Parties for kids have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Being involved in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I’ve seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
However, a kid’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be wonderful. I want to give you some great pointers to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with the familiar. Kids feel comfortable when predictable elements appear, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide at least these three things, you’ve got the basics of party.
2. What to provide for the kids. 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!
One or two entertainment events are more than enough. The fact is, the kids will be 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 time whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for the kids to play, run around, laugh and talk with one another is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, however 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 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 kiddies too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are putting on a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy the 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.
Then, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!