Parties for kids have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Being in the kids party industry for over fifteen years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with everything imaginable hired.
But don’t be daunted! A kid’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be wonderful. I want to give you 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 will not 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. What to provide for the kids. There are innumerable 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!
One or two structured games are more than enough. The fact is, the kids are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you add entertainers, activities and games, children can easily become overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the children having time to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for children to run about, play, talk and laugh with one another is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and what’s more , 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 children had no interest in being competitive and after several bowls, the excitement had seriously worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are hosting a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as face-painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll 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 most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!