My memories of childhood parties, many moons ago, tend to mainly involve jelly, ice-cream and games of Pass The Parcel and Pin The Tail On The Donkey. Now that I am faced with organising birthday parties for my own offspring, inviting large groups of small children and their parents to the house and then keeping everyone entertained for two or three hours seems like a more daunting prospect.
Children’s parties do not have to be stressful, however, particularly with the wide range of services and venues now available; if anything, the difficult part now is choosing between the options on offer!
If, like me, space is limited at home, then holding the party at a rented venue can be an attractive alternative. Local town or church halls will often rent out a room for a couple of hours for a reasonable price, meaning all you have to do is bring some balloons, a few banners or paper garlands and you are ready to go. Rope in a few helpers with bin bags at the end of the party, and you won’t need to worry about the state of your carpet at home or sticky handprints on the wallpaper.
Activities and Entertainment
Small children’s attention spans can be somewhat shortened by the excitement of a party combined with too much cake and sweets, so planning ahead and organising activities can keep the kids occupied and entertained. Face painting, painting, colouring-in or even some craft activities (decorating paper plates or making masks) can help to provide focus and offer the perfect complement to the more traditional games like Pass The Parcel.
If you lack the time to organise the entertainment yourself, then consider using the services of professional children’s party organisers, which can really take the stress out of the event. Parents can take refuge in the kitchen with a cup of tea while experienced kids entertainers take on the task of making your child’s party the most talked-about this term.
Some companies offer the whole kit and caboodle now, providing the venue, food, entertainment and party bags for a reasonable price per head. This does not need to feel like a cop-out either; children love hurtling round indoor soft-play areas and parents can rest safe in the knowledge that their child is unlikely to break anything or him or herself.
So, if the thought of hosting a party for a gaggle of children brings you out in a cold sweat, take the time to plan it properly and make sure there is enough to keep all the guests occupied, and recruit helpers so that you don’t end the day more exhausted than your child!
Beverley Cramer organises childrens parties for friends and family, offering tips for how to survive these events and writing here for Balloon O Gram