Friday, June 18, 2010

Homemade Children's Parties

There's something about children's parties you may not know, especially in our day: Your sons and daughters, of any age, can have just as much enjoyment at a party at home as they could at McDonald's, Chuckie Cheese, or any other place. Going on an outing to the skating rink or the like is great, but the contention here is that for their birthday party, home can be a fun place to have a fun time and for you, it could be at a fun price. If you don't teach them differently -- they won't know any better! It may cost you more time and effort, but less money, and this is a promise: it would be quite meaningful. Here are some suggestions for a good party:

1. Don't Leave God Out

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31. This verse applies to a party as well as anything. If you think of ways to have the Lord be a part of your festivities, He will be pleased and you'll have the joy that comes when Christ is honored in the life of your family. If you child has a life verse, maybe that could be brought in somehow. If you put your mind to it, you'll find there are many creative ways that God's Word can be included. And don't forget party favors -- you can often include something spiritual there. A word of caution: don't overdo this, especially if there are children attending who come from unbelieving families, but do try and think of something to bring glory to God.

2. Have a Theme

There is something about having a theme that brings about excitement and anticipation. A theme enhances the enjoyment of party preparations and draws out the imagination and creativity of the birthday child, especially the older one. Usually, the theme of a party is a reflection of your child's interests; thinking up decorations, game and crafts will add even more pleasure to an already happy occasion. If you try it, you'll see.

3. Keep it Short

Two to two and a half hours is plenty of time to get everything in without allowing the goings on to get stale. In some cases, especially for children over ten, three hours will work out okay, especially if there's a meal, but seldom does it need to go any longer. No matter how much fun is being had, after two and a half hours or so, weariness sets in for all, and the likelihood of irritability and crossness increases. You want everyone to part in a good state of mind, and that usually can be accomplished more readily when the party is short and sweet.

4. Let Your Child Help

The older the host child, the more he or she can do. Who cares if everything isn't done perfectly? You'd even be surprised how much younger children can do (with just a bit more patience on your part), such as putting stickers on favor bags or sorting colored strips of paper for craft projects. Actually, learning can take place during party preparations. Be innovative about duties and how you can add them to the overall education process. As they mature, give them more and more responsibilities depending on their aptitudes. Eventually, they and their siblings can do almost all of it themselves and all you need to do is supervise!

5. Have Various Activities

Plan and be prepared. Make a list of several activities -- games, crafts, music, snacks, gift exchanges, whatever. Have plenty to fill the time, and even some extra things in case they're needed. Better to have more activities than needed in case something flops.

Hope in the future we can give you some ideas for themes and some other tips. We've had a lot of homemade parties at our house and loved ever minute of it!

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