The first thing to be addressed is the snacks. Most classes have the parents provide snacks, and this is usuallay on a volunteer basis, but someone is always responsible for making sure everything is there. Snacks can raise a red flag in my house, as we always have to watch out for allergiens in the food. For that reason I provide some type of snack for every party, knowing that even if she can't eat anything else at least she can eat what I take. I usually choose the cookies, for two reasons. The first is that I can control what is in them, the sugar content, the type of cookie, and I can make sure that there is enough for everyone. I also enjoy baking them at home with my girl, it's a great bonding time for us, and because we make them it also ends up being cheaper then purchasing other items at a grocery store.
The next obstacle to overcome preparing for a party is what she will wear. For other parties it usually ends up being a dress, but as this is a costume party it could be more difficult. After only 15 minutes in the costume isle she finally chose one. I'm hoping she'll still like it when the party actually happens. Last year she was still undecided when it was time to get dressed.
Next comes the volunteering for the actual day. They need set up and tear down and someone to serve the kids and help keep the whole thing under control. I'm pretty careful about volunteering for certain ones, as there will of course be more kids and extra people, so I feel that adding myself into the mix just increases the bedlam. However, I do enjoy attending with my daughter as she has so much fun and it's great to watch her interact with the other kids. I usually volunteeer for one or two in a year, then attend a small amount of time at the other ones.
It seems as soon as one is done, another is being planned, so I pretty much start at the beginning again. Feel free to share your survival tips for the year of parites we have ahead of us.