Children’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs approx. 2-3 hours. Being in the kids 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.
However, a kid’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be successful. I want to give you some sure-fire tips to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Keep it traditional. Children love it when predictable elements are present, and if they are overlooked, it will not 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 literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer or have it 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, children are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you throw in entertainers, activities and games, children may easily be overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Time for children to run about, play, 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 tip may seem like a no-brainer, however I have attended many parties that 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 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 know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. If you are holding a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as face-painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning your party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-list 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 most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!