• Birthday Party Themes for Children

    Are you trying to plan the perfect party for your child? Central to a great party is a great theme, so have you got any ideas? Sit down with the birthday kid for a brainstorming session, and you’re sure to come up with some great birthday party themes. We’ll get you started with some thoughts about choosing the perfect theme.

    • Think about characters your kid loves. Do you have a fairy princess lover or a child who is really into superheroes? Planning a party around popular characters is easy and just requires a trip to the local party shop. It might not be the way you want to go if you’re trying to do something unique, but you can make it your own if you think of unique ways to execute it.
    • Don’t overlook literature. Is your child a big reader? Look to the library for inspiration! What’s more fun than a Dr. Seuss bash or an Alice in Wonderland mad tea party? Your child’s favorite books can inform your decisions on décor, food, and activities, whether you’re choosing the bright colors and shapes favored by Eric Carle, arranging some monkey business a la Curious George, organizing things in two straight lines for a Madeleine party, or planning a quaint yet dramatic Anne of Green Gables tea party.
    • Let the activity inform the theme. It’s fun to build a party theme around something the kids will enjoy doing, like having a cupcake making competition, creating artwork or jewelry, or doing experiments that would make a mad scientist proud.
    • Recognize your limitations. You might want to do a luau, but if you’re looking in December those party supplies might be hard to find. If you’re trying to plan a Victorian-era tea party, the costuming may be too elaborate to manage. While you’re talking themes, make sure both you and your child are looking at the possibilities realistically.
    • Choose a theme that gets kids moving. You can choose a sports theme, or set up a series of challenges in which kids can compete during the party. A capture the flag party can make for a fun day, or you can plan a picnic and play time at a local park. A roller skating party can also be fun, and so can a pool party in the summer.

    If you’re looking for a place to have a party that’s active and fun, consider having your party at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kids. That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Delicious Finger Foods For Toddlers AND Adults

    When you’re throwing a party that involves toddlers, you know it’s important to have food they can grab and go. Toddlers are always on the move, and getting them to sit still for more than a minute is challenging, especially when a party is going on around them. This is no big deal, though, because there’s nothing little kids love more than little snacks they can eat straight out of their hands. The biggest hurdle? Toddlers come to parties accompanied by parents, who might also want to nosh while they’re at your soiree. You could buy a couple of pizzas and call it a day, but if you want a menu that’s a little more interesting, we have some suggestions.

    • Quesadillas are a flexible snack. Plain cheese quesadillas are always a hit, but you can make them however you want, adding beans, chicken, ham, or bacon, or vegetables like mushrooms or spinach. Quesadillas are easy, too, and can be whipped up in a skillet just by cooking the fillings between two tortillas. Cut the finished product into wedges, and you’ve got a finger food that kids and adults will enjoy.
    • Sliders are a perennial favorite. These kid-sized sammies are easy to eat, and you can fill those little buns with whatever you’d like. Check out this list of kid-friendly sliders for inspiration.
    • Muffins can be made into more than sweet treats. When you think of muffins, you probably think of ingredients like blueberries, poppy seeds, or chocolate chips. Muffins can be savory, too, though, and snacks like these meatloaf muffins, corn dog muffins, and mac and cheese muffins are a big hit with the smaller set.
    • Pinwheels are perfect for parties. There are two basic ways to go with pinwheels: you can put your fillings into a tortilla, roll it up and slice it, or spread the ingredients onto crescent roll dough, roll it up, slice and bake. You really can’t go wrong, though, they’re fun to look at and fun to eat.
    • Veggie fritters make vegetables You can vary the vegetables you use, and these crispy treats will bring even the pickiest eater to the table.
    • Raw can be remarkable. Sometimes, the simplest option is the best, and that’s a good thing to remember about party food for kids. Raw vegetables like carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes can be dipped in ranch dressing for extra flavor, and kids love to grab sliced fruit when they want something to munch and crunch. Want to do something a little bit extra? Whip together a jar of marshmallow fluff and a block of cream cheese and you’ve got a fruit dip that will get rave reviews from guests of all ages.

