I have been throwing "At Home Birthday Parties" for 6 years now. I am getting pretty good at it if I do say so myself. Many of my daughter's friends have had birthday parties NOT at their homes, they have had them at Bounce It Out, Bernie's Bouncers, The Little Gym and so on. When I called to price out these parties I would choke at the price. At least $200.00 dollars plus that usually does not include a cake, goody bags, pizza. So I choose to do it cheaper at my home. My daughter loves her at home birthday parties so much that this year I tried to talk her out of one to no avail! She was STEADFAST, "I want an at home party Mom!"
If you are going to throw a decent at home party you need to plan, plan, plan. I will tell you what has worked for me.
Here is a VERY successful schedule that we used I've made the mistake in the past of scheduling a 3 hour party, this is WAY too long. I've found that 1.5 hours is plenty.
11am - Arrival - have the children play with something, we were doing a Tinkering party (Tinker Bell) So we had set out the LEGOs and the marble building game out. The marble building was VERY popular! The kids arange different tubes for the marbles to go down.
11:15 - Game Time - We played Pass the Tink (which the kids absolutely LOVED, it surprised me as to how much they loved this game, we played it at least three times. When a child would get out they all laughed and giggled. Then we played Operator/Telephone - The birthday child thinks of a sentence to whisper in an ear and then each child passes the secret around the circle and when it gets back it is usually funny. I let the kids say it one of two times then they have to pass on what they hear.
11:30 - Lunch - We had pizza, Goldfish crackers and Tinkerbell gummies. Immediately following lunch I had the kids stay at the table, throw away their trash and we went right to the next activity.
11:45 - Craft - Since I had ten kids. They made foam door hangers. The door hangers were decorated with animal foam stickers. The door hanger looked like a flower. I also had special foam markers that the kids used to decorate them with. They enjoyed this.
12:00 - Cake & Ice Cream - We sung Happy Birthday, had my daughter blow out her candles on the cupcakes I had made. We had purchased the individual ice cream cups with the wooden sticks. They enjoyed both of these. Cleaned up.
12:15 - Pinata
12:30 - Pick Up Time
This party MOVED along quickly and it was a perfect amount of time, not too long and not too short. We saved presents for after the kids left. It was nice to have the focus be on having fun with the kids. Present opening time tends to get boring for the kids. Plus it was nice to take our time opening each one and appreciating what her friends gave her. It was nice to take our time with this and not rush.
In a future post, I will write about how I did this party on a budget.