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 approx. 2-3 hours. Working in the kids party industry for over 15 years, I’ve seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with everything imaginable hired.
A child’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be a success. I want to give you some great pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Stick with the familiar. Kids enjoy it when predictable elements appear, 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. What games to provide. There are so many options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have the party somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!
One or two structured games are more than enough. Remember, children will be directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you add entertainers, activities and games, children may quickly become overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Time for the kids to play, run about, laugh and talk with each other is golden. 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 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 just a few bowls, the novelty had definitely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are hosting a party with mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning a party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy 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.
And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!