First things first, you need to decide what kind of event you would like to have. If your child – we’ll call your offspring a “he” to make things more simple! – is quite shy, he might not want a big fuss or to be the centre of attention. It’s important to tailor the event to his personality and interests; feeling awkward and uncomfortable in a big group of other kids might ruin his birthday and make him even more shy.
So if he is a little introverted, why not just invite the family round for a few party games and some nibbles – giving his grandparents and aunts and uncles the chance to spoil him rotten and making sure he is not overwhelmed by lots of livelier children.
You may find that your child is the exact opposite, revelling in larger groups and enjoying being in the spotlight. If so, you could organise a party where the kids learn something new, like circus skills. There are companies around the country which will teach your kids how to spin plates or play with a diabolo – these activities are bound to be a great hit with the youngsters (and with you, as they’ll be thoroughly worn out afterwards!).
Other ideas for fun parties include hiring a bouncy castle or a children’s entertainer – although beware that lots of youngsters are scared of clowns so you may have a few tears if you call in the services of Coco and the like.
If you’re worried about holding the event at home with the ensuing chaos and mess it will create, why not hire a hall? If you’re in South London for example, there are lots of halls for hire in Croydon where you can invite all your child’s friends for an afternoon of fun and play. When it comes to activities, you could revert to the old school and play Pass the Parcel, Musical Statues and Pin the Tail on the Donkey – or you could take inspiration from the United States and have the children play with a piñata. They’re bound to love the sweets they find!
You may like to consider a theme for the party, and ask the children to dress up as their favourite fairy tale characters like Cinderella or Puss in Boots. Alternatively, parents could recycle the outfits they inevitably had to put together for World Book Day and come as Harry Potter or Matilda, for example.
No child’s party would be complete without a goody bag to take home – what will you put in yours? Sweets, small games, colouring books? If you don’t have the time to make them, you can order them online with themes including Hello Kitty and Fireman Sam.
However you decide to celebrate your child’s birthday, make sure you take lots of photographs so the event will be captured for posterity – and to embarrass your child when he brings his first girlfriend home! Have fun!
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