December 5, 2012

Making Holiday Parties Kid-Friendly

Now is definitely time to get your holiday parties planned and the invitations sent out. Whether you are planning a Christmas party or a New Year’s Eve Party…there isn’t much time to waste. The invitations need to go out as soon as possible. However, before you can send out the invitations, you have to make one important decision (assuming you already know the time, date and venue) left to make – are you going to allow children to come?

Remember the days before children, when planning and/or going to a holiday party didn’t require much thought? Now, as you plan your holiday party you have to think about whether children are going to be allowed to come. If you choose not to invite children, you may lose a percentage of people who can’t find a babysitter, or don’t like to leave their children behind. On the other hand, if you invite the kiddos, you will need to make sure the party is kid-friendly. Below are a few suggestions how:

1. Arts and Crafts Stations – For kids in grade school, arts and crafts tables are always pretty big hits. One idea is to cover a 6 ft. table with paper (the kind that comes in long sheets on a roll) and set cups holding markers, crayons, glue sticks, glitter, pipe cleaners, funny eyes, etc. The kids can go to town on that paper creating whatever their little minds think of. If you’re party is before Christmas, have pine cones in a baskets so the kids can coat the ends in glue and decorate them with glitter to make a sparkly ornament to hand on the Christmas tree.

2. Food Crafts – Why not let the kids decorate their own sugar cookies? Simply bake sugar cookies ahead of time and have bowls of colored frosting setting on the tables with plastic knives for spreading. If there will be older children present, you could have a S’more station set up where they can roast their marshmallows in the fireplace. (This is one you may not want to have available if young children will be present).

3. Fun and Fruity Drinks – Regardless of whether you choose to have alcohol available for the adults, you should have some fun drinks for the kids as well. You can buy plastic champagne glasses and let the kids fill them with sparkling apple juice when it’s time to ring in the New Year. Or, you can have a (virgin) drink making station where older kids can make their own frozen strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas and margaritas.

One last consideration when planning a kid-friendly holiday party is how you want the guests to dress. If you are going to have an arts and crafts station with things like glitter and glue present, then you should let the parents know so they don’t bring their little ones dressed in their best Christmas dresses and suits.

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