Many parents ask us for advice on birthday parties for their children. What’s suitable for different ages, how many children to invite, and how can you make it really special for the birthday child, and family & friends?
We’ve invited an expert to share all! Joanne McGowan of Act One Adventures knows everything there is know about children’s parties, she’s been to a few!
Here’s what she recommends, if you want to ask her anything specific please use the comments below:
Children’s Birthday Parties – Ideas!
Those first few birthdays for your little one are special and of course we all want to do something to mark special occasions, but what works best for children who are so little? Here are some ideas for some great parties for those early years.
One year olds – This can be a really tricky one and you need to consider who it is exactly for? If it is mainly adults that will be attending then a one year old will probably be content with all the attention and gifts they are getting from adoring grown ups and of course getting their first taste of birthday cake will be a treat in itself. If there are other children coming then consider carefully the ages. If the children are mainly babies of a similar age then just having out some baby toys may be sufficient or hiring in some basic soft play. If there is a variety of ages which is quite usual at first birthdays then having a corner with baby toys or basic soft play for the little ones and maybe a corner with some lego or crafts out to keep the older ones amused can work well. Older children often enjoy playing and helping the younger ones too.
Two year olds – This age group are obviously much more mobile and understand far more what birthdays are about. For this age group the soft play option as outlined above can be successful but if they attend a particular activity class check with the class provider if they do parties. This can often be a great way to put on some entertainment for the children with an adult that the birthday child knows so it can feel very special. Do be aware however, that at this age parents will need to join in with the child to get the most out of any entertainment provided.
Three and Four year olds – By this age most children will be fully ensconced in pre school and nursery and will probably have quite a few friends of their own to invite. If the numbers are creeping up hiring an entertainer who can either provide a show or lots of activities to keep the children occupied can be a great stress free way to have a great party. This can give you time to sort out all other elements of the party and enjoy the party with your little one and get time to socialise with other parents too.
How many children should we invite? – This can very much depend on the personality of the birthday child. If they are quite shy then keeping numbers down to just a few friends can make them feel more comfortable and relaxed on their big day. If the little one is question is quite gregarious then having more friends around will probably work very well and create a great party atmosphere. Do consider with the amount of children you invite that with this age group, the majority of parents will probably stay. This can easily double the amount of people present so do consider if you are having a party at home, whether you can cope with the numbers or whether hiring a hall would be better.
Whatever you decide to do enjoy these magical early years birthdays!
Joanne McGowan runs Act One Adventures which provides activity sessions for toddlers and under 5’s in Guildford, Godalming and Farnham and also provides Adventure, Performance and Arty parties for children aged 2-9 across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and West Sussex.