Kid’s parties have come a long way in the last decade with more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs approx. 2-3 hours. Being involved in the children’s party industry for over 15 years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
A child’s party doesn’t require 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 the familiar. Children enjoy it when predictable elements occur, and if they’re overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have these three things, you’ve got a party.
2. What games to provide. There are so many options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer or have it 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. The fact is, the kids will be expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you throw in entertainers, activities and games, the kids may quickly become overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the children having time to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Time for children to play, run around, laugh and talk with each other is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, but 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 kids 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 kiddies who are too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are having a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. 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.
And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!