From goody bags to party games, expert advice on kids parties from Nick Jr.
1. How many children is the right number for a preschooler's party?
The guest list should be composed of your child's close friends and close family members. A very large party may overwhelm the birthday child.
In addition, consider the size limitations of your party space.
2. How long should the party be?
Ninety minutes is the length of time I recommend for a preschool party.
A good party flow includes 15 minutes of a welcoming activity, 45 minutes of organized entertainment or activities, and 30 minutes for refreshments and passing out party favors.
3. My child's birthday falls on a holiday. Should we move the party date?
It can be fun to have a special themed birthday party on holidays, especially when the guest list is predominantly family members.
But if your guest list is mainly class friends, they may have family commitments that day and be unable to attend.
4. Should we send the invitations to school with our child or mail the invitations?
It's exciting for children to receive an invitation by mail. However, invitations can be sent to school if time is an issue and if you have included all of the children in the class.
5. Should we ask parents to stay?
Some preschoolers may have separation anxiety. To avoid this being a disruption at your party, invite an accompanying adult for each of the party guests. This is a nice time for parents to see their children at play and to socialize with other parents.
6. What happens if a child misbehaves?
It is important to address the child that is misbehaving by name (nametags are a help). Ask the child why they are misbehaving. If there is another child involved, it is a good idea to separate them.
At preschooler parties, an accompanying adult is often present for each guest. Ask this adult to keep a watchful eye on his or her child for the remainder of the party.
If the parent is not present, tell the child that a continuation of this behavior will result in your calling his parents to have him picked up.
8. Are there any party games with no winners and losers?
Although most games have winners and losers, you can easily modify the rules of favorite games so everyone can be a winner. Another great option is a group game where everyone can participate and win a prize.
9. Are goody bags with candy okay to give?
Goody bags with candy are okay as long as the candy is age appropriate. Be cautious of anything that could be considered a choking hazard, and avoid candy with nuts as some children may be allergic.
10. Should my child open the presents at the party?
Opening presents is a natural way to wrap up a party. However, opening gifts after the party is also a great option because it gives the birthday child something to look forward to when the party is over.
If your child opens gifts after the party, then it is even more important to send a thank-you note right away, because young party guests will be happy to know that your child liked their gift.
Written by Party Expert Linda Kaye, founder of Linda Kaye's Birthdaybakers, Partymakers, Inc.