The Glazer Children’s Museum is turning 9, and we are busy blowing up balloons, filling up on cake samples and decorating until we drop! In addition to the museum’s Birthday Bash (you’re all invited), I also have the pleasure of planning kids’ birthday parties at the Museum. I have always adored throwing a good party; my stuffed animal tea parties when I was little were the talk of the cul-de-sac. My goal at the end of a successful party is that everyone felt welcomed, comfortable and had a fantastic time. You could say I’m a birthday party master, and I am here to tell you the Glazer Secret to a perfect party for your little one.
Make It Collaborative
Allow your kiddo to lend a helping hand. Letting your child feel a sense of responsibility for the party teaches a great lesson and enhances the fun. They can put together goody bags, decide the arrangement of the cake table or greet guests as they enter. The sense of accomplishment will add something extra to their special day!
Make It Educational
At the Museum, we believe in playing with purpose. Play-based learning encourages a child to gain essential skills that help them interact with the world around them. When party planning, try including activities that spark curiosity by exploring the unknown and showing the outcomes are a result of choices. One of my favorite Museum birthday activities is Marshmallow Builders. Children attempt to create a standing structure from just marshmallows and pretzel sticks. It’s tricky–and a tad sticky–but the determination on those little faces is an undeniable sign that they are learning while having fun.
It might seem obvious that a certain quota of fun must be met at a birthday, but often, as the parent and host, your responsibilities hold you back from the birthday shenanigans. Sit back, take a deep breath and remember that the fun isn’t just reserved for the little ones.
Now that you know our secret recipe for the perfect party, here are some themes we love. Try them at home or celebrate your child’s next birthday with us at Glazer Children’s Museum.
Art and Science – Make your kids next birthday party STEAM-focused! Who says science, technology, engineering, arts, and math are reserved for the classroom? Wow your guests with captivating activities like doodling with metal shavings and magnetic fields or building your own lava lamp.
Sorcery School – Make your child’s next birthday magical! Ignite their curiosity with wand making, tales of fantastic beasts, and a game of broomstick flying.
Super Safari – It’s time to get wild. Step into an adventurous world of elephants, tigers, and lions, oh my! Watch as your child practices their adventurer skills in a Serengeti inspired party.
By Caroline Turner, Glazer Children’s Museum
Originally published in the September 2019 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.