Children's Parties

Planning and executing a kids party can be a daunting task, especially when a parent or guardian's life is already busy.

Relax, we are here to help.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let's talk about organizing that super special party that will be a super success.

General

The theme of any and every children's party must be FUN, and that's FUN for children, not adults.

That may sound obvious, but there are many adults that plan children's parties so that they can have fun themselves, and that means that the children become an afterthought. Remember, it is about the children, not the grown ups.

Plan properly, no matter how busy you are. If you are a busy parent, then make time. Your child's party is a once in a lifetime event. It will never happen again. Lack of time is not an excuse.

Remember that children can sense unhappiness. So when the big day arrives, put a smile on your face and make sure that your own 'happy switch' is on.

Planning

Children's parties are organized chaos.

Not matter how well you plan the party, there is little chance that everything will go off without a hitch. And that's fine. As the planner it is your job to create a fun and safe environment and then let the kids go crazy.

Do not "over plan" a party. It is not a military operation. It is not a surgical procedure. Its a kids party.

Ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Involve your child from the start. You will be amazed at how much of the planning work your child can help you with. In most cases a kid will know what they want and all you have to do is make it happen. Do not assume that you know what your child wants, so get them involved. Not only will it make your job easier,  but it will also teach your child about planning and organizing, and will also serve as an amazing bonding experience. 

Don't put too much pressure on your child, its not their job after all. Its fine to ask children for help, but don't let them do all the work, there's no fun in that. The idea is not for them to do all the work while you sit and watch sport on television.

Do not convince your child that the success or failure of the party is dependant on them. They will be so worried about failure that they will never enjoy their party.

If you are planning a surprise party then a few subtle questions can aid planning. You will have to get your information without directly involving your child.

As part of your planning, approach responsible adults with pleasant dispositions that you know will attend to help with activities on the day itself. Often these will be parents themselves or your own parents.

Do as much work as possible before the day of the party. Don't leave too much to do on the day itself, as you can run into time problems.

Budget

Yes, our old friend: budget.

If you do not keep a tight control on your budget, then you could end up spending a lot of money in a very short space of time.

You must be realistic when it comes to budget. It is about what you can afford, not what you think other people expect of you. Do not fall into the 'keeping up with the Joneses' trap. Do not try to 'one up' the last kids party that you attended. Don't feel that you must spend a ton of money on the party, just because 'so and so' did. No. A children's party is not about showing off. Its about your child having a special day filled with fun and laughter.

Money does not buy a child's fun at a party. It may get you a special mention at the golf club, but who cares. Your child certainly does not, and neither do I. If a children's party becomes a 'bling fest', you're doing it wrong. Ask yourself if you really need 'those' people in your life.

If you are financially challenged there are many things that you can do to deliver an unforgettable party.

  • Be creative: Often it is cheaper to create or fix something than to buy it.
  • Borrow stuff: Ask friends or family for help. Why pay for something if your friend already has it?
  • Shop around: Its cheaper somewhere, so find it. It doesn't have to be brand new.
  • Keep it small: invite a few close friends and keep it small. Times are tough, people will understand.
  • Share a party: children that have birthdays that are close together may offer an opportunity to have a party on the same day. 

If you would like to arrange a party for a charitable cause like an orphanage, contact us, we will help where we can.

Safety

As the host of a children's party the issue of safety falls squarely on your shoulders, even if there are other adults in attendance.

As with most safety issues common sense goes a long way to negating most dangers.

There must be a thorough overview when it comes to safety and different locations will offer different challenges e.g. is the party taking place at a house, hall, park or restaurant? 

Do not rely on the owners or managers of places like restaurants, public pools etc. when it comes to safety. So-called 'safe areas' in restaurants can be very dangerous areas.

The following should never be allowed at a kids party :

  • Strangers: this is very important for public places, such as parks. If the party is at your home, it is unlikely there will be strangers, but at a public place, be very aware of who is hanging around. Don't be afraid to confront people that you don't know personally.
  • Alcohol: nothing spoils a kids fun faster than a drunk person falling all over the place. If adults do want to drink alcohol, then have an area that is totally separate from the party area. Sometimes a children's party will serve as an occasion to hook up with family or friends that have not been seen in a while and the urge will be to have a few drinks. Rather create a later party for adults once the children have gone home.
  • Open flames or flammable materials: Fire is a major hazard to children, as they tend to run around and bump into things. If you want to prepare food using a fire, keep children away from the area.
  • Easy access to pools: Make sure that the pool has a good quality cover and that there is a lock on the gate. If children are allowed to swim, a responsible adult must always be in attendance. Pool parties must be strictly supervised.
  • Unwanted guests: These may be people that you know, but it doesn't mean that you want them there. It could be an ex husband or wife that heard about their child's party and decided to make an appearance. It could be an estranged family member that wants to visit a niece or nephew. Do not allow unwanted guests. Call the police if necessary.
  • Sharp edges: You will be amazed at how many sharp edges there are around you right now while you are reading this. Kids will find them all, so be aware of that.
  • Problem children: do not invite bullies and aggressive children, even if it means hurting someone's feelings. Your child will not enjoy the party if the local school bully is present.
Single Parents

Its tough being a single parent, there's no use denying it. It is.

When it comes to children's parties, the single parent can really struggle.

The best advice I can offer single parents is to ask for help. Family and friends play an immensely important role here.

Single parents have a tendency to throw money at problems like these, but that will not equate to a fun day for your child.

You can throw as much money and as many cupcakes at the problem as you want, you still need to make sure that it is a fun day.


Party Day

So the big day has arrived. The time for planning is over and now it is time to execute.

Make sure that you are there and visible. That may seem like a strange statement, but it is not. As a parent or guardian you must be present the whole day. (No running off to watch the rugby, halfway through the day in other words.) Children are always looking to see where there parents are, not just for safety, but also for affirmation.

If your planning has gone well, it will mean that there is not much left to do on the day itself.

Once children start arriving the craziness starts and a lot of your plans will go out the window, but its about FUN so go with it. 

Its a special day so take photos, but don't turn the day into one big photo shoot, where cameras are shoved into children's faces all day long. There is no need to have a thousand photos. Seriously.

Hopefully you will have a few adults that will not only help you with supervision, but will also help to create a fun day.

Remember, you cannot force children to have fun, so let them take centre stage, and keep a watchful presence.

Put your own personal problems on hold for a day and smile!