Children’s parties have come a long way in recent times with more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs for only two-three hours. Involved in the children’s party industry for over fifteen years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
A kid’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be a success. I want to give you some great pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Stick with the familiar. Kids feel comfortable when predictable elements are present, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have at least these three things, you have the basics of party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer 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 will be commanded to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you add entertainers, activities and games, the kids can easily become overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the kids having the chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Allowing time for the kids to run around, play, talk and laugh with one another is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This tip 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 several bowls, the novelty had seriously worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies who are too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are holding a party for mixed ages and genders, there is a broad range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning your party, plan with 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.
And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!