Though they occur just once every 365 days, birthday parties can be the most thrilling, magical, exhausting, and stress-inducing events of the year — for parents and tots. Readers had some strong opinions on our birthday party dos and don'ts guide, so I asked you to share your tips for a perfect party. Here are some of your spectacular fiesta suggestions:
- Don't plan an activity that is going to send the kids home dirtier than they arrived. Face painting may be fun, but no parent enjoys cleaning the party off their child. — Findingmyway
- We've found that you shouldn't over plan activities for the little ones. Many times a few activities to do with them and some free play time is best. The kids most likely are just happy to get together to play and will flutter through many different activities on their own if they have the stuff. We also make sure to plan little kids parties for the morning. Many kids need naps or down time after lunch, so they are often in the best moods and behave best if you get them when they're "fresh" in the mornings. — Anonymous
- Make sure to have food for both the adults and kids, nobody wants to be hungry! — elisabeth
- Same as any other event — have fun, relax, and don't worry if things don't go perfectly. Go with the flow. — Anonymous
To see other great dos and don'ts, read more.
- My niece's first birthday was very fun until we put her in front of the cake. We tried to put a adorable hat on her combine this with the attention from all of these strangers and she LOST it. I think if I ever have child, I will avoid those uncomfortable birthday hats and keep the first birthday small. — Lauren
- Do plan a major activity and backup for partygoers who can focus and play on their own, but don't get upset if it turns into a nicely decorated, but disorganized playdate. Do put care into your menu and have simple and tasty veggie and meat options, but don't think you need to deliver a gourmet spread. It's a kiddie party, not a dinner party! — Angelica
- Do incorporate games into your day of fun to keep the kiddies occupied! This can range from using your Nintendo Wii as a group play station (four controllers and a scheduled rotation = happy kids), to outdoor games where the attendees can win prizes (bean sack toss, wheel of fortune, duck duck goose, etc.). My favorite part of my cousin's birthday parties when I was a kid was the interactive games my uncle used to build. It was like a circus midway in their backyard! — GeekSugar
Do you have a treasure trove of party suggestions? Share it in the comments of this post, or start sharing your advice and tips in our The Mommy Club! Here's a detailed guide to posting questions or posts to groups if you are new to the PopSugar Community.