Thank You Note or Thank You Not?

You don’t have to, but. Sending a thank you note is a great way to let your guests and their parents know how much you and your child appreciate their effort.

I truly understand why most often thank yous are NOT sent out.

So much energy is put into planning the party and making sure everything ticks, that once it’s over and the smoke has settled, all you want to do is sit back in your sofa and breath (for about a week.).

As a parent that’s on the birthday circuit, I can tell you that when we DO get a thank yous it makes everyone feel great. My daughter loves it because usually thank yous have a picture from the party. And I love it because it lets me know that the effort I made was in fact acknowledged and appreciated.

Throwing a party is hard, but. So is going to parties and taking your kids to parties week after week. And that goes with mentioning the money spent on gifts, etc. Also, when we throw a party, I find it important for my daughter to take an active part in creating the thank you cards herself as a way to teach her the importance of acknowledging her friends. (Remember to mail thank you cards no later than a month after the party.) I’ve often seen our thank yous hanging on friends’ refrigerators long after the party is over.

And lastly, you’ll notice the many thank you note designs on our coolest-free-printables.com site, just to make life a bit easier.

“Pull-String” Pinata vs. “Smash-It” Pinata

What’s the difference between a “pull-string” pinata and the classic “smash-it” pinata, and what’s better to use at a child’s birthday party?

Most people are familiar with the classic smash-it pinata. It’s a type of papier-mache pinata filled with lots of goodies inside. Children take turns being blindfolded and use a bat, broom, PVC pipe, or other type of durable object to try and bust the pinata open.

This sort of pinata is usually used at outdoor parties (unless, of course, you want a bunch of rapturous kids swinging bats inside your house.) The second type of pinata is the pull-string pinata. This is the “gentler” version that doesn’t require the kids to try to smash up their favorite characters. It has a bunch of strings hanging from it – while only one string releases a trap door that makes all the treats fall out. This sort of pinata is a bit safer for younger kids and can be safely used indoors.

As for what’s better to use at a child’s birthday party, I personally don’t find anything exceedingly violent with having the kids smash up a pinata. I’m sure there are those who beg to differ. I remember it as being a very fun activity when I was a child. For younger kids I’d opt for the pull-string pinata. Another thing is that a pull-string pinata can be used as a smash-it pinata, if you so desire. Just have the kids smash it up.

On the other hand, you’ll need to follow a few steps in order to transform a smash-it pinata into a pull-string pinata. In order to do so, the pinata needs to have a flat bottom. You’ll need to cut a “trap-door” flap on the bottom of the pinata as close to the center as you can. Make a hole at the edge of the trap door and pass a string through it, securing it with a knot. Next, close the trap door flap but don’t tape it. Attach more strings to the bottom of the pinata and have them all (including the one connected to the trap door) the same length. Spread a layer of glue over the bottom of the pinata and cover with tissue paper, making sure that all the upper ends of the strings (connected to the base) are completely covered.

What’s the Best Party Time?

What’s considered the best party time for your celebration? Your child’s actual birthday may not be the best time, so a weekend might pose a better prospect. I’d probably go for Sunday. If you work during the week, this’ll give you Saturday for last-minute shopping and preparations and Sunday morning to setup. As for the time of day, it depends on the age. For little ones, 10:00-Noon is a good party time because that way you work around nap time. For the older children, it really depends on what their schedule is like and what is customary on your end of the world. If you live in a country where folks religiously Siesta, you won’t find ANYONE awake during the siesta hours.

However, I’ve often heard that for non-“Siestaers”, the best party times are 1:00 – 3:00 or 2:00 – 4:00. During these hours, you may consider it an added advantage that you won’t have to serve a meal. Although, personally, if I’m already making the effort, I’d rather go all the way and make creative foods that fit with the party theme (as I’ve detailed in a previous blog titled “French Flies and Toad Slaw.” – Feb. 24th, 2005)

How long should the party be? One and a half hours should be quite enough time for a toddler or pre-school party. For older children two to three hours should be fine.