Here are some things to consider, though, when you throw your own party.
- Party favors come in packs of eight. Not ten. Buy two of everything.
- If you're having your party at the pool, don't let your kid drown. This is a serious statement. My kids know not to go into the pool without their swimmies on. They've never done it before. Someone throws a party hat in the water, though, and mommy's back is turned greeting guests? All bets are off. One wet mommy, a drowned party hat and a safe kid and lots of hugs later, we all survived. Thank God. There is not one scarier thing than having to jump into the pool after your kid who can't swim.
- Pinatas are made of cardboard. It rains in Florida. Do not keep your pinata outside.
- If you do, a pizza box bottom will work as a quick fix. (Thanks, Osvaldo!)
- Stock drinks other than soda. We did juice boxes, which were much more popular than the soda. They are only four, after all.
- If you have a big kid coming, invite a couple more along. We had a few six and seven year olds who were able to play together without getting (too) bored.
- Timing. Some kids are going to have to nap. While an afternoon party (say 2-5) would be the best time for me, it's not for the kids. So we did high noon to about 2:30 p.m., then everyone went home (some to nap!) Last year we did it at 5 p.m. (after nap). Whatever works.
- Keep it moving. Even with a pool, kids are going to get bored and want the next thing quickly. As soon as everyone arrived, we ordered lunch. 20 minutes in the pool for everyone while we waited for it, then time to eat. Right after that, I cleaned a bit and went home to grab the cake, giving the kids another 20 minutes or so to play. Then cake. Then pinata. Then a few more minutes of play time. Then presents. Then home. Bam, bam, bam.
Remember: Most people aren't going to see your mistakes. They're busy having a good time. So relax, if you can!