Kid’s parties have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an event that runs for two-three hours. Being involved in the kids party industry for 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 need a big budget or an event planner to be successful. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Keep it traditional. Kids love it when predictable elements occur, and if they’re 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’ve got the basics of party.
2. What games to provide. 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!
Just one or two sessions of entertainment are more than enough. Remember, the kids are already being commanded to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you add entertainers, activities and games, children can easily be overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Time for the kids to run about, play, laugh and talk with each other is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and what’s more , it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This directive 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 novelty had definitely 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 is a broad range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-list so that you don’t forget anything, like when to get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.
And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!