The weird world of children's parties can cause parents terrible dread and heartache. Apart from filling them with intense feelings of pressure and obligation to get it right for their child, competitiveness with other parents is also paramount, sometimes to a ridiculous extent.
You probably don't need to even contemplate a birthday party until your child is at kindergarten or infant school (about 4). Anyone who has seen the baffled expression on a one-year-old 'birthday boy's' face as a group of complete strangers give a lusty rendition of 'Happy Birthday' will realise that small children are well below the age when a party has any point.
But, from age four to twelve (approx), you may feel under the obligation to lay on an annual celebration. Here's our guide to throwing successful children's parties.
- Are you prepared to hold the party in your own home?
- The pros and cons of holding your child's party at an outside venue.
- How about choosing a compromise option and holding a picnic outside?
- How about preserving your domestic tranquility and taking a group of children on an outing?
- Guestlists, invitations, RSVPs.
- Party food options, and how to deal with fussy eaters and allergies.
- Simple present-giving rules that will ensure you're not caught in a crazy price escalation.
- How to organise party bags that won't bankrupt you.
- Organised games will ensure that your child's party goes with a swing.