Parties for kids have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an event that runs approx. 2-3 hours. Working 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.
A kid’s party doesn’t need an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with tradition. Children feel comfortable when predictable elements appear, and if they’re overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide these three things, you have the basics of party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity 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 entertainment events are more than enough. The fact is, children are already being commanded 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 be overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the kids having the chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for children to play, run around, 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 idea may seem like a no-brainer, but I have attended many parties that 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 excitement 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. If you are hosting a party for mixed ages and genders, there’s 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’ll 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.
And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!