    You’ve got your menu nailed down, but if you want a place where your party can really take off, consider BounceU! At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Exercise Tips For Kids Of All Ages

    For most parents, helping kids to get enough exercise is a big concern. With recess times being cut in school, and screen time becoming more and more prevalent, it can be challenging to make sure your children remain physically active. Fortunately, no matter the age, you can find ways to make exercise a fun family affair.

    • Little ones love to play. If you have a toddler or preschooler, it’s easy to create opportunities to exercise. Play Ring Around the Rosie or musical chairs, or go out in the yard and toss a beach ball back and forth. Make an obstacle course in your house or yard, or take a walk around your neighborhood together. Go to the playground, or take a class with other kids. Take these ideas and run with them, finding new and creative ways to get your little one moving. Bonus: kids who play hard, nap hard!
    • Elementary-aged kids will usually be happy just to be doing something with you. Mom and dad loom large for young kids, so it’s easy to get them on board with exercising together. Play hopscotch or challenge each other to see who can do the most jumping jacks. Teach your kid how to do somersaults, cartwheels, and handstands, or turn on some music and have a dance party. Take a bike ride or a walk, or toss around a ball or Frisbee. This age is also a great time to start thinking about organized activities, whether dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, martial arts, or team sports. Find an active pursuit that resonates with your child, and you may be gifting them with a hobby that will help them stay healthy for many years.
    • Big kids can be more challenging. Life gets hectic as kids become tweens, and older kids have tons to do between school and extracurricular activities. It’s important for them to get exercise every day, and you can encourage this by planning fun family activities. Take a yoga class together, or learn a new dance. Work together in the yard, or take the dog for a walk. Plan weekend outings that incorporate activity, like skating or hiking, and bring along their friends, to make your adventures even more appealing.

    If you’re looking for a great option for active fun, it’s time to check out BounceU! You may already know that we’re a premier party destination for kids, but did you know that you can bring the kids to play without an occasion by visiting us during an “Open Bounce”? Kids as young as 18 months love to play at BounceU, and it’s a wonderful way to get their bodies moving. For more information, feel free to call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to check out our Open Bounce calendar and see what makes BounceU so special.

  • How To Use Your Child’s Birthday Party As A Teaching Tool For Good Manners

    Teaching children good manners is important because it will help them get along with people throughout their lives. As parents, it’s smart to use every opportunity available to help our children develop the kind of manners that will help them be likable and successful. One great example of a fun teaching tool, whether it’s your child’s party or the party of a friend or family member.

    If the birthday party is for your child, make sure to discuss what makes a good host.

    • Take care with the invitations. Plan the guest list with your child, talking about being mindful of other people’s feelings. Teach your child not to talk about the party in front of someone not invited, and if you’re not inviting the whole class, don’t hand out invitations at school. You can avoid the issue of having your child hand out invitations by inviting people online, but involve your child in the process. You should make sure you’re using good manners too: send the email invitations using BCC, so that the entire list isn’t privy to everyone’s email address.
    • Put your child in charge of greeting the guests. It can be tempting for kids to welcome the first guest or two and then get distracted by party activities. Make it clear that your child is to greet every guest, thanking each friend for coming to the party and introducing kids to people they may not know. You can facilitate the process by setting up a “welcome” activity near the door so that your child can pay attention to all of the guests at once. This activity could be a craft project or something simple, like creating their own name tags.
    • Throughout the party, it’s important to make sure everyone’s included. Explain to your child ahead of time that he or she should be attentive, including everyone in activities and making sure each guest is offered refreshments. You, of course, can monitor this, stepping in if you think there’s a potential issue.
    • A gracious host is a grateful host. If you choose to open gifts at the party, your child should thank each person for the gift that was given. Discuss ahead of time the importance of being appreciative, and not voicing any disappointment with a gift. If you don’t open gifts at the party, require your child to send thank you notes in a timely fashion.

