If you have school-age kids, you have probably attended your fair share of kids’ birthday parties. They can be a blast for the kids, they have the reputation for being complete torture for adult guests! Next time you plan a party for your kids, think about these six tips to make a kid’s party a little more tolerable for the adults who might be sticking around.
Allow parents to drop off the kids. If your children are old enough, make it this clear to the parents. There is nothing that makes a parent happier than hearing that they can drop off their kid at a party. Birthday parties are usually no more than a couple of hours long, which is the perfect time for a parent to run a few kid-free errands. This works especially well if you are hosting your party at an outside venue where kids will be occupied the entire party.
Think about food choices for adults. Some parents may stick around for the entire party even if you let them know that they are welcome to drop off kids. For those parents, provide a few snacks other than chicken fingers and juice boxes. One small adult-only snack with a few grown up drink options will do the trick.
Provide a spot for parents to hang out. Whether you are hosting the party at your house or at an outside venue, think about a spot where parents can relax during the party. If the party happens to be during a Kentucky football or basketball game or other big sporting event, make that spot in front of a large television, if possible. If you are going to serve adult snacks and drinks, you can set them up in this area so parents know that they are welcome to help themselves at any point.
Be available. If parents do stick around for a kid’s birthday party, be available to interact with them. Sometimes we can get so sucked into the party activities that we forget to interact with all the guests. Chatting with the other parents for a few minutes and periodically checking on them will make everyone feel more welcome. It can also be a great way to make a new friend!
If kids need to bring anything to the party with them, specify that on the invitation. For example, for a bowling party, kids will need to wear socks to rent bowling shoes. For a swimming party, kids will want to bring a towel. Make sure the invitation mentions that, even if it seems obvious. We all lead busy lives and may not think of those little details if it does not say anything on the invitation. If there is something specific that kids might need to bring, have a few extras on hand just in case someone forgets.
Skip the gift opening. For both school age kids and younger, skipping the gift opening is a good idea. Younger kids will have a hard time sitting still during the gift opening portion of the party. And, for older kids, skipping the gift opening will avoid gift comparisons. If you choose to not open gifts at the party, make sure your child thanks guests for their gifts later by sending a handwritten thank you note.
Next time you plan a child’s birthday party, remember the grown-ups. Just a few little thoughtful touches will make the party a success for every single one of the guests!