- State clearly on the invite if there is going to be any specific activity (like bowling, or food fighting, or nail painting) so the child can come prepared and dressed appropriately.
- PLEASE state whether you as the host(ess) are happy to have the child dropped off or you would prefer that the parent stays during the party. Trying to make that decision once the child is being dropped off is uncomfortable. (Although I have seen the parent who doesn’t even get out of the car – they drop and run!! Probably to avoid the awkwardness!!)
- If you are going to request that the parent stays, have adult type food and beverages available. (I don’t mind eating fruit snacks, etc. but a nice cheese and cracker display would be wonderful!)
- Make sure the invitation has a start and end time (otherwise, you could get stuck with 10 kids for 1/2 a day!!)
- Personally, I think opening gifts at a party with friends, etc. is inappropriate. Save that for after the guests have gone. (Plus, this way you’ll avoid the all-to-honest-child who states their feelings about every gift!!)
- Send Thank You notes. It sets a great example for your children to be thankful – plus the guests who’s parents didn’t stay will at least know the gift was received.
- Very helpful to have a “Wish List” or a gift registry for us to select from…kids are so hard to buy for and especially now that many of the kids whose parties we’re invited to are school friends – I don’t know them well enough to make a decision on what to get. So if you don’t want that old, standby gift, include a registry address (also, be sure to have gifts from all price ranges!)
- Invitations should be sent at least two weeks in advance if possible. (We have busy lives people!)
- If you are going to have a party where family is mixed with friends and adults are present assign someone to be the “greeter” and introduce the adults to each other. (Nothing worse than standing around wondering who is who).
- Finally, I know that goody bags are a staple at every party – please do not be offended when the toys and other “trinkets” are donated to the treasure box at school. (Would prefer to see something like a photo of the birthday child and my child, a craft that was made during the party, or one thing that ties in with the theme).
Would love to know – do you plan a party every year for your child?