For anyone that’s spent their fair share of Saturdays in the back garden of other parents watching their kids attacking the nibbles and running around, you already know the drill. But when the baton gets passed to you, there are simple things you can do to make your kids party a bash to remember.
Okay, so this isn’t a newsflash – most everyone at least goes for the themed plates and napkins – but choosing a theme that reflects your child’s special interests really personalizes the party, and makes it easier for you to pull everything together. Some ideas: If your child loves animals, go for a zoo or safari theme. If they love sports, turn your garden or living room into a football field, if your child loves stripes, do everything in stripes!
Fun with the Food
To make the fare more festive, set up interactive stations where kids can have a hand in their meal. Consider a kid-height buffet with faves such as chicken fingers, fries, quesadillas or mini sandwiches, fruit kebabs and veggies and dip. For dessert, think sundae bar, frost-your-own cupcake station or a fruit smoothie bar. To give a sweet send-off, set up a self-service candy bar and provide take-away bags so kids can choose their favourite treats to bring home.
Beyond the Table
Couches seating and chairs around a table? Good for grown-ups, not so much for kids. Kids are flexible and like sitting on the floor so utilize areas where adults don’t normally like to sit. Create a pillow lounge instead of chair seating or blowing up air mattresses to make “bed lounges.”
Let Kids Do the Decor
Kids love to get creative so try this trick from Gordon: Set up large chalkboards against the walls of the party room or cover the walls in art paper so your guests can create their own party décor.
Definitely plan activities but give kids room to express themselves. For example, Gordon suggests equipping kids with a bevy of props and costumes and having them create their own skit or reenactment of a favourite kids’ film. Another idea: Set up art stations around the party area where kids can choose which projects they want to create. Finally, kids love to dance so give them a chance to get down.
Kids have a ton of energy normally, and when they’re at a party it quadruples. Having babysitters on hand to help out can make life easier. An extra teen or adult can especially come in handy if a shy child needs some encouragement to join the fun. Find a sitter to help at the party right here at Care.com.
Consider hiring an entertainer to wow your pint-size guests. Here again your theme can guide you. Fancy girls’ tea party? Hire a princess in full royal attire to tell stories and give mini-makeovers. For an animal lover’s bash, bring in a reptile wrangler or some other type of critter pro. Other options: A juggler, musical group, puppeteer, or magician. Bonus: It’s wonderful for the parents to also sit back and relax a bit with each other while the kids are enjoying the entertainment.