Lake Bluff, IL - Gone are the days when little kids' birthday parties consisted of pin the tail on the donkey and a slice of homemade cake with two best friends. Today, kids' birthdays can be extravagant events, and just the thought of hosting one can send some parents into a frenzy. Your saving grace? Summer! According to a July One Step Ahead Parents Panel survey, 57% of parents applaud summer as their favorite season to host or attend a children's birthday party. They credit the great outdoors for providing more activity options for kids and an easier clean-up for parents.
Despite the benefit of the summer season, parents still claim hosting a party can be a source of stress. Of all surveyed, 43% assert their biggest worry is staying within a budget, followed by finding a good location (18%) and keeping the kids entertained (16%).
To help those planning a summer party, these "real life" parents recommend some planning tips, top theme picks and unique gifts (without breaking the bank):
If you're going to encourage good old fashioned mess making, there is no better time to do so than when you're outside! Kids will love the fact that parents are actually encouraging them to get down & dirty. Send a "messy" handmade invite and ask kids to arrive in their bathing suits with an extra set of clothes. Provide activities like finger/face painting, a gelatin-eating contest and water balloon toss. Serve food alfresco style, and after the cake's gone, line 'em up and hose 'em off! Have them change into their new clothes & send them home spic 'n span with the "mess" out of their system.
Hang a large white sheet from a backyard tree and project your child's favorite movie while kids lounge in the grass. Send a "movie ticket" invitation, and ask kids to arrive in their PJs with their favorite stuffed bedtime friend. Serve popcorn and/or ice cream sundaes and send the kids home full & ready for bed. All the fun of a sleep over without the hassle of any night-owls!
Set the party in the early evening & send a "compass" invitation with directions to the party. Ask kids to arrive dressed in their favorite camping attire with a backpack & flashlight. Grab a couple jelly jars for firefly catching, play flashlight tag, have mom or dad tell a story and roast s 'mores.
Decorate your backyard or local park with brightly colored tablecloths and balloons. Send a "ticket" invitation for admission to the carnival. Set up easy game stations like a bucket toss, clothes pin drop and a three-legged race. Make tickets out of construction paper and hand them out as game prizes (everyone's a winner!). Have the kids redeem them at the end for fun treats - added bonus: their prizes double as their take-home goodie bags!
Depending on the time of day of your summer party, remember the summer temps can get steamy so be sure to provide adequate sun protection, hydration and shade for your little guests.
One Step Ahead parents emphasize no matter what type of party, children will enjoy themselves more if the hosts are having a good time too! Kids enjoy the simple things like being with family and friends, playing games and enjoying a day that's focused on them.
One Step Ahead provides ingenious products to help make party-planning and gift-giving easier. Check out www.onestepahead.com for additional birthday party accessories, exclusive gifts and valuable resources.
Chelsea & Scott Ltd, parent company of One Step Ahead and Leaps and Bounds, specializes in unique, hard-to-find products for babies and children. Founded by Karen and Ian Scott, two parents who wanted the best for their own children, Chelsea & Scott rigorously pre-tests its products and makes product design enhancements based on feedback from actual parents from its extensive Parents Panel.
Find thoughtfully selected products at One Step Ahead to help you and your baby...every step of the way!
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