SOME TIPS FOR ORGANISING YOUR OWN CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTY
Hopefully I’m not talking myself out of a job, but here is some advice about running your own Children’s Birthday Party
How long should the party be?
Plan for your children’s party to be a maximum of two hours. Some parents do have three hour parties. This is a very long time for children, as they can find it very tiring. Whatever you decide, I recommend you split your time in to short segments, with a different activity in each segment. This will keep the children occupied and will hold their attention. The food time will be one of these segments, but here’s a thing – If you plan for the children to take 30 minutes to eat; they will take 10! And if you plan for them to take 10 minutes, yes, you guessed it, they’ll take 30!!!
How much party food do I need?
You know how it is when you are preparing for your party, you are worried that there won’t be enough food. So you make lots of sandwiches, get plenty of nibbles and tons of sweet things. Then at the end of the party you have lots of sandwiches, plenty of nibbles and tons of sweet things left over! I have found that the best way to avoid having lots of leftover food is to make up a food package for each child. You can buy a party box or colourful food bag for each guest and fill it with the party snacks. Have a few of these packs as spare, just in case extra guests arrive, but you should find you won’t have a mountain of leftovers.
How many children shall I invite?
Generally speaking, children like to invite their class mates to their party. So that could be thirty children. Therefore if you are holding a party for two children, you could have up to sixty kids! That is a lot of noise! The thing is, you might invite that many and prepare to feed that many, but only have half as many turn up on the day. So…
How can I be sure of how many children will arrive?
Hmmm, well, who knows?!? There can be a problem with parents actually replying to invites. I’ll be honest I have been at parties where the Birthday children’s parents really didn’t know how many children were going to turn up. Here are a couple of ways that you might get some clues…
To make sure not so many children are away, avoid holding your party during school holidays – perhaps arrange it for the last weekend before the end of term, or the first weekend after the start of term.
Try to get the invited children’s parents’ mobile numbers – then text them to ask if they are coming. And maybe send a reminder a few days before.
Facebook – as above, send them a message, so they give to you an answer.
Finally, be prepared for extras! It’s not uncommon for a sibling or two to be brought along to the party as well.
Latecomers and Early Birds
Whatever time you decide to start your party, there will always be someone who arrives early and someone who arrives late. It’s just one of those things. If the parents stay, provide some seating for them and maybe some beverages. If they drop and run, do make sure that you have a contact number for them and remind them what time the party finishes.
What games shall I do?
There are loads of traditional games that you can do. Children like musical bumps and statues, but they don’t like being eliminated. Also if you have a lot of children at your party and you eliminate most of them, you’ll have a hoard of restless children milling around. So think of ways of playing games where everyone stays in. Remember, children do like to run around and they also like to play ‘Boys V Girls’ games.
This might be a helpful tip – Be sure to have one point of focus for the children, a loud voice or amplified voice. And have something to play music loud enough.
Sometimes parents play a game (like Pass The Parcel) with the aim of giving every child a small prize. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this. I have seen the last children to get their prize become upset because they are last and have also seen children get forgotten.
Nearly every Children’s Birthday party has balloons. So I thought I’d give them a little mention. They are great to use on a gate post or front door to show where the party is. They are great decorations on walls or in some form of sculpture. They also make great footballs, rugby balls and weapons. I’m not saying that as a suggestion. It is a fact and if you have some balloons on the floor, or within reach, they will be used in that way. Just be prepared.
Also if you have a special helium balloon, which is for the Birthday Child, keep it safely out of reach. Keep it special and then it can be enjoyed for long after the party.
Scared by the whole idea?
The idea of having to entertain a couple of dozen partied up children for one hundred and twenty minutes might fill you with dread. Well it can be done and you will survive. But if you really are scared and don’t fancy the challenge and live in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Wiltshire or Dorset, book me and I’ll run your whole party for you.
You won’t need to worry, it will be less stressful and you might even enjoy it!