POPSUGAR Celebrity

9 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Child's Birthday Party

May 23 2014 - 6:10am

Whether you're going for a low-key, at-home get-together or the kiddie social event of the year, there are a few surefire ways to unintentionally sabotage your kids' birthday parties. You've probably read plenty of advice for planning success, but these nine tips illustrate exactly what not to do if you want your party to go off without a hitch. Have you been guilty of any?

Source: Party Pants [1]

Ignoring Nap Time

For the first couple of years (and beyond, if you're lucky!), nap time is the focal point of your child's day. While it may be tempting to ignore it — just for today — the risk of an overtired guest of honor simply isn't worth it. Cake's so much harder to enjoy midtantrum, isn't it?!

Source: Taste {Full} [2]

Ordering Your Invitations in a Hurry

We know, we know, you've got a to-do list that's a mile long. But if you're ordering invitations online or having them printed at a local stationery shop, pay close attention. A typo in that party's date, time, or location will cause a whole lot more work (and make for some embarrassing phone calls!).

Source: Tinyprints [3]

Not Consulting the Calendar Before You Set a Date

Regardless of when your child's birthday falls, be considerate of holiday weekends and school breaks. The party won't be a party if everyone on the guest list is off on a family vacation.

Not Consulting the BFF

If your child and his or her best friend are attached at the hip, know that the party will be doomed if they're not in attendance. Confirm said BFF's availability with his social secretary (err, mom) before booking the bash.

Not Planning Organized Activities

This isn't a cocktail party for adults who understand the concept of mingling. Kids need structure, so even if it's a laid-back affair, make sure there's something in the craft-game-activity [4] realm to fill the time.

Not Having a Plan B

Especially pertinent for an outdoor party, don't leave your guests out in the cold (or rain, or sleet, or snow . . . ). Make sure that you have a suitable backup plan in case the weather doesn't cooperate.

Oversugaring the Little Guests

Cupcakes, birthday cake, sugar cookies, a candy bar . . . it's too much! Tone down the sweet treats, and be sure to balance out the dessert offerings with savory (and, dare we say, healthy?) snacks.

Source: Graeme Sharkey [5]

Not Enforcing a Sibling Policy

Is your guest list philosophy "the more the merrier" or "we need a head count"? The moms and dads of the kids you've invited aren't mind readers, so be clear about whether this is a drop-off or parents-required party and whether or not siblings are invited to tag along.

Source: Modern Kids [6]

Having Them Hand Out Invitations at School

In many schools, there's actually a policy against this. Whether or not it's in writing at your kids' school, the last thing you want is for your child's birthday party to be the cause of jealousy and hurt feelings. Drop off invitations at the kids' houses, email their parents, or send them via good old-fashioned snail mail.

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