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 for two-three hours. Being in the children’s party industry for over 15 years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.
A kid’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be wonderful. I want to give you some great tips to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.
1. Keep it traditional. Kids feel comfortable when predictable elements appear, and if they’re overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got these three things, you’ve got a party.
2. Things for the kids to do. There are literally thousands of 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!
Just one or two entertainment events are more than enough. The fact is, the kids are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, children can easily be overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the children having the chance to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for the kids to run around, play, talk and laugh with each other is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!
4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This tip 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 a few bowls, the novelty had absolutely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are holding a party with mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.
5. Relax! When planning your party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy the 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.
Then, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!
Best of luck!