Parenting: Birthday Parties from Families OnLine Magazine
Birthday Party Tips
You probably know the tune all too well. And you probably know that birthdays are some of the most memorable and magical moments for children. Parents often go out of their way to load the day with fun activities, friends, relatives, and food when really the secret to an enjoyable kids’ party is simplicity. Here are some suggestions:
Babies through age 3: Wee ones, toddlers, and those just out of diapers don’t remember much, and their attention spans are short. Lots of excitement can put these children into overload or even frighten them. Small parties with small groups of friends and family are best. Parties for small children should be short, one to two hours at most.
Children ages 4-6: “Home” parties work best for this age group. Day care and school friends are now more important to children, and they have learned to get along through sharing and playing games. Children this age need lots of individual attention, so enlist plenty of help for parties.
School-age children: It may be time to separate the “family” party from the “friends” party. I recently took my nine-year-old to a birthday party that was scheduled for fours hours! I asked the mother if this was correct, and she said that she had decided to invite a smaller number of children for a longer period of time. She realized that kids this age tend to get absorbed in their often-competitive play and prefer fewer transitions to other activities.
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