Parenting - Great Children's Birthday Party Ideas

With some imagination and creativity, you can plan a wonderful birthday party for any aged child.

Birthday parties are exciting for children, but often stressful for parents. Often, parents get so caught up in the many details of planning a party that they completely miss out on all the fun that a party can bring. The key to planning a successful birthday party is to make it age appropriate. You wouldn't want to give your two year old a party at a bowling center. In the same respect, you wouldn't ask your twelve year old to play pin the tail on the donkey.

You definitely want to consider the age of your child when determining the number of children to invite. The first couple of birthdays can be overwhelming for a toddler. It is perfectly alright to invite other children, and typically friends and family members may have children close to your own child's age. This may mean that your child's birthday could turn into quite a large event.

You need to be prepared to entertain several small children at once. You can do this by having several age appropriate toys available. If weather permits, you might want to plan on having your child's party outside. Make sure you have several toys for them to play with. Instead of a cake, you may want to make cupcakes so the little ones don't have to manipulate forks or spoons.

As your little one grows, she and her friends will love to play more active games. You can still play pin the tail on the donkey, but use Velcro tape instead of pins. It is easy to create a theme to decorate with. You can continue whatever theme you choose by purchasing or making name tags for each child to wear that match the birthday theme.

Young children love obstacle courses, and these can be easy to make. Set up an obstacle course using recycled boxes taped together to form a tunnel. Scavenger hunts are always exciting. If the children aren't old enough to read, cut out pictures from magazines or draw objects on paper. Let an adult help each child hunt. Be sure and place some inexpensive prizes around that can be used as treasures. You can custom make a treasure map for each child so they will each find their own surprise.

Children love to dance. You can buy several children's tapes or cds and have a musical party. Let each child create her own dance that the other children try to copy. You can stop the music at intervals and instruct each child to freeze. If you have an instant or digital camera, take pictures of them while they are "frozen". Be sure and give each child a copy of her picture before she leaves the party.

Your child may prefer having an all-girl or all-boy party. Most girls love to play dress-up, so try to accumulate several dress-up outfits. Make sure you have an outfit for everyone. You can also have a tea party for your little girl. You can make or buy special tea cakes and invite all her friends to come dressed in their Sunday best. Use your own special china for the event.

Little girls love to make jewelry and crafts. Visit a local crafts store and buy some inexpensive beads and string. Help each child construct her own party favor. You can also buy several inexpensive t-shirts and let each girl decorate her own shirt with paints and rhinestones.

Boys love generally love to play sports. You can invite your son's friends over for a friendly game of flag football or baseball. Be sure you are the one to divide up the teams to eliminate any hurt feelings. You can buy or make a cake decorated like the sport they are playing. You can also set up your yard for track and field events. Bring in a load of sand for long and broad jumps. Draw a chalk line for the 50-yard dash or relay races. You can purchase inexpensive medals, but make sure each child receives one for something they've accomplished.

As your children continue to grow, they may enjoy planned parties at local skating rinks, bowling alleys, and laser tag facilities. You may find that you can rent a local recreation center for a couple of hours. Bring along plenty of basketballs and Frisbees for the children to play with.

Parties don't have to be stressful as long as you plan age appropriate activities. Don't be afraid to ask parents to stay and help. Don't be too structured, but do have plenty of activities planned. Decide in advance on the amount of time you want the party to last, and specify that on the invitation. With some imagination and creativity, you can plan a wonderful birthday party for your child.

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