After two years of family-only birthday parties, my husband and I knew that simply letting our daughter smear a birthday cupcake all over her face wasn't going to satisfy her anymore; for her next party, she was going to want to smear a cupcake on her face with friends. So we bit the bullet and invited 10 energy-filled toddlers to join us in celebrating my daughter's third birthday. Needless to say, we came away from the affair with some lessons learned (and significantly more gray hairs) that I thought I would share with you in this survival guide for throwing your first kids' party.
Choose Your Venue Wisely
We hosted our birthday party at the beach. The good news: the kids could easily entertain themselves there for two hours. The bad news: our bowls of snacks ended up with sand in themas did most everything else at the party.
Schedule the Party Around Naptime
Actually, this is a trick suggestion because not all kids take naps at the same time, so there is bound to be at least one tired toddler who throws her juice box at the wall in the midst of a tantrum. But that's OKit's not a party until somebody chucks a juice box, anyway!
Ask Somebody to Take Pictures
A party with 10 rambunctious kids and their slightly bored parents is pure chaos; I could barely remember to feed them, let alone snap any photographs of them, so we do not have a single picture of our first-ever kids' party. Not one! So devastated am I that I am considering recreating the scene for photographic purposes and just Photoshopping some random kids into the shots. (What? It's not like our daughter is going to remember what her friends from daycare looked like when she's 12! I hope.)
Resign Yourself to the Fact You're Not Going to Have Much Fun
See the slightly bored, glazed-over looks on the faces of the other parents? They've already resigned themselves to this fate. Because it's a party designed for kids, not themwhich is why they have a bottle of wine chilling at home for later. I suggest you do the same.
On second thought, given you are hosting this toddler scream-fest, you may want to consider more than one bottle. Cheers to you! You deserve it.