When it comes to parties, planning makes perfect. We asked parents and party professionals for tips that are sure to make your celebration a success.
- Let your child help pick the theme. Involve her in the planning and preparation too.
- Invite a number of guests equal to your child's age, plus one or two. Try to keep the guests in the same age range, or at least provide alternate activities for any older or younger kids.
- Write on the invitations whether parents are invited or if kids are to be dropped off. (Parents should be expected to stay with children under age 5.) If parents attend, provide a snack for them.
- Keep the party 1 1/2 to 2 hours long, and indicate on the invitation at what time the party will be over.
- Have your child see and greet each guest upon arrival to make them all feel welcome.
- If you're buying pizza, order it early and keep it warm in the oven. Waiting to order could bring unforeseen delays.
- If the children will be making a craft project, create a sample for them to see. This will help you gauge whether the project is age-appropriate and if you'll need help.
- Avoid games that require kids to wait a long time for their turn -- or at least give them something to do while they wait.
Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the May 2001 issue of Parents magazine.