Newest Review: ... party bag fillers, the food, the games, the prizes for the games, the cake, the decorations etc it can be very costly! There are other ... more
Member Name: HJAL
Advantages: Great fun for your children
Disadvantages: Can be hardwork to organise and expensive
I have 2 children, both boys, aged 5 and 2 years old.
I love throwing childrens parties therefore have thrown a party every year since the boy's 1st birthdays.
I find that for the 1st and 2nd birthdays a little gathering in the home seems the best option as anything bigger can leave the little ones feeling overwhelmed and usually leads to unhappy children and unhappy parents.
A little selection of party foods, lots of balloons, toys and nursery rhymes are all that are needed, apart from friends and family of course!
Usually by the time children are 3+years old they have much more friends, usually from taking part in day time activities or nurseries. This means that parties tend to cost that bit more.
I have come to realise that rather than having a party at home it actually can work out a lot cheaper having a party at a venue, such as a play gym, or a farm. Although for my eldest sons 3rd birthday we hired a playbus that came to the house and brought a bouncy castle.
Most parties at venues seem expensive and it can be a large amount of money to pay out all at once, but if you sit down and work out the costs of buying party bags, the party bag fillers, the food, the games, the prizes for the games, the cake, the decorations etc it can be very costly!
There are other bonuses to having a party at a venue. For example there is usually little or no tidying and cleaning to do afterwards, party bags are usually included so you dont have the added stress of having to buy and make them up yourself and the staff provide all the games, activities and food. Also there is no chance of running over the scheduled finishing time of the party. Parties are usually 2 hours long.
If, like a lot of parents, you would prefer to host your childrens parties at home, then planning things carefully is a must.
Send invitations out 2-3 weeks before the party to ensure you know definate numbers a week prior to the party.
Once you know how many children there are you can then start buying party bags and fillers suitable for that age group. Keep fillers to a minimum. A balloon, a toy, some crayons and a little colouring book with a bag of sweets is more than adequate.
Organising games and activities is very important so that children are never bored. Bored children = mischief!
If you have a large garden and the weather is nice you could maybe organise a treasure hunt with clues. (This can be done with younger children that cant read if an adult reads out all the clues for them). There could be sweets/chocolates near every clue and the prize could be a chocolate bar.
Pinata's are also good fun but space is again needed to ensure it is safe for the children.
Other ideas are maybe the theme of your childrens party could be fancy dress. You could have a competition for best costume with a prize for the winner (maybe a book) and runners up prizes (some bubbles). Every other child could be given a lolly for taking part to ensure every child is happy.
I find it easier to plan exact times of when you are going to do each activity and when the children will sit down to eat. It is best to do active games before lunch as you dont want any children feeling ill afterwards.
Keep food light and easy. Try to have healthy food as well as goodies.
A perfect menu could be:
A variety of sandwiches
Make sure you find out any special dietry requirements of the children. You dont want to give a child something they are allergic to!
Music is the key to any childrens party. Nursery rhymes are good for the younger ones but as they get older they will not be interested in them. Party songs such as music man and agadoo are always good thrown in with a bit of pop music. Most children grow up listening to our music and enjoy dancing and singing along to them.
If you are having a birthday cake (which most people do) then you need to leave yourself enough time to cut the cake and put it in the party bags before the parents start arriving.
Make sure that there are enough adults at the party to look after the children safely. If parents are leaving their children then take their name and number just in case anything happens and you need to contact them. Let every parent know what time the party ends.
The most important thing to remeber is to have fun with your children. If you organise and plan everything before hand then this will leave you much more time to enjoy the party. If you are stressed then the children will probably realise this.
Childrens parties can hard work but they are so worth it when you see how happy your child is.
Summary: Overall can be great as long as there is enough planning