Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for children have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs approx. two-three hours. Involved in the children’s party industry for over fifteen years, I’ve seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.

But don’t be daunted! A children’s party doesn’t need an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. I want to give you some great tips to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.

1. Stick with the familiar. Kids feel comfortable when predictable elements are present, and if they are overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you have the basics of party.

2. Things for the kids to do. There are innumerable options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

Just one or two structured games are more than enough. Remember, the kids are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, the kids can easily be overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the children having time to actually play with abandonment.

3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for children to play, run around, 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 directive 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 a few bowls, the excitement had definitely 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 having a party for mixed ages and genders, there is 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 run-list so you don’t forget anything, like when to get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

All the best!

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