How to Involve Your Child in Party Planning
Your child’s age or lack of verbal skills shouldn’t stop them from having the party that they want. Let them guide you so that you can throw a party that she will love and remember.
1. Pay attention to their interests. Expose them to different textures, shapes, colors, (and cartoon characters) early on, and you’ll see that your child will start playing favorites. There will be telltale signs of playing favorites, even if your child is a few months old—their face lights up, they’re more focused, or they try to mimic the words or actions of the character.
2. Show photos of the same theme and cake. Researching for the right theme and cake can feel like an endless task, especially when there are so many options online (Hello, Pinterest!). Having your child look through the photos and having them choose will be a tremendous test of patience, so why not choose your Top 5 choices, then have them choose from there?
3. Get their seal of approval for their food. Some kids are notoriously picky eaters, and it’s quite sad when the birthday celebrant ends up not eating the food in their own food. Avoid this by making sure that at least half of the food to be served is your child’s favorites, or something that they’ve enjoyed before. If you like, bring them during the food tasting so that you can get their thumbs up.
4. Get a gift registry. Not only will your child get a kick out of choosing their own presents, but your guests will thank you for it, too. Just make sure to be clear with your kid that this is just their wish list, not a list of things they’re sure to get. Remember to purchase a big-ticket item or two from the list as your present! (You usually get a discount if you purchase an item from your gift registry!)
5. Give your child a task to do. If you’re creating handmade invitations, give them the task of stamping or painting each one. Kids love dumping things into containers, so if you’re making your own goodie bags, task them to dump fistfuls of candies and chocolates in each bag.
6. Invite more kids than adults. Children’s parties are slowly turning into mini-family reunions, making them more costly than they should be due to the unnecessary guests. Nothing is more overwhelming for children than a lot of unfamiliar faces, especially if you’ve instilled “stranger danger” in them. Your VIP guests should be your children’s actual friends from school and close relatives. If there are more adults than there are children, review your guest list and either whittle it down, or add more kids into the mix.
7. Give your child the freedom to have fun. In the flurry of guests wanting to meet your kid, getting photos taken and being the perfect hostess, we sometimes forget that all kids want to do is have fun! Let your child enjoy the food and the activities that you all worked so hard for—you deserve it!