Organising a kids party is great fun!
No, wait! Come back! I’ll explain…
How many times have you dropped your kids off at a party, only to witness chaos as soon as the door is opened by a hassled mother whose eyes are begging you to take her away from all of this and put her out of her misery?
Behind her, two kids are swinging from the light fittings; another pair are tearing up the carpet, presumably trying to find a hidden entrance to the magical world of Narnia; and the rest are deeply engrossed in a who-can-stuff-the-most-hamsters-into-your-mouth contest.
It needn’t be like that…
The only reason that kids parties dissolve into little sessions of anarchy is boredom – and that, dear parent, is all down to you.
“But, I tried so hard!”, I hear you cry. Yes, you probably did: lots of crisps, a big cake, and plenty of balloons.
The thing is, you broke the number one rule of kids parties. The rule that you must obey at all costs, unless you want your house destroyed by a legion of little monsters…
NEVER, EVER PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS!
Here’s a secret: kids hate the game. Even if they once enjoyed it, they’ve played it at every birthday, Christmas and end of school party they’ve ever been to.
Plus, you’re the one who has to cope with a dozen or more bored kids careering round the edges of the room while two determined finalists battle is out for that final seat.
That leads me nicely to rule number two:
NEVER PLAY ANY GAME THAT INVOLVE KIDS BEING ‘OUT’
If you play games that keep all the kids involved from start to finish, you’ve got their attention – and when you’ve got their attention, they aren’t scratching their name into the varnish of your dining table. Simple, really.
Here are a few more tried and tested party laws:
GET RID OF THE PARENTS
Aside from the ones that are there to help, parents get in the way. Plus, their kids won’t really start to enjoy themselves until their figure of authority has gone.
GIVE EACH KID A NAME STICKER
Not only will you remember who everyone is, they also help quieter children to break the ice, and you can write everything from parent’s mobile phone numbers to special dietary requirements on them, thus avoiding needless stress.
See how easy it can be?
ALWAYS HAVE A PARTY THEME
It’s the 21st century. A few party poppers and re-lighting candles just don’t do it anymore. A party theme gets the kids excited from the moment they receive their invitation, and gives you something to do on the big day as they start to arrive. The early kids can make extra bits of costume or help with last minute decorations while they’re waiting for their friends to turn up.
Then, run the party in this order:
GAMES – FOOD – PRESENTS
It may seem cruel to the party child, but always leave the opening of the presents to the end of the party to avoid gifts getting broken or lost in the fun. And if you get the kids running wild after they’ve had food, you’re just asking for trouble!
That’s all there is to it. Follow those six simple rules, and you’ll enjoy the party almost as much as your kids. Plus, you’ll be considered a hero at the school gates on Monday morning!
And remember to have fun! It is a party after all!