Where to celebrate Invite someone? Which games? What’s for dinner? Many parents panic at the thought of children’s birthday. With our tips, the day is relaxed
Birthday cake: Please blow hard so that all your wishes come true!
Birthday at last, the little ones think. Oh god, the celebration, the parents groan. How do you get through the children’s party? Rule number one: "Always organize help", advises Erika Reinhard, consultant at the Federal Working Group for Family Education and Counseling in Elmshorn. Whether grandma, another mother or the nice neighbor girl – you have someone there who takes care of food and drinks, sometimes distracts a child or accompanies you to the toilet. Without help it gets hectic.
The children notice this and react uneasily. And: logistics is the be-all and end-all. Distribute the invitations two weeks before the party, buy decorations and utensils for the games early on. It is best to prepare food the day before the party.
Checklist: Prepare children’s birthday:
Two weeks before the festival
- Draw up a guest list
- Make or write and send invitations, ask for a reply
- Select games or other activity programs and create a schedule
- Obtain decoration, play and handicraft material
- Organize a helper for the party
A week before the festival
- Make decorations, make-up and costumes ready
- Think about food and beverages, buy durable foods now
- Get party dishes, napkins, candles and table decorations
- If necessary, prepare game wins
- Do the last shopping the day before the festival
- Decorate the party room and eliminate sources of danger
- Bake cakes, prepare the birthday dinner as much as possible
- Provide music and game material, check the rules of the game
- Provide parents’ phone numbers
The most important questions and answers:
How many guests?
The rule of thumb is: The number of birthday years corresponds to the number of guests. "We never invite more than five or six children, otherwise it is too stressful", says Amelita Krone. The educator in the multi-generational house "neighboring treasure" in Hamburg has three children. And if the birthday child wants to invite the whole daycare? "Then talk to your child about it. Determine how many can come. Children can handle these requirements well", advises expert Reinhard.
Children’s birthday: who can come?
The daughters and sons of friends of parents? The children the little one was invited to? The little host can decide that on his own. It is his party. And if the child wants to invite a little chaot, then you can alert them to any problems. "If the child wants to invite his wild friend anyway, you have to take the risk", says Reinhard. Children can endure conflict. Under no circumstances should you invite the parents of the party guests to larger children. Then too much attention is lost because you have to serve coffee or make small talk. If a guest child comes to your home for the first time, you can still use his parents for one ask for a short time in the house. The farewell is easier for both sides.
Celebrate at home or in the gaming paradise?
"Parties in adventure halls are the trend", observes Amelita Krone. She celebrates at home. "When the children unpack, eat, sing and play gifts together, they create common ground. In the game paradise, everyone shovels some food in and disappears." Erika Reinhard is also critical of these excursions: "Parents don’t want to do as much work, but they also have less and less idea about playing. To offer something to their children, they book pre-made parties." It doesn’t have to be bad – but it shouldn’t just be about food. Better: use offers from museums or swimming pools. A party in the forest with a campfire and search for traces also appeals to everyone. Then it is best to announce on the invitation card that you will also spend time in the fresh air. And: don’t prepare too much. It is enough for children up to three years of age to simply play in peace. You only need to intervene when it gets too wild. However, children up to six usually expect more input. A few games, a treasure hunt and also some time to play freely is ideal. The celebration may end after three or four hours. Important for the birthday child: that their own parents are there and take their time. It particularly enjoys that.
What to do if a child doesn’t play along?
Then just leave it alone! "Some children love to just watch. You shouldn’t pay too much attention to that", says Reinhard. In between, ask the little guest from time to time whether he would like to join in, or entrust him with small tasks. "For example, I have these children turn the music for balloon dancing on and off", says Krone.
What to do at Zoff?
"The little ones rarely fight at birthdays", so Krone. But a few tricks prevent resentment. "The birthday child is under great pressure. You should appreciate his special status and let him take the lead at games", explains Reinhard. Also cheap: wild games always alternate with quiet planning. Then the children are not so pumped up.
Name gift requests?
Yes and no. Parents of party guests often call and ask. Then a reference to books or something to craft is of course great. Gift boxes are also becoming increasingly common. Like a wedding table, the child can choose what they want in the shop and guests can choose a piece from the full box. Just: "Children are also very happy about surprises for their birthday", says Krone. And they get lost in the process. No matter how the presents were selected – let the little ones sit in a circle and hand over the presents one by one. Then they can be duly admired.
Must be giveaways?
Birthday guests often carry whole gift bags home that contain not only sweets, but also a book or a toy. "Completely exaggerated", say the experts unanimously. "Explain to the children that the party is a great gift", advises Erika Reinhard. She recommends small bags at the beginning with the To paint children – for the profits from potting or eating chocolate. Then everyone has something special to take away.
How important is food?
You don’t need a large buffet. With coffee there are cakes or muffins and cocoa, possibly a fruit plate. For dinner, you should choose children’s classics such as sausages or pasta with tomato sauce. The bests are also homemade hamburgers.
A party for babies?
Save yourself a party for the first or second birthday. That is still too much excitement for the little ones. Invite one or two children of the same age with their mothers. A few balloons, a colorful fruit plate and a piece of cake create a special atmosphere for the birthday child. Add a few pillows to crawl or climb on the floor or a duvet cover filled with balloons – you are guaranteed to have children screaming with joy.
Mood makers: game tips to celebrate
Classics such as pounding pot, chair dance, balloon dance, in the garden also sack hopping and egg walking, still delight every child’s heart today. Guaranteed.
- Themed parties are time-consuming because children usually have to be dressed up, utensils made and walls decorated. Not so at the ghost party. Old sheets to hang on, carnival make-up, a darkened room and flashlights are enough "Bu" and "ugh" do.
- If you provide a box with old hats, clothes, high heels or something similar, you have probably been logged out of the children for quite a while.
- Children find shadow theater right Great. To do this, hang a bed sheet in the door frame and place a floor lamp behind it. Now a child can do things behind the curtain, for example animals. The others guess what that is supposed to be.
- The Piñata is a children’s classic from Mexico. Candy, confetti or small surprises are filled into a paper mache figure. Then the piñata is hung on a rope over the children’s heads, who can alternately hit with a stick until the pinata breaks and the contents trickle onto the children’s heads. Are there to buy or do it yourself, instructions can be found on the Internet.
- Children always like to find treasures. Hide notes with clues and let the children search. Chase the rascals to the mailbox, in the attic, in the basement or in the garden. You can fill small treasures into a treasure chest, but of course you could also say that the sausages for dinner are gone. Also a big hit: bury the treasure in the garden and dig.
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