Kid’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 two-three hours. Being in the kids party industry for 15 years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
However, a kid’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be a success. I have some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with the familiar. Kids feel comfortable when predictable elements are present, and if they are overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have these three things, you have a party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are innumerable 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!
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 add entertainers, activities and games, the kids can quickly become overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the children having a chance to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for the kids to play, run around, laugh and talk with one another is golden. 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 can have children feeling 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 a few bowls, the novelty had seriously worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children who are too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are having a party for mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning your party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so that you don’t forget anything, like when to get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.
And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!