Boys get the short stick of holiday party planning. Some say they don’t care. I beg to differ. As the mother of an only child who happens to be male I want him to experience the excitement and anticipation of all holidays too. I understand he’s not a girl, I am. I want him to bank memories of holidays and to recall the fun, festivity and even the calamity of the planning and the party itself. In addition, I want him participating in the planning. There is so much learning for kids involved in planning and hosting events-everything from envelope addressing to budgeting to handling conflict between party guests. Sit down with your child, or children, and plan a party TOGETHER. You will be doing them a favor and teaching them more than you realize.
Pre-Party To-Do List
- Pick a date, time and location.
- Decide who to invite-all boys, co-ed, adults?
- Purchase or create invitations. Child completes Who, What, When, Where and RSVP details.
- Child addresses envelopes, stamps and mails invitations 2-3 weeks before date.
- Plan a menu. Traditional kid food or holiday food?
- Create a grocery shopping list by menu item. What buy, what make?
- Decide where to serve food-outside vs. inside-where at each location?
- Make list of tableware and decorations needed.
- Giving guests party favors? What? Make or buy?
- Shop together. Compare prices. Decide together.
- Plan activities for party. Indoor and outdoor. Inclement weather plan?
- Make a time-line of actions to be done the week of the party and the day of the party. [Teaching time management skills and big picture thinking.]
- Follow up with non-responding RSVP guests. (Major pet peeve!)
Week of Party Reminders
- Check the forecast
- Balls inflated? If any sports balls being used in activities, are they properly inflated?
- Gather serving platters, trays, utensils, etc. for menu items. Clean? Ready to use?
- Making party favors? Do so. Place in basket and set aside.
- Can any ingredients be cut or prepared in advance? Check recipes.
- Set up serving tables, if not using kitchen or dining room table.
- Prepare menu items, paying close attention to preparation times and safe storage.
- Place serving trays, bowls, etc. on table.
- Double check items needed for activities- all present and available?
- Is bathroom ready for guest use?
- Be ready for guests to arrive at least 1-hour before start time.
- ENJOY the party!
- Hand guests party favors as they leave and thank them for coming to your party.
- Clean up.
- Children, thank parents for helping you plan such a great party!
Sample Menu From Halloween Party for Pre-Teen Boys
- Bloodied Fingers-twisted and baked breadsticks with food coloring added. Almonds (fingernail) pressed into bread after 5 minutes of baking.
- Blood Shot Eyes on Guts-can of black beans spread on plate (guts). Deviled eggs with pimento or red pepper (blood shot) and sliced olives (eyeball).
- Spider Web 7-layer dip-see photo for ingredients or use your favorite recipe. Put sour cream in bag with small hole so child can draw web on top layer.
- Cheetos and black tortilla chips
- Sliced red and green pepper
- Punch over dried ice
- Jean’s Ghost Cookies-see under “recipes.”
It’s a sunny fall day and the invitees are pre-teen boys. Flag football supervised by an adult. Game of “Horse” on the basketball court-winner is first in line to eat. Age appropriate Halloween or other scary movie. At dusk-Flashlight Tag.
Copyright. September 2015. Linda Leier Thomason.
All Rights Reserved.