Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Working in the children’s party industry for over 15 years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
However, a children’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be a success. I want to give you some sure-fire tips to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Stick with the familiar. Children enjoy it when predictable elements occur, and if they are overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have at least these three things, you have a party.
2. What games to provide. There are so many options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
One or two structured games are more than enough. The fact is, the kids will be expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, children may easily become overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the children having the chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Allowing time for the kids to play, run about, talk and laugh with each other is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties can have children feeling 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 a few bowls, the excitement had definitely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are hosting a party with mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning your party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy the most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so you don’t forget anything, like when to get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.
Then, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!