Call me a party pooper, but I think I am done with this party action. While I love the initial idea, planning, and crafting, by the stage in which I am cleaning up and sending out the last of the thank-you cards, I am just glad the whole thing is behind me.
Here are some pictures of Kelly’s 4th Birthday party–gymnastics-style along with some tips and tricks of how you can pull one off on your own:
- Find a suitable venue…ours was at a local park district’s gymnasium complete with 1-hour instruction with two coaches.
- Book it early!
- Think of fun ways to bring the theme to life with gymnastics/sports related favors and/or the food served (Splitz yogurt cups, -Flipz chocolate-covered pretzels, athletic style lettering, sweat bands, gym towels, gym bags, Slinkys, water bottles, etc.)
- Make signs indicating where to go for the party once at the facility…there may be a twist of hallways or rooms parents aren’t familiar with
- Add in name-tags for the kids, too. Pop ’em on their backs so they aren’t tempted to peel them off as they tumble. This helps the coaches call the kids by name (I really wish I had remembered to do this…I forgot…but next time I will!)
- If parents are dropping off, have a pad of paper at the door for them to jot down their name and number just in case.
- Don’t feel you have to go it alone. If there are parents hanging out while the party is in motion, ask for help. Giving moms and dads a job to do helps them feel part of the crowd. (You may even consider paying a neighbor kid to be a party helper)
- Encourage opening gifts at home (especially if your child is young–under 5). They move to slowly, they have poor manners, they don’t always know how to respond apporopriately if they don’t like the gift or already have one, and it cuts down on jealousy from party guests.
- If you do end up having your child open at the party, give the guests their goody bags at the same time so they have something to focus on, and designate someone to keep a running list of what was received and from whom.
- Have your child participate in some way in the thank you card process. You want to teach them early on how important it is to be grateful and appreciative of someone else’s thoughtfulness and generosity.
- Another idea is to write down what the guest gave to your child on the back of the greeting card.
- You can even take a photo of your child opening the gift with the gift-giver, print out the photo, attach it to the gift (say on the back of the box or inside of the book, etc) so each time your child plays with that gift, she remembers who it was from.
- Go ahead and take a breather once the festivities are done. As a parent, you are sure to be pooped. Hey, someone’s gotta be a party pooper…might as well be you!
Have fun being crafty this weekend. Coming up Monday: How you can help your child with apraxia at home.