When you think of kids parties, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are, if you’re like most adults, you think of images of screaming kids, piles of lollies and semi-managed mayhem. Kids and chaos. Things go wrong.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can balance the line between chaos and order, between frantic and fun, between a party you’d rather forget and an unforgettable party.
These twelve tips are sure to make your kids birthday party go a little smoother while making it as fun and memorable for both you and your child.
Top Tips For Kids Parties
1. The First Thing To Do: Choose A Central Theme
If you and your child choose a princess theme, you know the plates you buy will have princesses on them, the games are princess based, and you know your child will want to wear a pretty pink dress. Choosing a theme makes every other decision easier, whether you’re choosing your party supplies, invitations, or cake toppers.
2. Check The Date With Your Kid’s Bestie
There’s nothing more disappointing for a kid when their party is planned, they send out the invites, and then find out their bestie is on holiday in New Zealand and unable to attend.
Kids don’t just want a party, they want to run wild with their friends, especially their best friend. So check their best friends are able to come.
Protip: if you want a funny image for a birthday invite use a happy birthday meme.
3. Balloons. Always Buy Balloons
If you have to distract the wild mob of kids for two minutes while you set up a game—you can turn to balloons. If you need a break for 5 minutes, you can trust balloons to step up.
4. Use A Venue
Balloons can help bring some order to the chaos in your home, but you should first ask yourself a few questions. Do you want kids running around your house? Do you want drawings on the walls and soda on the carpet? Do you want to be exhausted at the end of the party and then have to clean-up?
Perhaps you don’t mind, but many parents are turning away from parties at home, and are choosing to host kids parties at playcentres. For example, Chipmunks have purpose built party rooms for all ages. Since a play centre can take care of the details, you can focus on having fun (making memories) and taking photos (capturing memories).
There are 21 Chipmunks playcentres throughout Australia. But if you’re in Sydney, you can also host a kids party at The Classic Cupcake Co., who also conveniently offer handheld cupcakes…
5. Handheld Foods (Yum!)
Eight pieces of cutlery per person is certainly the way to go if the Queen’s is coming to visit, but you want to avoid them at all costs for kids birthday parties.
Not only are they extra to clean-up, they can be dangerous. Plus, if your food requires cutlery that means you’re overdoing the menu for a kids birthday party.
Kids are happy with simple, fun foods, which is great because you don’t have to spend the day before slaving in the kitchen. Handheld food is simple and delicious—just think of party pies, fairy bread and sausage rolls!
You can even take the idea of handheld foods and apply it to the traditional cake. Every kid can get their very own cake when you give them a birthday cupcake! And why spend hours baking when a specialist like The Classic Cupcake Co. can do the work for you?
6. Hire Undiscovered Talent
Perhaps your sister secretly juggles on the weekend. Perhaps your best-friend can impersonate a Disney character. Or perhaps there’s a drama college nearby with talented acting students hungry for a job. Instead of hiring an expensive clown, you can hire the undiscovered talent and save a buck or two.
7. Share A Party
If your child and one or two of his friends have a birthday in the same month, consider hosting a group party. You can split the costs so you spend less while teaching your kids the lesson that sharing can be fun.
8. Don’t Make The Other Parents Mad With Take-home Lollies
Many parents don’t want their kids coming home with a big party bag filled to the brim with lollies. Not just because they’re worried about a cavity, but they don’t want them gorging on sugar and running wild. They’re hoping they already did that at your party and are coming home to sleep!
Instead, buy lots of art supplies, such as glitter pens, stickers, and stamps. Then break them up the packs and give each child one of each. Parents will be thanking you.
9. Don’t Forget The Grown Ups
Parents look forward to kids parties too. It’s a chance to socialise and relax on the weekend without watching their kids. So don’t treat them like waiters, maids and peacekeepers. Help them have a good time.
You can get them involved in the games, provide plenty of adult-appropriate foods, and even include a treat in the goody bag for them!
10. Prepare The Birthday Boy Or Girl
Being the main attraction, the star of the party, can be overwhelming—especially for 1-3 year olds. And 4-8 year olds are often so wound up with anticipation, that just like Christmas eve, they can’t sleep.
So make sure you have a chat with before their party. Let them know what’s going to happen. Kids can get upset seeing others in their room or playing with their toys, so hide their favourites that they can’t bear to share. And remind them to thank everyone for their presents.
Btw, it’s best to have this chat the night before—they’ll be too excited on the day to listen.
11. Write Lists. Lots And Lots Of Lists
There’s lots to remember, so make it easy on yourself and commit everything to lists. Lists for food. Lists for games. Lists for everything. Even write a list of all the lists you need to check.
12. Don’t Aim For Perfection
Kids don’t care about a perfect party, so don’t stress. All they care about is having fun with their friends. Focus on that and the rest will take care of itself.