Every little girl likes to feel special on her birthday, and you know your little princess deserves to have a special day full of wonder and excitement. But if you find yourself a little apprehensive about throwing a party, Wedding and Party Network is here to help.
Here are 10 easy tips to make your little girl's birthday party a royal flush!
#1. Pick A Theme She Loves
Make this choice hers and hers alone. No reusing her sister's Dora the Explorer stuff just because you are tired of storing it. Don't let her older brothers make fun of what she chooses (at least not in front of her!) Let her pick something she likes. You can make suggestions if she gets stuck but be sure the final idea is all hers and that she is excited about it.
#2. Invite the Right Amount of Guests
This will depend on your party space, the number of adults that will be available to pitch in and your daughter's own temperament. If she does well in big groups, the more the merrier! But if she is shy and easily overwhelmed, keep the guest list to a small group of close friends and family. It is easy to fall into the trap of inviting more kids than you think will attend because you "owe" them (their parents) an invite but be realistic about how much space you have to entertain and which adults are truly up for helping you out.
#3. Get Adult Volunteers That Know What They Are In For
Speaking of helping out, this is a big one. If you want to get through this party with your sanity, don't try to do too much yourself and don't push responsibilities onto a friend or family member that truly can't commit the time. Be upfront about needing help, how long the party will last and what they will be expected to do. Before the party, plan specific tasks for each person. Don't try to wing it or something is bound to be forgotten. And certainly don't forget that this party trick you are asking for puts you in the line of fire to return the favor at some point.
If you need some time to get dinner or an activity ready, this is a good moment to play up some princess necessities like getting ready for the big party. This is where a fort in the living room comes in handy. Girls can play with some pretend makeup or the real thing if you have an adult volunteer while you make last minute arrangements to make the night run smoothly.
#5. Have Dinner and Dessert Separate
Even though you are thinking it would be easier to get the messy food and cake out of the way all at once, remember that too much too soon with all that excitement can take a toll on little ones. No one wants a bellyache to slow down the action 5 minutes after leaving the table. So plan to have a light easy dinner then plan an activity before the big cake moment happens. Opening presents is a good choice. Lots of excitement for your birthday girl, but everyone else is, more or less, sitting down watching and digesting before the sugar rush to come.
#6. The Present Trap
While older kids might not venture into tantrum territory, younger children often have trouble understanding why they aren't privy to any of this present business. Try to talk to parents and see if younger children can start playing outside or in another room if this is a possible problem. You could also choose to open presents after the party if there is concern about gifts being shared, broken or lost. And one thing that never disappoints at any kid party is a well crafted goody bag for each child. While you don't have to spend a lot on these to make them special, do made an effort to wrap them festively and include some unexpected items like small toys, collectible erasers, sidewalk chalk or other highly coveted items. This can easily take the place of present opening chaos.
While it's fantastic that the boy down the street had pony rides last summer, that doesn't mean you have to try and one-up someone else's special event. Plan activities that will be fun for your child on any budget. Does she love to color and make stuff? Have a station for the kids to decorate their own party hats. Up for a little adventure? A scavenger hunt is perfect to get everyone exploring together. Love music? Set aside time for karaoke or dance party. Have a Wii or XBox? Play a tournament style game and give out small prizes to the winners and candy treats to all that participated.
A bad mistake is to think that the kids have to be 100% entertained every second of the party. Plan some unstructured time to just play with the new toys or twirl around in party dresses. If you have a magician coming or a bouncy house ready to ambush, don't rush from one activity to the next just to squeeze it all in. Make sure each activity has a little breathing room so there is time for chatter, impromptu dances and a few snapshots to occur. Otherwise, you'll find yourself barking orders all night just to "stay on schedule."
#9. Never Underestimate The Power Of TV
While you might think it's a party so who would want to sit still and watch a movie, the answer is you! Plan to have a special viewing of something you know will be a hit. Maybe it's something that was just released or an old princess favorite like Cinderella. Start it up, pop a big bowl of popcorn and turn out all the lights to give the girls a theater-like experience while you use the time to regroup. Even if you only get 10 minutes to pick up the kitchen and 30 seconds of downtime before you have to join in the sing-a-long in your living room, it will be worth it. Plus, it is a great way to calm down and chill out before parents arrive for pick-up or bedtime.
After the party is all over and your little princess has recovered from her big day, make a point to sit down and talk about the party. With so much going on, she might not remember who gave her what gift so this is a perfect time to teach her about the art of thank you cards. By having her thank each of her party guests, by mail or even a phone call, this will impart graciousness and true gratitude. Which, you can tell her, are the hallmarks of a very great and truly beautiful princess.
Birthdays, especially at a young age, are important milestones that deserve to be made special. With enough planning and some of these tips, you'll have nothing to worry about when it's time for cake. You'll be able to enjoy the love and craziness that is a princess's best birthday party ever.