Birthday Parties With The Pros: Planning

By Carol Band

Plan, Plan, Plan ...

The party’s booked. Now’s the time to make sure everything runs smoothly. Invite a friend or two to help out on the day of the party. That way you’ll have company and someone to help take kids to the bathroom and scoop ice cream. Neighborhood teens or older siblings might also relish the opportunity to earn a few dollars and would be happy to provide an extra pair of hands and watchful eyes. A good rule of thumb is one helper for every three kids under age 5 or every five kids under age 10.

Finalize your guest list and make a note if there are children with special needs or allergies. If you’re providing goody bags and decorations, help your child decide on a theme or color scheme and let him or her be involved in picking the treats to go into the bags.

If It Rains …

What happens if you’ve planned a perfect party at a local zoo or a 36-hole mini-golf course and it rains? While you might be able to carry on with a few sprinkles, a torrential downpour will put more than a damper on even the best-laid plans. Be sure to have an alternative date, backup idea (OK, everyone! We’re going bowling!) or a rain location planned.

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Carol Band is the undisputed birthday party guru for United Parenting Publications. A veteran of birthdays, she is a freelance writer and mother of three.