I recently planned my first date and I was pretty nervous. What if my house was too small? What If I did not have enough refreshments? What if no one showed up? I was overwhelmed! First; relax! You are inviting others into your home so you will most likely feel way more comfortable versus going to a strangers house. And I did. I felt very comfortable once guests arrived and it turned out to be so much fun! You can make it easier on yourself by asking guests to bring a side dish so you do not have to prepare meals or serve refreshments.
Keep the snacks light: You can choose quick refreshments such as pastries, dips, finger foods and toddler favorites like the gerber puffs or small muffins. The deli aisle will be your best friend if you are like me and so not domesticated. Perhaps find some cookies, muffins, cheese and call it a day! On my invites; I only put light refreshments would be served so everyone understood I am not cooking a gourmet meal. Plus; everyone will be so busy playing, talking and getting to know one another; light food is just fine. I also put waters, sweet tea and orange juice on my refreshment table. If you have moms that will not have to drive or who are walking from another home in the neighborhood; you can even offer wine if they are over 21.
Over invite! If you want 5 people there; invite 15 +….I feel like only 1/3 will show up to parties so I inited over 30 people and 4 showed up so that is completely normal. If you have a larger home; you may want to invite a lot more people.
Make your location easy to find by mentioning cross streets or locations that are familiar to people to help them find where you home is. For example; if you live by the town’s only seafood restautant; mention that so people at least know the general area to find your play date location. You can even put balloons on your mail box or a sign on the door to help others find your home.
Choose a time in which children would have been able to nap before arriving or can nap after. Cranky babies and fussy toddlers can be hard work!
Name tags can be great if you have people coming who are new to the area or do not know others. I am bad with names so this works great for those types as well. I put the name tags of the children on their backs so they could not easily tear the sticker name tag off.
Have toys or activities for all ages; you may have toddlers, infants or school aged children arriving. Make all the parents feel welcomed; let them know where they can choose to sit and that there are refreshments available. Show them where restrooms, changing tables and toys are. It is never fun to arrive to a party and no one speaks or makes you feel welcome.
Send a thank you card or email to all your guests who attended.