It’s quite exciting when your child starts getting invited to birthday parties – yay they have friends! But before you know it the invites start to pile up and suddenly it’s sugar meltdowns and goodbye weekends. So if you want them to have a great time and make things a bit easier on yourself, then follow these nine easy tips!
1. RSVP early
Mums are generally sleep deprived and super busy (especially when you have multiple kids), which is not a good combo for remembering stuff! So if you don’t RSVP almost immediately to any party invites, then it’s quite likely you’ll forget all about it and your child will be devastated. It’s also a nice courtesy to other parents because there is nothing more annoying than having to chase RSVPs for an event. While you’re at it, save the mum or dad’s number in your phone in case you need to cancel, and put the invite on the fridge.
2. Create a present stash
To save time and money, buy a bunch of presents in one go when they’re on sale. This way you’ll always have one ready to gift at home instead of a last minute dash to the shops. It’s a good idea to set yourself a budget for presents too – and stick to it – such as $15-20 per child, otherwise all these parties can easily blow out your budget.
3. Make your own cards and wrapping
Cut the party costs even further by skipping the cost of a card and wrapping paper each time, and get your kids to solve this one for you by making a bulk supply of homemade cards and gift wrap from brown butcher’s paper decorated with their own drawings. It will make it fun and your kids will be proud as punch when they present each gift to their friends.
4. Don’t hype it up too much
Kids have a tendency to make a mountain out of a mole hill and if you try to create too much excitement over a party they can easily become overwhelmed – especially if they have a tendency to grow shy around big groups of people. Be careful about the expectations you set, or you may have trouble even getting them out the door.
5. Do you really need to go?
While most children love parties, sometimes it’s not actually the best idea for them to go. If they’re not feeling well, or the party is for older children and not really appropriate for their age, or if you have multiple events on that day and it’s going to be too much for them to handle, then make the call and skip it. Just be sure to let the parents know you’re not coming if you have already RSVP’d.
6. Make sure they’re rested and fed
Little kids are so prone to tantrums, especially when there’s lots of excitement and stimulation – parties are full of games, prizes and sugar highs. Nothing fuels a tantrum more than overstimulating a tired or hungry child. Be sure to rearrange their nap time and give them a little something to eat and drink before they go, and you’ll be setting them (and you!) up for a much more enjoyable time.
7. Stay close by
It’s very common for young ones to feel nervous when they’re quite new to the party circuit (or even years into it!), particularly if they happen to be an introvert. So be sure to hold their hand when you enter and stay within their eyesight at all times, should they start feeling shy, upset or accidentally fall over. When they’re really little, don’t force them to talk too much to adults or other children either. They might not interact much with anyone when they’re quite new to parties, but this is nothing to worry about, they’re just feeling their way.
8. Keep tabs on their sugar intake
Children’s parties can be like walking into Willy Wonka’s Factory, so it’s a good idea to keep your tabs on how many lollies, chocolates, cakes and sugary drinks your little one is scarfing down – especially if they don’t normally eat much junk food. A small amount is fine of course, but too much and you might have a threenager in a rage on your hands. If your child has allergies it’s best to select all their food for them.
9. Encourage them to say thanks
While you may not get much more than a quick glance and mumble the first few times, it’s a good idea to teach them good manners from an early age with regards to saying thank you to both the child and parents for being invited to their party. Even if they don’t want to, listening to you say it will help them learn their manners for future parties.
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