Children’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs approximately 2-3 hours. Being in the kids party industry for over 15 years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.
However, a children’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be a success. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.
1. Stick with tradition. Kids love it when predictable elements are present, and if they are 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 have the basics of party.
2. What games to provide. There are innumerable 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 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.. If you add entertainers, activities and games, children may quickly become overwhelmed, plus the party whizzes by without the children having time to actually play with abandonment.
3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Factoring time for the kids to play, run about, laugh and talk with one another 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 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 children had no interest in being competitive and after just a few bowls, the excitement had absolutely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children who are 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’s a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, 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 most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so that you don’t forget anything, like when to get 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!
All the best!