Parties for kids have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs approximately 2-3 hours. Being involved in the children’s party industry for over fifteen years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
But don’t be daunted! A children’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. Here are some great pointers 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 won’t go unnoticed! Definites 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 so many 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!
Just one or two entertainment events are more than enough. Remember, children are already being directed 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, plus time whizzes by without the children having a chance to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Factoring time for the kids to run around, 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 directive may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties 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 a few bowls, the novelty had definitely 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. When you are holding a party with mixed ages and genders, there is a broad range of entertainment that will appeal, 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 will enjoy the most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so that 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!
All the best!