    Even if your child is just attending the party, you can help make sure he or she follows the proper rules of etiquette.

    • Help your child reply to the invitation as soon as it’s received.
    • Get your child to and from the party on time.
    • Explain that it’s important to join in with others in party activities.
    • Teach your child to be respectful of the host’s house, belongings, and rules.
    • Make sure your child knows to follow the directions given by adults at the party, and alert them to any problems that may occur.
    • Practice greeting the hosts upon arrival, and thanking them for the invitation while saying goodbye.

    A party is a wonderful place to teach manners while having fun. If you’re looking for the most fun place to hold your child’s birthday party, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Tips For A Safe (And Fun!) Field Trip

    Is there anything more exciting for a kid than a field trip? Often, they look forward to that special day for weeks or even months! For parents, though, field trips can be a source of trepidation. There’s risk involved in children being off campus, out in the wide world. What can you do to help ensure that your kiddos have a safe and fun field trip?

    First, make sure to communicate. Talk to your child’s teacher, making sure you know the exact plan and the people in charge have your contact information. Make a plan to dress your children in brightly colored clothes, so they’ll be easy to spot if they get separated from the group. Plan for any dietary restrictions, packing a lunch if need be. Then, talk to your children about the rules that can keep them safe during the field trip.

    Here are some rules that apply to most field trips, to go over with your kids:

    • Remember bus safety. The day can easily be ruined before it even starts by kids misbehaving on the bus. Stay in your seat, keeping your voice at an inside level, and keep your hands to yourself.
    • Stay with the group. Listen carefully to your teacher, and stay with the group or with your buddy no matter what. Even if you have to go to the restroom, ask permission and stay with your assigned partner. One child getting separated from the group can ruin the whole trip, and you don’t want to be that child!
    • Listen to the people in charge. Your teacher and the chaperones have a big job, taking care of a lot of kids at once. Respect all of the adults on your field trip, and do as they say.
    • Be respectful of your surroundings. You might be out in nature, or you might be somewhere with breakable objects. Make sure you pay attention to the rules, no matter where you are, and keep your hands to yourself to keep from damaging things.
    • Be respectful of other people. The best way to have a fun field trip is to treat everyone on the trip with respect and kindness. Don’t shove or tease your friends, don’t talk while guides or other adults are talking, and if you’re supposed to meet the group at a certain time, be on time.

    As a parent, do you feel like you want to do more than just dress your kids colorfully and teach them the rules? Consider being a chaperone! If that doesn’t work with your schedule, make sure you know all the rules and plans yourself, and get your child to school in plenty of time to get onto the field trip bus. You might also give yourself some extra peace of mind by putting your contact information on a label inside your kids’ clothes, on their backpacks, and anywhere else you can think to put it. Make sure the teacher has any special information that’s important to you, like allergies to remember or medication that must be taken. Knowing everyone involved has all the information they need can help you feel secure in sending your kids off for a fun day on the field trip.

    What’s more fun than a field trip? A party at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kids, and that’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • How To Soothe Your Child After A Fall, Trip, Cut, Or Boo-Boo

    When a child gets hurt, it can be scary for the child and the parent. You never want anything bad to happen to your little one, but unfortunately, bumps and bruises will happen no matter how careful you are with your child. How do you walk the line between providing comfort and teaching bravery?

    Of course, if the injury is minor enough, there’s nothing to it. A hug, some comforting words, a timely joke, and a colorful Band-Aid will distract from the pain and have them back to playing in no time. If the injury requires more attention than that, however, there are some things you can do to help keep your child calm.

