Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Being involved in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
However, a child’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be successful. Here are some sure-fire 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 won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide at least these three things, you have the basics of party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many 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!
One or two structured games are more than enough. The fact is, children are already being expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you throw in entertainers, activities and games, the kids can easily be overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play.
3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Time for children to play, run about, talk and laugh 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 idea may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties 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 kids 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. When you are having a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that appeals, 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 that you don’t forget anything, like when to put the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.
And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!