Next-level party planning

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I’m trying to plan a party. I’m not new to that–I’ve had plenty of fun here in college, thanks very much!–but this time, there’s a twist. The party isn’t for me or my friends. It’s for a kid, my baby brother, who is excited about me planning his party.

Having a brother who is so much younger than me is fun in many ways. However, I do feel like I’m out of my element here. My parents are pleased that I’m the one handling this year’s party, and I’m on my own. Experts, what am I supposed to do? How do I give my brother an unforgettable birthday party? Help!

It’s wonderful that you took charge of your little brother’s birthday party, but we understand your anxiety! Planning a social event is stressful, and planning a party for a child is often daunting. Kids are great, but they sure know how to cause chaos. They can be picky, as well as expensive. There’s a reason that parents sometimes dread birthday parties!

Here’s the good news: there’s a great deal you can do to cut down on the stress of hosting your baby brother’s big day. Let’s talk about party planning for kids!

Your first concerns should be the basics. What’s your budget for this party? Where will you host the party? How many people do you expect to attend? These factors influence the rest of your party-planning process, so make sure you have concrete answers for each of them. A party can be a success, no matter how how much it costs, where it takes place, or how many people show up. However, it won’t be much of a success if you do not plan ahead of time to accommodate those things!

More detailed planning comes next, but you’ll find that your answers to the basic questions help put you on track to figuring out your next steps.

For instance, you may decide to host the party at your home or in a park, and you may find that you then have the budget to rent carnival games and other fun party installations. Perhaps, you’ll rent a bounce house or even live entertainment.

On the other hand, you may decide to host the party somewhere else, like a laser tag place, for instance, or another kid-friendly venue. In this case, the venue is a big part of your budget, but the price you pay may be all-inclusive, or close to it.

Explore a few different options, and consider your own priorities. Would you prefer to pay someone else to take care of the details? If so, a birthday party package at a popular birthday party venue might be the solution. Want more control? Then hosting your own party and making individual arrangements for things like attractions, games, and food is the right idea.

Develop some plans that would work for you. Then, consider getting some feedback from your brother! While allowing your brother to plan his own party might not make much sense (kids don’t have a great natural sense of budget limitations, after all), you may find that by offering your brother a set of specific, reasonable options, you give him a sense of control and get the right fit for his tastes and big birthday dreams.

Then, last, comes time to get down the nitty-gritty. It’s a good idea to make a checklist: invitations, RSVPs, and other details that prove tough to keep straight. However, with a firm foundation in smart planning, your party is sure to be a memorable one for your brother. Good luck!

“It takes real planning to organize this kind of chaos.” – Mel Odom

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