Children's parties can be great fun or absolute nightmares for a variety of reasons. That's why Jack has created this superb guide with everything to take into account when trying to plan a birthday party.
Give yourself plenty of time before your party to ensure you've got everything covered. Initially, you need to cover the following things:
• Who you wish to invite
• The type of party you want
• Details of refreshment
• Booking a professional entertainer (Do this as soon as possible as many entertainers get booked up well in advance).
Send your party invitations early. Obviously if someone else in your child's class plans a party on the same day it could cause a lot of problems and may result in you having to change your plans.
It is most important not to mix the age groups. Your two-year-old may get on well at home with your six-year old, but at a party you cannot mix the age groups from two to 10 without problems. Confine the party to those within a year or two of the birthday child's age and don't give in on the doorstep when two year old William arrives with six year old Emma and looks as if he wants to stay.
It's also quite unnecessary for mum to stay because six year old Jane looks tearful on arrival. l often find that the child who arrives looking lost and tearful turns out to be the one who is thoroughly enjoying themselves after a short while.
Many children's parties are spoilt by going on far too long. Experience has shown that two hours is the maximum needed for a really good party for children in the three to ten year old range.
Fancy dress parties can be fun for the older children but not so with the younger group. Many of the costumes worn at fancy dress parties are impractical and sometimes dangerous. There are always those who cannot see, cannot eat, cannot sit and cannot stand, together with those who have sharp sticks, bows and arrows, knives and plastic bags over their heads.
On the day of the party tie a bunch of balloons to the front door. It guides the guest to the party house and sets the mood
As the children arrive, put the presents safely to one side so that they can be opened after the party. This way you will know who brought what so that "thank you" letters can be sent. This also ensures that nothing gets lost or broken, and of course it means the birthday child has something to look forward to after the completion of the party.
The lunch/tea should be a simple affair without too much choice, frills or ceremony. Whatever we adults like to think, our children, on the whole, are not sophisticated nor do they have educated tastes in food. I have seen the most expensive foods ignored or wasted while the crisps and hula hoops have been devoured.
Don't serve ice cream, sweets or other refreshments once the magic show has begun - it's asking for trouble! Most of the food will end up on the floor and their sticky fingers will get everywhere.
Save squeakers, blowers and balloons till the end or they could ruin the party.
If parents and other adults watch the show please ensure they sit at the back and behave themselves! Many parties are spoiled by noisy adults in the room.
If you want a good party, plan it, keep it simple, keep it short. Restrict mixing the age range and if you want peace of mind, book a good professional children's entertainer, like Jack Stephens, to impress your guests and make the day extra special!