Your kid’s birthday is a day celebrating them; a day when all of your time and attention go into making sure that their every need is met and that their party goes off without a hitch. Which basically means it’s just like every other day of being a parent, except with the additional pressure of entertaining anywhere from an extra 1-10000 kids. Read on for 4 of my best tips for surviving your child’s birthday (and doing it like a boss).
I know what you’re thinking; sugar is the kid-equivalent of crack. Why on earth would you want to fuel their treat-induced craze??
I counter with this: kids will do anything for a piece of candy. Don’t believe me? Just ask any elementary school teacher that keeps a jar of sweets on their desk in plain view of every student in the room. Do you need a moment of silence to regain your sanity? Tell every kid that it’s now “quite game” time, and whoever can stay silent the longest gets to pick a treat. Trying to get everybody to participate in a group activity? Whoever “works the hardest” is allowed 2 pieces of candy.
Do I usually bribe my children? Yes. If you don’t you’re really missing out, and you’re welcome for the enlightenment.
2. A Piñata
This point fits in nicely with my first one (re: candy), but with the added element of wonder. The only thing that kids love more than sweets is a good surprise, and nothing quite piques curiosity like a hanging box full of TREATS.
Piñatas get bonus points because it takes energy to get to the treats out, and energy burned by kids is energy saved by adults. Hitting an object dangling above your head is an invitation for injury, so make sure that you don’t pick now to “let kids be kids.” Keep a healthy distance away from the swinger, and make sure everybody knows they are only allowed 1 or 2 hits (this is especially handy for eliminating your odds of getting smacked in the face).
3. A Superhero or a Prince/Princess
Admit it: as a kid superheroes and princes/princesses basically ruled your world. You wanted to be them every Halloween and you wanted their latest doll/action figure for Christmas. The odds are pretty good that your kids are in the same boat!
So how do you capitalize on this for their birthday? You bribe one of your friends (or find one that owes you one) and have them dress up as your kid’s favorite character, and be prepared to watch the magic happen. It’s imperative that your impersonator stay in character the entire time so as to not lose the kids’ attention. Encourage them to read a story, do a craft, or play a game with the birthday crowd.
This could easily free up anywhere from 1-5 hours if you play your cards right. You can thank me later.
4. The Latest, Greatest Movie
Whatever it is. I don’t want to watch Frozen for the umpteenth time any more than you do (nor do I have any desire to see its sequel). But there is something about a movie that captures a kid’s interest the same way a sale on Spicy Cheetos snags mine.
And let’s be honest.
I have no idea what to do with a houseful of kids when it’s too hot or too cold to be outside (especially when literally every birthday activity was planned for outside). Although turning my home into a temporary movie theatre isn’t my first move, it’s for sure my in-case-of-emergency-plan.
Now that you’re adequately prepared, go ahead—invite your kid’s entire class over. Shoot, include the whole neighborhood while you’re at it! Got any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!