Today I went to a great kids birthday party, thrown by my very stylish friend Andrea for her son Samuel’s 3rd birthday. Andrea and I have a love (ahem, obsession) for shopping in common, and like me, she spends weeks on the internet pre-party, searching for just the right touches. The fun started with an invitation that looked just like an airline ticket. The airplane theme continued with the fun, festive party, which was held in a room in a clubhouse,. Red, white and blue balloons shared air space with airplane-shaped balloons, and the entire comfy, contained room was designed to be kid-friendly, from the craft area where kids could color a pair of binoculars to the toys placed strategically throughout the room. Adding to the fun was the appearance of Mr. Richard, a children’s singer and guitarist who kept the kids on their feet dancing along to his music. So this party got me thinking about the essential elements of a successful kids birthday party, and I’ve come up with three basic rules:
1. Keep it Simple: This is where I struggle, but the best, least overwhelming kids parties allow kids to be kids, and feature fewer structured activities and more time to just play.
2. Keep it Short: A kids party should last two hours, more or less. Sure, some friends may be inspired to linger, but no one should feel obligated to hang out for much longer, unless they choose to. After a couple of hours, everyone starts melting down.
3. Keep it Stylish: Fun, child-friendly decor, a colorful cake or cupcakes, a cute invitation – all of these details set the tone for the party and let guests know what to expect. They also make the birthday kid feel special. Everyone likes to be fussed over!
What do you think makes a great kids birthday? I’d love to hear your ideas, and I’ll share a few of my own, in the next couple of days!
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