Kid’s parties 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 two-three hours. Being involved in the kids party industry for 15 years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.
A child’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. Here are some sure-fire pointers to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with the familiar. Children feel comfortable when predictable elements are present, and if they’re overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got these three things, you’ve got a party.
2. What to provide for the kids. There are literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. Rule of thumb: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
Just one or two structured games are more than enough. The fact is, the kids will be commanded 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 become overwhelmed, plus the party whizzes by without the children having a chance to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Time for the kids to play, run about, 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 idea may seem like a no-brainer, but I have attended many parties that 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 a few bowls, the excitement had definitely worn off. And even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are hosting a party for mixed ages and genders, there’s a broad range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to 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 that 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!
All the best!