Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for children have come a long way in recent times with more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs for only two-three 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 a great variety of entertainment hired.

A children’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be wonderful. I want to give you some sure-fire pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.

1. Stick with the familiar. Kids love it when predictable elements occur, and if they’re overlooked, it won’t 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 the basics of party.

2. What games to provide. 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!

One or two structured games are more than enough. The fact is, children 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 quickly become overwhelmed, plus time whizzes by without the children having time to actually play.

3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Allowing time for the kids to run about, play, laugh and talk with each other is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This directive may seem like a no-brainer, however 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 novelty had definitely worn off. And even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children who are 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, face painting 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 get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

All the best!

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