Organising any sort of event can be difficult and time consuming. Ensuring that everybody is happy and catered for can cause many people to experience stress and anxiety. With so many things to sort out, from food to entertainment, parties and get-togethers can be a process of extreme pressure for the organiser. So what about children’s parties? They should be easy right? With forward planning and a little help from the wonderful World Wide Web it can be.
Even though party invitations will be sent out to your child’s friends and classmates, it is advisable to inform all parents of the occasion at least 2 weeks before the event. This way you reduce the risk of disappointment on the day. More often than not, parents will reply to invitations, however don’t solely rely on RSVP slips. Get in touch personally.
It is important for children to have fun at a party, otherwise why would they bother? However, spending hours arranging game after game for them to play is highly unadvisable. Children will create their own fun and find plenty of things to keep them entertained. Too many games can cause children to become restless, agitated and bored.
Creating a mixture of games is desirable; some loud, some quiet. Games such as musical chairs, pass the parcel and treasure hunt can be accompanied by storytelling and face painting; allowing a break in between active play. Five games is plenty, anymore and you run the risk of tears and tantrums.
When purchasing and preparing food for a children’s party try to avoid over stocking on sugary items. As we are all too aware, sugar overstimulates children, leading to disruptive and over exaggerated behaviour. This doesn’t mean that buffet tables should be crammed with carrot sticks, lentils and tomatoes; keeping treats to a minimum is however a tactical decision that holds many advantages. Foods such as sandwiches, pizzas and crisps are all fine, just leave the treats for the goody bags when they are ready to go home (in the presence of their own parents who, let’s be fair, will do a better job of controlling them than you will).
Party bags are another thing that can be more trouble than they’re worth. At the end of a successful day, as you say your goodbyes to kids and parents all with huge smiles on their faces, you are presented with the ultimate stand-off; between the child who got the best sweets and the dissatisfied (almost fuming) child who feels let down by his goodies. Due to this common occurrence, it is advisable to scrap girls’ and boys’ bags and create a universal, unisex one, pleasing everyone.
If parties are planned well in advance then the day should run smoothly and be a great treat for anyone who is involved. The hardest part of it all, of course, is deciding which music is deemed cool and what is not. I’ll leave that one to you!
Earnest Parenting: help for parents planning parties.