Planning your children’s birthday parties becomes an annual problem as they get older. You try and think of an idea that is appropriate to their age, affordable, and different to what other children have done, and all the time this is balanced against your children’s own expectations, which, bearing these factors in mind, might be very different from your own.
Let’s face it, birthday parties occur much more regularly than they did when we were young, so it is a challenge to make every party unique, memorable and extra special. But here are some ideas for making your party stand out, which are appropriate for most ages up to the early teens.
This is all important and is quite easy to change and adapt as each year passes, because inevitably new films, characters and pop stars arrive on the scene as the latest fad. Both boys and girls like fancy dress and you can base your theme on anything that is popular at the time. Alternatively, your theme might be an activity, and here is where you can make your party unique. After a few years, the kids have grown out of soft play gyms, so you can introduce bowling, football, theatre, horse-riding or any other activity. The girls might even prefer a pamper party at home, or if you can face it, you could suggest a sleepover party for a select few.
Okay, this is a staple feature of any party, particularly at home, but there are ways of doing this differently to create something memorable. You can create personalised banners to hang on the walls using some of your child’s favourite photos from growing up. You could also create personalised balloons and completely fill a room with them as a surprise. Decorating rooms that you wouldn’t normally also creates a fun memory, such as the toilet!
Allowing your child to indulge themselves with their favourite food is a simple pleasure that they will appreciate. You can ration them on this in the weeks leading up to the party so that it will be a little more ‘special’ on the day, but as a one-off just let them go crazy on what they enjoy the most.
It is a great and simple idea to plan your party with your child, but then throw in some surprises. If the child thinks they know what to expect in terms of what is happening when and who is coming, it makes surprise gifts, guests or activities all the more special.
Keep the gifts coming
Of course your child will want to open all their gifts as soon as is humanly possible, but try to keep a few held back for later as a nice surprise, particularly if there is a special one that they maybe thought they hadn’t got. You can also make gifts extra special by arranging some personalised wrapping paper for the presents.
Hunt for presents
This might sound cruel, but making your child work for their presents will make them appreciate the gift more. Set up a fun treasure hunt which involves all the kids, keeps them occupied and gets them thinking. You can maybe arrange some smaller gifts for the invited guests along the way, but when the main gift is found it will create a memorable moment.
On the assumption that you take lots of photos on the day, an extra special way of remembering the party is to turn these into a gift. You can personalise mugs, t-shirts or posters with photos from your birthday party, or you can compile a small book as a long-lasting memory of the best party ever!
Thank you cards
Writing out ‘thank you’ cards after the party is not just a nice thing to do, which teaches your child to recognise and appreciate the effort people have gone to, it also acts as a way of prolonging the birthday event. Many children experience post-birthday blues, so writing out ‘thank you’ cards the next day allows them to re-live the party and make that extra special feeling last a little bit longer.