Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times with more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs for 2-3 hours. Involved in the children’s party industry for over fifteen years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
But don’t be daunted! A kid’s party doesn’t need an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. I have some great pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Stick with tradition. Children enjoy it when predictable elements are present, and if they are overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you’ve got the basics of party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer or have the party somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
One or two entertainment events 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, children can quickly be overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the children having time to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Factoring time for the kids to play, run about, laugh and talk 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, however many parties result in children being bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year old’s left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year old’s. The kids 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 kiddies too young to realize 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 broad range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to 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 paper 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.
Then, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
All the best!