What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  




     Home  >  Articles  > HOW TO GUIDES
by Judy Antell


I’ve heard it said that a party isn’t a party until someone is reduced to tears.  Whether it’s an over-stimulated toddler, a jealous party guest or a horrified mom (just look at my couch!), there are many ways to ruin a party.  But there are so many ways to throw a great party that you can minimize the horrors.

   Here are some suggestions to avoid common pitfalls:

1. Keep numbers low
   If your 2-year-old screams when she is in crowded situations, she probably doesn’t want 20 guests at her party.  Limit the number of guests and immediately reduce stress.

2. In-class fun
   If your child is in preschool and wants to invite the 12, 18 or 22 kids in his class, ask your preschool teacher if you can host an in-school party near the end of the day, with cupcakes and one tiny tchotke for each kid.  If the school allows, you can bring party hats and special napkins and plates.  That way, you have built-in party helpers (the preschool teachers) and a self-imposed time limit: the other parents will be collecting their children soon.

3.  Relax your healthy standards
   If you shun white flour and processed sugar in your family, you may feel uncomfortable serving soda, chips and cake, but kids do expect some treats at a party.  One of my kids attended a party where the family was macrobiotic; they served lukewarm barley tea and a rye oat ‘cake’ sweetened with rice syrup.  Most of the kids wept.  You don’t have to turn your whole dietary plan inside out; grapes and strawberries alongside frozen yogurt will likely satisfy most guests.  But don’t impose unusual foods on a bunch of preschoolers.  They will resent this – and believe me, they will remember.

4.  Chill out about your furniture
   If you are hosting a party in your home and you are obsessively neat and clean, you may want to rethink this strategy.  If you do decide to go ahead, remember: grape juice is messy; maybe white grape juice or apple juice would be a better choice.  If you use a paper tablecloth, but a plastic sheet underneath to protect your dining room table.  And stay away from crafts projects, particularly those involving markers, glue, or glitter.  If you really don’t want to mess up your house, consider holding the party elsewhere.  It will cost less in the long run; refinishing your floors doesn’t come cheap.

5.  Don’t open the presents in front of everyone
   Unless your child has studied the teachings of Gandhi extensively, he is probably not suited to the tact necessary when opening presents in front of a crowd.  If he dislikes a present, he is unlikely to hide that distaste.  And if he gets a fantastic present that another kid desires, you may have a fight on your hands.  Save the present opening for family time.

Did you find this helpful?

Get more useful parenting info weekly
Sign-up for newsletter

More HOW TO GUIDES Articles

Three Tips for a Happier Holiday
How To Help Your Kids Succeed in Sports
How To Help Your Child Tackle Homework
How to Keep Kids Focused in School When Spring Fever Hits
How To Throw an 'Up' Birthday Party for Kids

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local HOW TO GUIDES Sponsors

Kitchen Time's Party Place
691 Broadway
Massapequa, NY
Kitchen Time's Party Place provides childrens' coo...

Lanyard Ladies (The)
2374 Jericho Turnpike
Mineola, NY
The Lanyard Ladies are a new and unique craft idea...

Chilibeans Party Place (The)
103 Meade St
Hempstead, NY
A private party wonderland for infants, toddlers, ...

Squire Camps, Inc.
Welcome to Squire Advantage, a unique camp, whose ...

Not Just Scrap
2359 Middle Country Rd
Centereach, NY
Photo Albums hold pictures. Scrapbooks tell a stor...
See Our HOW TO GUIDES Directory

local zones


Nassau cont.


Suffolk cont.


Westchester cont.



Rockland cont.


Queens cont.


Brooklyn cont.


Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE