How to throw a kids´ birthday party

When our older son got a few months after our moving to Switzerland his first invitation to a birthday party of his new friend, I felt on one side very pleased that he managed to integrate with the local kids, but on the other hand, very worried, because I had any idea how such a kids´ birthday party here in Switzerland looks like. And when then he wanted to organize his own birthday party, I was sleepless for a few nights. That’s why I wrote this guide on how to throw a kids´ birthday party.

So let´s take a closer look what you shouldn´t omit while planning your kids´ birthday party:

Theme

A good party theme is the alpha and omega of the whole thing – it provides a framework from which the rest of the planning flows. But keep in mind that the theme should suit your kid´s interests and personality.
Although our younger son’s birthday is half a year afar, a few days ago he told me what theme he would have wanted for his birthday party. I was quite relieved that it was all too easy and it wouldn´t be difficult to get the decorations. Knowing the theme will also help you in making the invitations and planning activities for kids during the party.

Invitations

As I mentioned before, it is good to have them in keeping with the theme of the party. Invitations can be bought from stationery, you can download them on the Internet, or make them yourself. And what shouldn´t miss on the invitation?
I think I don´t have to emphasize that the date of the party should be stated on the invitation. But be aware of the fact that here in Switzerland it is customary to have a party on the day the kid really celebrates its birthday, even though it should be in the middle of the week (but of course there can be exceptions due to school or other activities of the kid).
There are no limits on the number of invitees, it depends on how much friends your child has, how good nerves capacities and space you have for throwing a party. Generally, I dare say your child doesn´t have to invite the whole school class, but + – 6 children are an average.
Place: on this point, see below
Duration: there are no limits either, but generally a party lasts for 2.5 – 3 hours
Contact telephone number: this is very important for several reasons:
  • First, it serves as RSVP – that is to confirm whether the invited friend participates or not.
  • Also, parents call you ahead to tell you their kid’s food preferences, or (more importantly!) their allergies. For example, if a party is planned to take place outside and you have a child that is allergic to bee stings in a group, it is good to know whether he/she has with an emergency package for giving a first-aid.
  • Parents of invited kids can also ask if you have any hints on what to give your child as a birthday gift (Lego, puzzles, racing cars, a book, etc.).
Invitation: VIP ticket to the football match (source here)

Decoration

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was quite relieved when our son wanted a football theme (what else in our family :)) and his birthday was held for about a month after the European Championship. Thus, any fan paraphernalia that was available in stores long before the championship, were by now discounted by half. So I didn´t hesitate and bought them 🙂
Otherwise, buying decorations and party supplies in advance within your regular shoppings will save you lots of time and nerves, instead of chasing them at the last minute.

Place

If you have enough space at home or in the garden, it’s probably ideal. My son was even invited to the party where parents showed their courage and took all the children to the river and they all enjoyed a wonderful afternoon there.
If you don´t feel like organizing a party in your home, there are other places where it is possible to organize a birthday party where all the decoration/program/meal will be taken care of. Whether it’s a place like McDonald’s, favorite trip destination (such as Papiliorama) or having a birthday on the farm can be also very interesting!  Try searching for such a location in your neighborhood and I´m quite sure than you´ll definitely find one.

Activities

Or how to entertain a bunch of boisterous kids not to get bored and not doing stupid things? That’s quite a question, but with a little ingenuity, you can also answer it. Don´t worry that you´ll have to come up with a program for full three hours of the party, that´s definitely not needed. Indeed it takes a little time before the kids get their feet under the table, congratulate the honoree, eat the cake, explore your apartment …
As I already mentioned, we had a football theme. So the first activity was that each child drew the picture of the famous footballer. Then the kid got the same picture, but enlarged in the form of a coloring paper and had to color it. Then they could take the picture home a souvenir from the party.

Another activity was the kid’s disco on famous football songs that we played on youtube. Maybe you’ll think it’s funny, but Colombian singer Shakira with her songs “Waka Waka” or “La la la” was for those little guys like a magnet 🙂

And since it was a football party, of course, we couldn´t miss the football game. Outside, we set up soccer goals, divide the kids into teams and have a game! So much enthusiasm like at a real match!
But there are, of course, no limits on imagination (and searching on google :))  Kids can have fun by competitions in moving the smarties from the plate to plate using straws, blindfolded slalom with an egg on a spoon, searching the pirate treasure, making boat from corks, making masks, mutual face painting, bowling competition, throwing on target, releasing balloons of happiness, making lanterns, creating from fimo or clay and more and more activities.

 

Food

Besides the cake for the birthday are the most grateful “unhealthy” things that belong to such a party 🙂 But of course, everything should be balanced and although some kids may pretend that they´ve never eaten fruit before, they probably can´t resist colored fruit skewers or fruit hidden in a sundae.
For us, so-called “finger food” proved well: besides pieces of fruit also cupcakes, mini hot dogs, salted crackers or popcorn.

 

 Gifts

In Switzerland, it is customary that gifts aren´t just for the birthday kid, but also from him/her to those who came to the party. I think it helps to learn to act graciously regardless of the gifts he/she gets. It can be really just a small thing – candies, mini crayons, a memory game or a small toy fulfill its purpose.
Small gifts from pirate-themed party

My advice

If you want to organize a birthday party in your home, but you have worries about whether you can handle so many children, or you’re worried about language barriers, don´t be afraid to ask for help moms of the invited kids. I´m sure they will be happy to help you! And who knows? Maybe you get a new friend!

I think that if you focus on these points your kids’ birthday party will be a truly beautiful event, which will be long remembered, huh? Or do you have any more tips on how to deal with kids´ party planning? Tell me in the comments!

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DIY: Jute twine Easter eggs
Skiing with kids: Schwarzsee

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