Party blunders to avoid

Kids’ parties should be fun for everyone, including mom and dad.  However, a few little blunders can create havoc among the crowd and for the party planner. Keep these three party mistakes in mind the next time you plan a party for your child.

Kids gone wild. You’ve lost control of the little ones as they turn the party into a scavenger hunt racing throughout your house. Or worse yet, they’re scoping out the public party place and the thought of losing one causes pure panic. You have ten kids going in different directions and you can’t keep your eyes on all of them.  So before party day, ask for help from your spouse, a friend or one of the kids’ parents. Then, as the kids arrive explain to them what they’re allowed to do before the party starts. Have an ice breaker such as an age-appropriate craft that will involve kids as soon as they get there. Be sure to assign a designated person to craft time.  

We’re bored. Kids need to be busy from the time they arrive until the time they leave. If you don’t provide something for them to do, they will find something to do themselves and you might not like it.  Imagine ten little five-year-olds jumping on your cream-colored sofa with their shoes on. Or maybe they decide to play a game of basketball, sure they have a NERF ball, but the makeshift basket is your foyer chandelier. To keep this from happening, write out a detailed timeline for the entire party in increments of 15 to 30 minutes with an activity to go with the allotted time. It’s always best to plan too much than too little. 

Where’s mom? Be sure to get phone numbers for all the parents prior to drop off time. Not only for safety reasons, but also every so often there’s one parent who takes advantage of others. So the party is over and you have one youngster remaining. So you tackle clean-up, pack the gifts in the car and mom is still a no show. Now all you want to do is to go home and relax. However, with little Johnny in the picture who doesn’t know mom’s cell phone number, you can’t. If you take him home, you might miss his mom.  And what if, you drive him home and no one is home to watch him. Unless mom knows where you live, she won’t know how to get him. As parents call to RSVP, ask for a cell phone number in case there are any last-minute changes. Now, just don’t forget to keep this list with you on party day.

These simple preplanning tips will keep your child’s party running smoothly, as well as allow you to enjoy the party day.

Mary Jo Rulnick is an author and freelance writer from Pittsburgh.