Saturday, October 13, 2012
What I've learned about hosting a 5th Birthday Party
Last Sunday we celebrate Ruby's fifth birthday. The weeks of planning had come to an end, and I can safely say that, as much as I love it, there will not be another party of this kind until Jenson turns 5.
As far as the kids parties have gone, I do really enjoy planning how the party runs, the food, but most of all the cake and the decorations. Like my lovely friend Tahnee, I seem to have a severe aversion to have store bought options of anything, instead opting to handmake the majority of things.
With a slightly different list of invitees to Mila's first birthday, how the day ran also had to be a bit different. I haven't been to a fifth birthday party for a very, very long time, so when I thought about starting to plan the party, I needed a little bit of help.
Me ol' mate Martha came through with some pearls, as did Kidspot, but I also learned a lot myself, that I didn't read anywhere.
Here is what I learned about hosting a fifth birthday party
1. First and foremost, start on the right foot by ensuring the time on the invitation is correct. In particular, if you are hosting a party at the beginning of October, or April, check to see whether the party date falls on the start of Day Light Savings. That way you will not have to check in with all invitees to change the time!!
2. If you plan on making all of the decorations and all of the food yourself, start a good time in advance. There is always going to be a rush and a few late nights leading up to the party, this is inevitable, but it could just mean that you have a spare minutes before everyone arrives to do relish in your handiwork and perhaps take a few photos. Which leads me to my next point.
3. Try to make time before everyone arrives to get some photo's of the table, decorations, food etc. Sounds like a no-brainer, yeah? Not for me! This is especially the case if you have beautifully decorated cake, that you have spent, oh you know, a few hours on, complete with a "5" covered in fairy sprinkles which is standing upright on the cake. Take photo's before you have a tap on the shoulder by your husband saying "Bad news, your number 5 is broken".
4. Starting with a quiet activity was great. I had set up a table with some cookies, snack bags filled with different coloured icing, and bowls with smarties, sprinkles and mini marshmallows. As everyone arrived they could decorate their cookies, which then got put aside to dry and they then took them home. Of course I didn't get any photo's of them doing this activity, just the end result!
5. A few party games are good, but not too many. Two to three is probably plenty, and then just let them play. Even if you have nothing specific set up for them to play, they will, and do most definitely find things to play. This will give you time to either set something else up, food etc, or time for a cuppa and a quick mingle with the parents. I always find it really hard, and I feel like I'm being rude when you can only have a really quick chat with guests before having to do something else. So if there is time for the kids just to play, this would be the ideal time to mingle.
6. Outside play would be ideal, however, would not have been great due to the wet and cold.
6. Things take a bit longer than you may expect them too. I had a loose timeline of what I thought the party may run to, and each activity, whether it be the games, lunch, gifts etc, took longer than I would have anticipated. This meant that we didn't get to play all of the games in the party time slot. So although there were some guests who had to leave right on the time I had the party finish on the invitation, they missed out on some of the games. I was not going to worry about some games, but Ruby knew what we had planned and would ask for the next part.
7. I've found that this is still an age where it takes some children a while to warm up to things. There may be some that don't want to participate in all of the games, so see if there is something they would like to help you with instead to keep them participated. If not, then that is fine too.
8. Don't forget to put out the fruit. DON'T FORGET TO PUT OUT THE FRUIT!!!
All in all, we had a lovely day celebrating Ruby's birthday. Ruby had such a magical time with all of the friends that she wanted to be there. I truly hope that we have created for her a wonderful memory of her fifth birthday.