Kid’s parties have come a long way in the last decade with more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs for two-three hours. Involved in the kids party industry for over fifteen years, I’ve seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
However, a children’s party doesn’t need an event planner or a big budget to be successful. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Keep it traditional. Children love it when predictable elements occur, and if they’re overlooked, it won’t 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. What to provide for the kids. 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!
Just one or two entertainment events are more than enough. Remember, the kids will be expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you throw in entertainers, activities and games, the kids may quickly be overwhelmed, plus the party whizzes by without the kids having time to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Allowing time for children to run about, play, 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 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 excitement had definitely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are putting on a party with mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-list 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!
Best of luck!