Kid’s birthday parties can be great: There’s lots of playtime for little ones to wear themselves out, the entertainment is free and it’s the perfect time to bond with other mamas. But when it comes to gift-giving, everyone’s interpretation of these unwritten rules is different which can create unwanted stress.
You know the scene: Some mamas prefer to give handmade gifts, others like buying popular toys and some only contribute to the child’s college tuition.
If you haven’t already heard, the trending theme for kid’s birthday parties is “the fiver” and it takes the guesswork out of gift-giving. Rather than spending $20 on a toy they probably won’t play with in a month the hosts ask for a $5 bill. The money is pooled together and can be put towards one big, much more significant gift, instead of many smaller, less meaningful things. The idea is simple, and it turns out, hosting one is similar to throwing a traditional birthday party.
Here are six ways to throw a seamless (and fun!) fiver party:
1. Don’t do it alone
Many moms tend to plan everything for their kids’ parties all by themselves. They write down a list of things that they need to do and feel accomplished after checking off every single item. But, when the special day finally comes, moms stress over the details for fear that something might go wrong.
When planning a fiver party, delegate tasks and responsibilities during the planning process. Having a helper or two for the big day cuts down on having to clean up a big mess afterward.
2. Create a distraction-free environment
Though this sounds like a tip for doing homework, it applies to throwing a party, too. If you book a show for 3- or 4-year-olds, it’s better to hide all the toys and snacks beforehand so they can sit longer and focus better on the activity you planned. Best of all, with fiver parties, you don’t have to worry about designating an area to open a bunch of gifts.
3. Remember that hand painting is better for toddlers
Many children like to get their faces painted for their birthdays or for special events. Though face painting is a popular activity, children who are less than 4 years old will often start moving, fidgeting or crying in the middle of it and turn the beautiful butterfly on their faces into a mess. Because of this, try hand painting for the younger ones.
4. Always keep them busy
Fill your fiver party with activities so that the guests will always have something to do. Maybe this sounds a bit difficult, but you don’t necessarily need to book 10 shows for one party. Simply prepare a few easy games (like a treasure hunt, musical chairs and sack race) for them to play beforehand. Keeping the children occupied will make your fiver party fun and memorable.
5. Less is more
A shortlist of guests will keep your little one from feeling overwhelmed by the attention. For toddlers, a party that lasts about an hour and a half is perfect. If they’re a bit older, add another hour. Just remember children don’t need much to feel happy and loved.
Bonus! Here are two ways to save money while making your kids’ fiver party memorable:
1. Host the party at home.
Sure, venues are great, but they can be pricey. Having a party at home is inexpensive and intimate. Also, kids are more likely to interact with each other if the space is smaller.
2. Only serve snacks.
A common way to stay on budget is to invite people between meals and prepare snacks, not a full meal. Most kids are usually so busy playing they’ll just graze anyway.
This article was originally published on Partify by Natalie Wong and it has been republished with permission from the author.