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Getting the Kids Involved: How to Host as a Family

Depending on who you ask, hosting a party for kids is a lot of fun... or an unforgettable nightmare. Tip the scales in your favor by getting your kids involved with hosting their own party. Hosting as a family is great for everyone involved. More hands means less work, and many kids love to help. Here are a few ideas to make family hosting a piece of cake.

Invitations - Sure, e-vites are how invitations tend to go these days, but think about how much fun your kids will have designing their own paper invites. Help your kids decorate pieces of paper with drawings or colors that go with your party's theme. If they're old enough, have them write out the party time and location. If not, let them add their own personal touch with crayons, markers, or (if you're daring), paint. Have fun!

Decorating - Decorations are another way to let your child's creativity shine through. Let them help you set up balloons and streamers, or give them a chance to create a banner welcoming their guests.

Cleaning - After all that creativity, there's probably going to be a mess left behind. Your kids can pitch in to help get everything cleaned up for the big event. This might not be everyone's favorite way to contribute, but if you make it fun the work will get done. Try making a little friendly competition to see who can clean a section of the house the fastest, or incentivize with a special treat if a job is done particularly well.

Cooking - Kids love to help in the kitchen. Get them involved with meal planning, shopping, and preparation. Choose sides that are simple to assemble, such as cut up fruit on skewers or chocolate dipped pretzels. Let them lend a hand in decorating the cake too (though if you like your baked goods to come out just so, you might want to direct them to some cupcakes instead).

Planning Games - This is where it really pays to have a kid on your party planning team. Brainstorm with your child to come up with some games they may like to play with their friends. You may need to help rein in some of their more ambitious ideas, but it's likely they'll find fun ways to spend time that you never would have dreamed of.

Greeting Guests - The big day has arrived, and guests are coming to the door. Put your little one to work greeting them. Teach your child to welcome guests with a smile, to invite them in, and to take their coats. Delegating this task frees you up to deal with last minute party preparations, as well as gives your child a chance to build their self confidence. It's a win-win!

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