Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs approx. two-three hours. Working in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with everything imaginable hired.
A children’s party doesn’t need an event planner or a big budget to be successful. I want to give you some great pointers to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with tradition. Children enjoy it when predictable elements are present, and if they’re overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you have a party.
2. What games to provide. There are innumerable options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
One or two entertainment events are more than enough. The fact is, the kids will be commanded 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 can quickly be overwhelmed, plus the party 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 children to run about, play, laugh and talk 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 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 children had no interest in being competitive and after several bowls, the novelty had seriously worn off. And 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. If you are hosting a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy most. On the day have a mini paper 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!