Throwing a party for your kids can be tough. Incredibly fulfilling, of course – nothing will make your heart glow like seeing their happy faces – but still tough. After all, children can be inconsistent in what they want, fussy and often get upset at comparatively little things. How, then, can you go about giving your little ones exactly what they want for their next party? Having hosted a great many different occasions, we’ve decided to share our experience as to the best way to go about doing so:
Don’t overdo the invites
Whilst children often have the attitude of ‘bigger is better’, it’s actually quite common for them to prefer less people at their parties than you might think. Normally they’ll have their own set group of friends by a certain age, and it’s normally best to limit the invite list to these kids (and their parents, if they children are still quite young). This way, there will be enough people in attendance for the child to feel special, but not so much that they won’t feel like just part of a big crowd. After all, the point of a birthday is for your little ones to feel like the day is all about them, and they won’t feel like that when surrounded by a whole classroom’s worth of other kids!
Entertainment that respects their age
This is especially true of children that are a little bit older, for example, between 8 and 12 or so. By this time, children are very aware of their own intelligence, and are also more aware of what they think is lame! This means that it’s better to get an entertainer that goes a little bit over the heads of a couple of kids rather than one that all those in attendance thinks is a bit naff. Magicians are an ideal example of this: if you invest in a ‘child’s’ magician who simply sends out a few basic card tricks, then there’s a real possibility that they might end up being shown up by one of the kids in the audience whose parents have already showed him how to do those tricks! If you hire a professional magician who takes his act seriously and is able to impress adults, then he’ll truly be able to amaze the kids.
Fun, simple games
When it comes to games at a party, simple is definitely better from the children’s point of view. This is no bad thing, as it can save money, and classics such as pass the parcel remain reassuringly popular in the modern day. A huge amount of games can be found for free online as well, so take the time to have a look and see which ones sound good (ask your little ones which games they fancy playing too), and don’t give up on other classics such as musical chairs: you’d be amazed how many children still love playing those types of games.
Whilst we’re all for healthy eating, there are some occasions where nothing but a big, chocolate-y, creamy cake will do. Preferably decked with extra chocolate! Of course ask your children what they’d prefer to eat, but if they do say chocolate, crisps and sweets then indulge them. That’s what parties are for, after all. Just make sure there are some more wholesome foodstuffs such as sandwiches and sausage rolls around, too, for those who don’t have quite the same sweet tooth.
Arnold Bell is a children’s entertainer and staff writer at The Partyman Company, the children’s entertainment, party and event planners in the UK. Arnold enjoys writing about all things fun from party and event planning.