Throwing a birthday party for your child can seem a bit overwhelming. There is all this pressure to have the perfect birthday party. While it certainly doesn’t have to be perfect, there are a number of ways to make sure that it is successful. Here are the 7 elements of a successful birthday party.
1. Cake. A birthday party without singing Happy Birthday over a cake aglow with candles just doesn’t seem complete. This is an absolute must for any birthday party. It doesn’t have to be cake if the birthday child doesn’t like it. This ritual can also be done over a pie, ice cream cake or other favorite dessert as well.
2. Theme. Planning a birthday party around a central theme is just easier to pull together. It can be a favorite color, character, activity, or animal and will give you the basis for everything in the party.
3. Games. Trust me that a party will run smoother when you have activities to entertain your guests with. Plan on having 3 games to play with a fourth one as a backup. You can also play the most popular game again if you still have time. A pinata is a perennial favorite party game, or if your budget can swing it, getting a bouncy house or trampoline will make your kids party the talk of the school yard.
4. Decorations. Balloons and streamers are the perfect accompaniments for a birthday party. Get ones that match your party theme and hang them everywhere. They are usually very inexpensive so you can afford to use many of them. Reusable wall clings, personalized banners, and table centerpieces are also popular items to decorate with right now.
5. Favors. Usually passed out as your guests are leaving, this is a nice way to thank your guests for attending. It doesn’t have to be a large or expensive item.
6. Presents. No I don’t mean there should be a huge pile of them. I do think that you should always unwrap presents at the party. There is a trend lately of saving the unwrapping for when everyone has gone home. I understand some of the reasons for doing so, but part of the delight of giving a gift is seeing the recipient unwrap it.
7. Thank you notes. This is an item for after the party is over. While your child should always thank each of their guests in person after opening presents, etiquette and common courtesy still dictates that a handwritten thank you note is required. A hand colored thank you note is a great alternative for a younger child.
If you have all 7 of these elements at your child’s birthday party, then your guests are sure to have a wonderful time. It will also be a party that your child will long remember.