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Top Tips for a Successful Children’s Party

PTA Fundraising

Although most parents opt for a middle of the afternoon party (2 – 4pm) – there are some drawbacks that you might want to consider:

If you are going to serve food – have it at a time when the children would normally eat i.e. around Lunch time or Tea Time. If you have it in the middle of the afternoon, the kids will have eaten lunch, not be ready for tea and they will eat next to nothing. This means have the party from 11 – 1pm or from 4pm – 6pm and they will do better out of this activity. It also means their parents don’t have to feed them at this time (whereas they would if the party was from 2 – 4pm)

By having a party earlier or later in the day means that it frees parents up to do something after or before the party. If it’s in the middle of the day, it makes it difficult to go anywhere or do anything before or after the party as it ties you down.  By having it at say 11 – 1pm it then gives you the rest of the day to get on with things.

Don’t think that you will get 30 minutes out of the food – ten is more likely. Even if you are eating at a normal time (Lunch/ Tea Time) whilst the kids will eat more, they are still very excited and after a few mouthfuls of crisps, half a sandwich and a drink  they will be off again – at this point they need to be engaged again (party games/spinning plates etc.).

Don’t play elimination games – this will lead to tears and tantrums, the person out is not engaged, has nothing to do and feels left out – play games that don’t eliminate and keep all the children in the game the whole time.

Don’t give the birthday cake out at the party. After you’ve sung Happy Birthday, cut up the cake and wrap it in a napkin and send it home in their party bag. This way you don’t have to worry about having to clean up stamped on birthday cake from all around the venue/house.

If you are going to employ a children’s entertainer – check out videos and references, ask for recommendations – I’ve seen and heard of some horror stories out there. If you are going to have a Disco make sure that the kids are engaged (fun/games/competitions etc.) rather than someone turning up and just playing music.

Whilst any entertainer will be more than happy for parents to stay and watch, please don’t let them sit at the back chatting. The children find it difficult to concentrate if there is consistent noise from the back and they can’t hear the entertainer. You can’t expect a child to sit and watch if their parents aren’t and after all, the party is for the children, not the adults!

Get the entertainer you want – even if it means shifting the party by a day or week. Bear in mind what will your child remember – the entertainer on the day or their party wasn’t on a specific day. I know some parties that have been held up to 1 – 2 months late due to this reason

With 1st birthdays the guests don’t necessarily come bang on time and often can arrive later than then invitation time. With this in mind, book the entertainer for as late as possible, to make sure all the guests have arrived.

For a 9+ party they are slightly older now and want to be treated as such. Recommend having these later on from 5 – 7pm or 6 – 8pm or 7 -9pm especially if they are going to stay for a sleep over. Even if you’re not having them stay over, by having it at a later time makes them feel more grown up and mature.

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