Party Tips & Tricks
We know how time consuming it can be to plan an event or party! And to think people do this every year for their child’s birthday?
Well, we hunted around for some of the best ideas and tips for a successful birthday / event and guess what? We came up with an important list of things to take the stress away, from what should be, a happy, fun-filled & exciting day!
A successful party doesn’t have to be extravagant, or maybe it does? Whatever you choose though, it can still be the perfect day for your special human without stress or fuss!
There is a lot to consider. Where should you start? How do people pull together these amazing parties & events that all look so effortless and perfect?
More often than not, kids just want to get together and play with their friends – most kids can be easy to please, however to make your day runs smoothly for the children & adults involved, follow these hints & tips:
- Pick a date. Make sure this date suits your family and your child’s besties who will be invited. Realistically, no date will suit everyone and there will always be people who won’t be able to make it. So set a date that is good for your family, most importantly and stick to it.
- Set a budget. Most parents have a budget because as we all know – money doesn’t grow on trees and life can get super pricey at the best of times. So set a budget and work around that. Be realistic and do what works within your means.
- Create a “To-Do List” (oh by the way, you can download a FREE one from our website at www.partybarn.com.au under the FAQ section) – How’s that for convenience?
A list can not only help you FEEL organized, but keep you focused on the schedule and prevent us from feeling overwhelmed. Tick or highlight each item as you complete it. From personal experience here at Party Barn, we know that as parents, we are constantly having to think about 7 billion things at once, so having a list for the 1 out of 7 billion things you are doing at the time – it helps! Immensely!!
- Decide on location. Would you like to host the event or party at your own place or would you like to hold the event at a location outside of the home – an entertainment space or children’s venues are also available through the Party Barn website. A home party is a great way to be creative in your own home, however sometimes can mean there is more work for you to do (especially at clean up time). Venues can also be fabulous however it’s always best to book in advance as they can be popular. Some can offer catering and others allow you to bring along the whole party, including food, people, furniture & decorations – the list is endless, depending on what the venue provides. Look for a venue that suits your child’s interests. Examples are : indoor play centers, pottery playrooms, disco venues, gaming centers or vehicles … just to name a few – and always remember, it’s best to book in advance rather than last minute to avoid disappointment.
- Select a theme. Themes can be endless and sometimes overwhelming as there are SO many to choose from. Incorporate your child’s interests and allow them to be part of the decision making if possible.
- Create a guestlist. Keeping the budget in mind, think about how many people you would like to invite. A way of keeping the guest list down, would be to do an all-girls or all-boys party, or even a few close friends at the child’s favourite play center or venue. Another way of keeping the numbers low, if possible, allow the child to choose 5 closest friends to have more of an intimate occasion rather than a larger event.
- Choose a time. Depending on the child’s age, consider nap times and a time when your child is at their best. Do mornings suit better or afternoons? Toddlers are known for having more energy and smiles in the morning rather than at 4pm when it’s possibly feeding or bath time.
- Keep it short. Not sure how long the party should go for? Usually for younger babies or toddlers, a maximum of 2 hours is plenty until they then start showing tired signs. For older children (& adults) – at least 2-3 hours. Energy levels are higher and older children will be able to sustain this a lot better!
- Invitations. Not sure where to start? Party Barn not only caters for venues, decorations, cakes, food & activities, but also Invitations. If you don’t want to spend too much timeon writing these out (as it can be timely), engage one of our suppliers. Include date, start and finish time, location & an RSVP date and phone number or email address. If necessary, including parking information, special requirements or requests such as “bring your bathers” or “bring a hat”. Remember to send invites at least a few weeks in advance. Sending them at the last minute may mean that most people may already have plans.
- Decide if you want parents to stay. In the younger years, parents would most likely want to stay to ensure their child is having fun in a safe environment. Most parties become “drop-off” parties around the age of 6 or 7 – depending on what you feel comfortable with. There is no hard and fast rule on this and definitely no pressure or expectation. Sometimes, the parents are welcome to stay to have a chat and nibble with other parents too!
- What food to provide? Stick to ‘basics” for kids parties. You can’t go wrong with picky platters or grazing tables, individually wrapped up boxed food (like a snack pack) for each individual child, or finger food like mini pizzas, mini sandwiches, vegies & fruit sticks, fairy bread or cookies. The options are endless – but remember, most kids are at the party to play and most of the time they will choose to play rather than eat. Keep it simple, yet yummy! Oh and of course, don’t forget the cake! Again, cakes usually need to be ordered at least a few weeks in advance if ordering through a supplier.
This is also the time you may like to consider if you will hand out ‘goodie bags’ at the end of the party to each child who attended. Again, Party Barn has suppliers who offer this service and the options are endless.
- Entertainment options. From face painters to balloon twisters, jumping castles and outdoor hire equipment – you could literally make the festival come alive! Choose wisely and remember to book the suppliers in advance as they do book up very quickly, sometimes months in advance!
- Activities. Children love to engage in group play at parties. Musical chairs, musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey and pass the parcel are just a few to mention. Consider the age of the children and the number of the group. Large groups can sometimes get a little trickier however these games are designed to engage small or larger groups. Smaller group activities can involve ones such as “decorate your own cookie”. This also means 1 less task for you, whilst you engage the children to create their own treat cookie 😊
- Find your tribe. Doing all this alone (or with the help of your chosen suppliers) can still be a lot to do and think about on 1 day. Find your tribe. Gather a couple of close friends or family members to assist on the day with guiding the activities throughout the event or packing away at the end.
- Prepare for the unexpected. EEekkk… Yes. Some things don’t always go to plan. Is the weather unpredictable, yet you planned to have a party in the park or outside? Always have plan B just in case. Kids will be kids and sometimes can hurt themselves when they are excitedly running around, so having a first-aid kit on hand is always helpful too for those minor mishaps!
- Open gifts later. You will find, both your child and you will appreciate it much more when the party is over and you can finally sit down with a cuppa, watching your child open their gifts. This prevents gifts getting lost and children may also want to play with the toys they receive rather than enjoying their time with their friends. Allowing gifts to be opened later, once everyone has left, can encourage your children to focus on 1 thing at a time and not feel overwhelmed by a house full of people as a load of new buzzing toys to play with.
So, Happy planning! We know, this sounds like a lot – That’s ok, we’ve got your back! Contact one of our fabulous Party Planners to assist you with all of the above! Good luck & Enjoy your next event!