Tips for Kids Parties

Children’s parties have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs for 2-3 hours. Working in the kids party industry for 15 years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.

However, a children’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be wonderful. I have some sure-fire tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.

1. Stick with the familiar. Children love it when predictable elements appear, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you have a party.

2. Things for the kids to do. There are literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity 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 will be directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, children may easily become overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the children having a chance to actually play.

3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Allowing time for the kids 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 tip 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 kids had no interest in being competitive and after several bowls, the excitement 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 having 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’ll enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-sheet 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!

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