Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for kids have come a long way in recent times with more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs for 2-3 hours. Working in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.

A child’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be a success. I have 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’re overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have at least these three things, you’ve got a party.

2. What games to provide. There are so many 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. The fact is, the kids are already being commanded to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you throw in entertainers, activities and games, children may quickly be overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the kids having the chance to actually play.

3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Factoring time for children to run around, play, laugh and talk with each other 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, but 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 just a few bowls, the excitement had absolutely worn off. And even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies who are too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. If you are hosting a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a broad range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.

5. Relax! When planning your party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-sheet 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!

Best of luck!

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