A well-meaning Auntie/Uncle/ Bubbe/Teacher/Doorman innocently asks, “So, what are you doing for Little Susie’s birthday coming up next month?” Immediate panic ensues, because you kind of forgot and you have no idea, and there are 50 other things you planned to do this week instead.
Don’t freak out. Here are 5 ways to ensure a fantastic birthday party:
- “I Want Candy” (and I want it Vegan, Nut-Free, and Sans Gluten)
Whether it’s mini cupcakes, an assortment of cookies, or Fudgie the Whale, every birthday party needs a special birthday treat. With a variety of food allergies these days (and food aversions being pretty commonplace among kids of all sizes), it’s nice to offer a couple of treat options, including a gluten-free or nut-free choice—especially if you know one of your guests has a food restriction. Parties can be a bummer for kids who can’t enjoy what their friends are enjoying, so it’s nice to make sure everyone has something to indulge in after the candles are blown out. Make it at home, have it delivered—as long as it’s sweet and you can stick a candle in it, you’re all set!
- “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” (Get This Party Started)
Some parties are all about the music, especially the ones thrown by us here at Rockstars! Any type of party gets a rockin’ boost when you have music playing in the background. Not only does it loosen up your tiny guests and make them feel festive, it encourages dancing and singing too. Whether you choose the soundtrack to the latest hit movie or a live band, nothing brings kids together like boogie-ing down and pretending to be their favorite singers!
- “The Right Stuff” (Fun For Everyone)
Some birthday parties are all about the main activity—maybe it’s an indoor rock climbing adventure or a paint your own pottery afternoon. But all parties can benefit from some downtime activities for in between the big fun. Think about having some coloring pages, building blocks, or simple board games for kids who need a break or want something a little more relaxed. Parties can be overwhelming for little ones, and a truly rockin’ birthday party means everyone is having fun!
- “Let The (Grown-up) Good Times Roll”
You’ll most certainly be focused on the happiness of your tiny guests, but don’t forget about the grownup ones who brought them. Kids’ birthday parties can be a great way to meet other parents and maybe even make new friends. So if you can, make sure there’s a comfortable area where parents can hang out (within eyesight of their kids, of course), and perhaps even offer an adult beverage or two! You’ll be glad when they return the favor.
- “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (Party Favors They’ll Want To Keep)
Party favors are a great way to thank your guests for celebrating with you and your birthday star. Why not come up with an easy on-theme craft project that the birthday boy or girl can help you make? This is a great way for you to get excited about the party together and to send your guests on their way with something meaningful and handmade. If you are the anti-Martha Stewart or just don’t have time to do anything beyond stuffing goody bags, check with your activity provider about ideas they might have or favors they can include at an additional cost. When in doubt, keep it simple. Favors are fun, but the real gift is in the memories you create at your fantastic party!
Author: Rebecca Kasper
Rebecca Kasper is a New York City based actor, singer and teacher. After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.S. in theatre, Rebecca has worked both on and off Broadway as well as in a variety of regional theaters and on television. She has also directed shows and taught theater classes for many years at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in Hancock, New York.