    • Don’t dismiss the injury. Even if it’s minor, validate your child’s feelings by saying, “I know this hurts.” You can then go on to let the child know that you’ll help and that everything will be ok.
    • Model bravery. It’s important for kids to learn that being brave doesn’t mean you’re never afraid. It means that even when you’re scared, you do what needs to be done.
    • Appear to be in control. Don’t lie and say you’re not worried if you are, but remain calm and reassure your child that you know what to do.
    • Explain what’s going on. Whether you’re putting an ice pack on a bump, or a trip to the emergency room is in order, kids will be better able to stay calm if you talk them through the process. Let them know what to expect before things happen so that they can feel some control over the situation.
    • Involve the child in the process. Talk to the child, instead of just talking to others around you. Ask questions, and let your child ask you questions if he or she needs to, to understand what’s happening. Give your child something to do, to help distract from the pain, whether it’s holding the ointment or choosing the Band-Aid.

    Once the crisis has passed, you know what really makes kids feel better? Playing at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kid, and that’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

     

  • When Is Your Child Ready for A Sleep Over?

    As parents, we look forward to our children’s milestones, whether it’s the first steps, the first tooth, the first best friend, or the first day of school. One of the biggest social milestones is the sleepover, but it’s important that the child be ready for this big event. How can you know if your child is ready?

    First, understand that there’s no “right age” for a sleepover. It’s completely subjective, and you have to base your decision on your particular situation and your unique child. If you trust the adults involved, your child is excited to go, and your gut tells you it’s a good idea, then go for it! Here are some thoughts on how to make sure everyone is prepared, and everything goes smoothly.

    • Talk to your child. The best way to know whether the sleepover is the right choice for your child is to talk to him or her. Gauge the child’s level of interest, and consider past experience to determine whether this is a good choice.
    • Talk to the other parents. Ask questions about the plan, until you’re satisfied that it’s going to be a safe and healthy environment. Make sure that the other parents have all the information they will need, too, like your contact information and your child’s habits, preferences, and allergies.
    • Have a plan in place. Know that it might not work out, and you might have to go pick up a pajama-clad child late at night. That’s ok, you want your child to know his or her own limits and do what feels safe.
    • Give your child some control. Discuss how the child is feeling ahead of time, and pack comfort items to make the night easier. Let your child know that it’s ok to call you, or even come home if something feels uncomfortable.
    • Consider hosting, if you’re nervous. Sometimes, the best way to know whether your child is ready for a new level of social interaction is to observe it for yourself. When the first sleepover happens at your house, it gives you more control over the situation, and you’ll be better able to decide if your child has the level of maturity necessary to brave a sleepover somewhere else next time.

    If you’re looking for a fun party idea, but your child is not quite ready to take the leap to a sleepover, consider a fun party at BounceU. At BounceU, we love kids! That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • How To Have A Successful First Day Of School

    Whether it’s preschool or college, the first day at a new school is a big deal for kids and parents alike. Even if the school isn’t new, going into a classroom full of new kids, with a new teacher, can be a little bit intimidating for a child. How can you make sure your child has a good first day? There are some concrete steps you can take ahead of time to ease anxiety and help your child be eager for that first day of school.

    • Involve the child in the preparations. Take your child back to school shopping, and involve him or her in decisions about things like backpacks and lunchboxes. It’s fun to pick out special pencils or other school supplies that can help the child feel confident and ready. The night before the first day, encourage your child to lay out clothes and school supplies and ask for help packing a lunch or snack for the next day.
    • Visit the school ahead of time. Meeting the teacher and becoming familiar with the space are two great ways for kids to feel more comfortable about that first day. If possible, get to know a classmate ahead of time too, so that your child already has a friend when the class starts.
    • Read books together to stave off the jitters. Books are a great way to help kids understand that other people feel the same way they do. Moreover, reading together is a great way to spark conversation and help the child to open up. There are great books about school from preschool all the way up, so do a little bit of research and you’ll be sure to find one that fits.
    • Talk to your child about how he or she is feeling. It’s easy for us to project what our children may be feeling, but the best way to know for sure is to ask. Talk about school, friends, how he or she feels about riding the bus or participating in extracurricular activities, and whether he or she is excited that school is starting. You may learn things about your child that you didn’t know, and you may be able to pass along some wisdom that is comforting.
    • Send something comforting to help ease the day. In most cases, your child will not be able to take a lovey to school. However, you can do little things that will provide comfort and let him or her know you’re there in spirit. Put a note in the lunchbox, give the child a watch to wear to keep track of the time, or allow your child to keep a small favorite item in the backpack, just to know it’s near. Something to glance at that gives a feeling of home will go a long way toward easing anxiety.
    • Rehearse for the big day. For little kids, practice things like dressing, undressing, and hand-washing, so they’ll feel more confident doing those things at school. At any age, it’s helpful to practice getting ready for school before the first day actually arrives, to make sure it all goes smoothly.

