Kid’s parties 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 for 2-3 hours. Being in the kids party industry for over fifteen years, I’ve seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
A children’s party doesn’t need an event planner or a big budget to be a success. I want to give you some sure-fire pointers to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with the familiar. Kids enjoy it when predictable elements appear, and if they’re overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have these three things, you’ve got the basics of party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are literally thousands of 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 entertainment events are more than enough. Remember, children are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you throw in entertainers, activities and games, the kids can quickly be overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the children having time to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Factoring time for the kids to run around, play, laugh and talk with one another is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and what’s more , it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, but many parties 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 a few bowls, the novelty had seriously worn off. And 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. If you are holding a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Try to Relax! When planning a 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 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!
Best of luck!