Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an event that runs for two-three hours. Being in the kids party industry for over fifteen years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with everything imaginable hired.
A children’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. I want to give you some great pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Keep it traditional. Kids feel comfortable 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’ve got at least 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 activity or entertainer or have the party somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
Just one or two structured games 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 add entertainers, activities and games, children may easily become overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the children 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 play, run around, talk and laugh 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 tip 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 just a few bowls, the novelty had definitely worn off. And 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’s a broad range of entertainment that appeals, such as 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 will enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-list so you don’t forget anything, like when to put 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!