Children’s parties have come a long way in recent times with more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs approximately two-three hours. Involved in the kids party industry for over 15 years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.
However, a kid’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be a success. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with the familiar. Children enjoy it when predictable elements appear, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide these three things, you’ve got a party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. Rule of thumb: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
One or two sessions of entertainment are more than enough. The fact is, children are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, the kids may easily be overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the kids having the chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Allowing time for children to play, run around, talk and laugh with each other is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This directive may seem like a no-brainer, but many parties result in children being bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The kids had no interest in being competitive and after just a few bowls, the novelty had absolutely worn off. And even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies who are too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are holding a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy the most. On the day have a mini paper list so that you don’t forget anything, like when to put the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.
And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!