appropriate way to thank the children for their gifts. Parents usually buy what they can afford and what they believe is going to create happiness. “This is wonderful; this is great; thank you,” is a polite way to say thanks. So that gift giving does not become a competition amongst the parents, you can have a price ceiling, perhaps $20.00. This amount should be whatever is customary in your area.
Right at the beginning of the birthday party, explain what behaviors will be expected. This is exceedingly important if the group is in a public place. Throughout the time of the party, you can give gentle reminders about your behavior expectations. Even preschoolers will respond positively to these reminders. There may be an individual child that takes exception to these requests. You’ll have to use all your practiced patience and parenting skills. One of the adult helpers can be invaluable in this type of situation. Request that everyone use his or her magic words, ‘please’, and ‘thank you.’ Teaching and reinforcing courtesy becomes second nature.
To Your Parenting Success!