Monday, 4 June 2007

Planning a Children's Birthday Party

We always seem to think about this time of year as the start of the party season. Of course, there are Birthdays every day, and parents all over the country can be heard groaning with despair at the thought of arranging yet another birthday party for their child. How can we make them different and special for our children?.

Over the past few years, birthday parties have moved away from the “jelly and ice cream and pin the tail on the donkey” concept to parties that are almost elaborate in the extreme, with each child (or is it really us??) wishing for something “different”, something “special”. In reality, most children would probably enjoy themselves more if you gave them large cardboard boxes and lots of sticky tape, but no, we parents make our lives even more difficult than they should be through a ridiculous kind of peer pressure to create the dream party (and give ourselves a near nervous breakdown in the process).

The basic ingredients of a fabulous party are as follows: lots of cakes and jam sandwiches, and lots of balloons, with a few games such as Pass the Parcel, Blind Man’s Buff, and Musical Bumps. Additions to this recipe for success are the obligatory birthday cake, preferably homemade, and the must have “party bag”, without which no party could ever be complete. And of course, choose from the wealth of professional party services here in Wales, who will assist with all sorts of wonderful party ideas.

Party Organising Checklist

· First and most important is to agree with your child exactly how many friends they are allowed to invite.
· Decide on the party venue together, there’s no point forcing your child to have something they won’t be happy with. (If you desire a professional entertainer, be prepared to book well in advance)
· Send out the invitations two weeks before the party and be prepared to make follow-up phone calls to find out who’s coming and who isn’t. Invitations often stay in school or get lost on the bus.
· Check for food allergies when planning the Birthday Tea, so many children seem to have them these days.
· If you forget something, you’re probably the only person who will notice, don’t worry about it!
· Have a takeaway organised for the evening meal when you get home!

A twist on the traditional game of Pass the Parcel:

Instead of the usual parcel, cunningly contrived so every child ‘wins’ something, put one prize in the middle of the parcel. Between each layer of wrapping paper place a slip of paper with a ‘forfeit’ written on it. On the first slip put ‘Howl like a Wolf’, that will get them all giggling. Other suggestions for forfeits are: quack like a duck, walk like a crab, hop like a bunny. This will raise far more giggles and smiles. A plate of homemade biscuits in the shape of parcels, at the end of the game would do down a treat!

Unusual Presents for the Birthday Child?

How about a potted plant to put out in the garden or keep in their bedroom? A Venus Fly Trap or Cactus never fails to fascinate.

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