    Need to de-stress after a long school day? Come to BounceU! At BounceU, we love kids. That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Goody Bag Ideas For Your Child’s Birthday

    So, you’ve chosen a theme, picked out the décor, lined up some great activities, and made the menu. Your child’s party is in the bag! But wait, aren’t you forgetting an actual bag? Here, we’ve got some suggestions for goody bags that will make your child’s birthday party memorable.

    • Keep it simple. For parents, goody bags can be an annoyance. No one wants their child to come home from a birthday party with a bunch of plastic junk that is going to end up underfoot. Rather than hitting the party aisle of the bargain store, think outside the traditional party favor and go for one nice item instead, like a friendship bracelet or stuffed animal that relates to the theme. Think outside the box for this one: you could send home superhero masks and capes, personalized flashlights, a CD with music from the party, or something else cool you dream up on your own!
    • Go for books. No one objects when a child comes home with a new book, which makes them a great item to give away at a party. For an interesting twist, ask each child to bring a book, and organize a book swap in lieu of the party favor bag.
    • Give something edible. A big cookie that corresponds to the theme of the party is a fun favor, and so is a snack bag with a clever pun or poem that’s party related. Theme-related lollipops or cake pops can also be a hit.
    • An activity is a fun favor. A craft or Lego kit will give guests something fun to do after the party is over. It can be as complicated as a jewelry making kit, or as simple as a box of markers or a bucket of sidewalk chalk. Choose something that corresponds with the theme, and your party will be long-remembered. You can even have the kids complete a craft as one of your party activities, and send them home with their creation as a favor.

    What’s a great way to make sure your party hits all the high notes? Throw a BounceU party! At BounceU, we love kids! That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Easy Party Foods To Make For Your Child’s Birthday

    Planning a child’s birthday party can be so much fun! Brainstorming with your child, you can use whatever he or she is interested in to create an amazing theme and design a party that will be remembered for years to come. What’s more, some of the foods that will be the hit of your party are really very easy to make.

    • Popcorn. What’s easier than popcorn? Want to dress it up? Make it with mix-ins like movie theater candy, cookie pieces, or nuts, or drizzle it with chocolate and toss on some sprinkles.
    • Cupcakes. Cupcakes are the quintessential birthday food, and if you want, you can make them into an activity, too. Just provide kids with plain cupcakes, frosting, and decorations, and let make their own delicious creations.
    • Kebabs. All you need for this is skewers and your own imagination! Skewer meatballs and cheese, fruit and marshmallows, raw veggies to dip in dressing, or whatever else you think will be a win with the kids.
    • Cookies. This is another food that you can turn into an activity by letting the kids apply decorations, or you can create cookie pops by baking balls of sugar cookie dough, rolled in sprinkles and perched on popsicle sticks.
    • Finger foods. Sandwiches cut into quarters, bagel bites, pizza rolls chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers, and cookies are all favorites that take very little time and effort. Fairy bread is a fun addition to a party: it’s just bread, buttered and covered in sprinkles, cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
    • Take the cake. There’s nothing like cake for a dramatic candle-blowing photo op. If you don’t have time to make it yourself, there’s no shame in a bakery or grocery store cake. In fact, your local market may have some really creative ways to make a cake that caters to your theme.

    The ultimate way to throw a great kids’ party? Host a BounceU party! At BounceU, we love kids! That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.