Children’s parties have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs for two-three hours. Working in the children’s party industry for over fifteen years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with everything imaginable hired.
A kid’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be successful. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with the familiar. Kids love it when predictable elements occur, and if they are overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide these three things, you’ve got a party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have the party somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. Rule of thumb: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
Just one or two entertainment events 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 add entertainers, activities and games, children may quickly become overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the children having time to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Allowing time for children to play, run around, talk and laugh with one another is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, 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 kids 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 children who are too young to realise 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 broad range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning your party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy the most. On the day have a mini paper list so 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!