Hatching a Party Plan for Wiggly Preschoolers
By Shelly Radic
Think small. Active children are bundles of energy and too much energy can cause explosive situations. Keep the guest list small or divide the guests into several small groups. Assign an adult helper to supervise each group.
Think brief. Plan a short party, two or three hours max.
Control space. Create visible party boundaries. Lock the doors of unused rooms, use cardboard dividers or plastic cones to delineate party area. Make boundaries clear to guests. Arrange party area in a way that keeps guests in sight at all times.
Transition quickly. Carefully organize all activity items in a bag or box for each activity. Label these items and include instructions for each activity. As soon as guests begin to lose interest in an activity, move on to the next one.
Mix activities. After two or three active games, switch to a quieter activity such as a craft or story. Continue this pattern throughout the party.
Plan extras. Plan three or four extra party activities just in case. A bean bag toss, relay race, or musical chairs are simple ideas that can be carried out if other activities go more quickly than planned.
Incorporate interests. Plan the party around something the birthday child loves and chances are the activities will capture the attention of guests as well. Discuss each activity with the birthday child when planning and utilize his suggestions and ideas as much as possible.
Energetic preschoolers tend to include energetic friends on the birthday guest list. Incorporate these simple strategies into your party planning to ensure both you and your wiggly, squiggly guests have a great time.
Relatives, parents of guests, trusted teenagers and older siblings can be assigned various party tasks to eliminate downtime between activities. Consider partnering an especially active child with a helper.
Click here for ideas for a wiggling good time with a Reptile Party!