Stop The Madness Of Today’s Kids’ Parties! What Does Your Child Really Want?

Did you know that when you research “planning a children’s party” online one of the initial responses is a 37 point checklist? Follow that with hundreds of “tip” pages, themed Pinterest boards, ads, even apps!
Have you got time to plan a kids’ party in that detail? No? Thought not! Let’s stop fuelling the madness, take a deep breath and focus on a shinier, sharper top 5 ultimate party planner to do list:

1. Decide what’s important. Here are some suggestions…
“Marking the milestone of my child getting another year older and making them feel special for the day.”
“Encouraging my child to develop strong social networks and giving them opportunity to practice good social skills.”

2. Find out what one thing is most important to your child. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to provide everything on their list or their birthday will be spoiled. Getting everything they want is an unrealistic precedent to set.
Speaking of which…

3. Weigh up your resources. Do you have time? Do you have skills? Do you have money? Chances are you won’t have all three. Once you’ve worked out what you’ve got you can think about the best way to use these resources. Concentrate on what you identified as important. Remember that your time is best invested by spending quality time with your child, not by learning how to fold napkins into the shape of Pokémon!

4. If you are outsourcing preparations or services find people with similar values. Check their reviews, insurances and safety checks but also talk to them. Tell them what is important to you and your child; use their experience and knowledge to save you time and stress. Where do you think all those hints and tips on search engines originate from? You don’t need to spend hours wading through detailed articles to find what you’re looking for!

5. Talk to the parents of the other children. Overwhelmingly, the major stress of parents seems to be expectations of other parents! Do you need them to RSVP by a certain date? Can they bring siblings? Is it ok to leave the children and come back later?

If you are concerned about the behaviour or needs of another child then ask their parents how to manage this. Most parents will be grateful that you are trying to include their child and acknowledging that they are the experts on their own children’s needs. Pass on any information to any entertainers so that they can accommodate needs without disrupting the experience for other children.

Most importantly, remember that you are not alone! Use social media or even dare to chat at the school gates! Develop a culture that will reduce uncertainty, set boundaries and steer your planning such as:
• we’re all going to do cake and a balloon instead of party bags
• we’re all going to serve simple healthy snacks
• we’re all going to stick to a £5 budget for gifts

Keep in mind who is at the centre of your planning (your child!) and remember that all they want is fun, friends and good memories.

Article courtesy of Kate Badger from The Academy of Fun