Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times with more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Being in the children’s party industry for over 15 years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
A children’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be successful. Here are some sure-fire 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’ve got 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 the party 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 expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, the kids may quickly become overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the children having the chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Factoring time for children to run around, 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, 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 seriously worn off. 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. If you are holding a party for mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning your party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy the 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 lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!