What I learned from being at over 500 Children’s birthday parties and how it can help your plans.

What I learned from being at over 500 Children's birthday parties and how it can help your plans.

Over the years I have been to numerous Children’s birthday parties entertaining and have seen some great ideas that parents have utilised for a more enjoyable party. I thought it was only fair that I pass that on to you! I wrote this article from actual experience of things I’ve seen from my bookers that I think you will benefit from. This isn’t a collection of ideas I’ve found from google searches – this is in the trenches stuff from the front line of children’s birthday parties across the Southern Counties. I do hope it helps and I will come back to update this article as new ideas present themselves. Good luck with the party planning, if there is anything I can help with, please ask.

Cardbox Catering is the way forward

It is so much easier to hand the children their food in a cardboard than to put on a big spread of food. This is a trend I have seen at children’s parties over the recent years and I am seeing it more and more. This reduces all the food wastage from a party and makes planning it easier. The usual approach is to self catering is ‘buy more than you  need’. You save a lot of time on clearing up too. Put the food in boxes and make life easier. Bring a few extra boxes in case theirs a few extra guests.  Before finalising your party menu, a quick check with other parents about any dietary needs is essential. It’s a thoughtful gesture that ensures every child can enjoy the treats without any worries.

Poundland: Your Party Supplies Haven:

Don’t overlook the treasure trove that is Poundland when hunting for party supplies. They do have quite a big range of your party essentials. At the time of writing this article (January 2024) Unfortunately Poundland are not sponsoring me. I’m not sure ‘Sponsored by Poundland’ is what I want.

Say no to Piñatas!

I have never understood blindfolding a child, giving them a stick and ask them to whack something they cant see when other children edge closer. Because they do it America? Ahhhh…lets let the Americans keep that brutal tradition. I have actually seen this go wrong and end in tears. Also the cardboard boxes that serve as the pinatas are hard to split open with a little stick, it takes for ever for a child to break it open. Usually the mum has to intervene. It’s so bad I can’t bring myself to talk about this anymore otherwise I will begin to sound like Victor Meldrew* (* old dude who used to moan a lot on a 90’s sitcom)

Looking after mums and dads:

You parents have a lot to remember keeping the little ones happy. The food, the venue, the party bags, crikey that’s a lot. I salute you! The one thing that I see quite often overlooked is to look after the parents. I get it, you’ve a lot on your plate (jammie dodgers and finely chopped carrots possibly) and to cater for the parents is stretching the resources. If you do have the extra pair of hands on the day (rope granny into help) here’s a few suggestions. Put chairs out for the parents. I’ve noticed that parents will never go fetch a chair for themselves. If you’ve got time to do so then great. When I’m at a party I usually do this if I have time. Secondly, don’t forget the tea and coffee. It’s a small addition that parents will certainly appreciate! A nice brew makes the afternoon that little bit nicer. Don’t forget the biccys! Mmmm bourbons.

I’m occasionally asked by parents what games I do in my parties and it’s always a bit of a mouth full to explain so I have wrote this for greater clarity. To begin with, none of my games are elimination based which means no one is ever ‘out’. This ensures all the children are engaged throughout and are not going to become bored which is very important to me. On to the games!

Character statues
I tell the children to dance and when the music stops to freeze and impersonate a well known character (superheroes, Disney princesses etc). I’ll pick the most creative one each time ensuring that everyone wins. If there are a lot of children, I’ll pick multiple winners each time so by the end they have all won.
Why it’s good
– The children enjoy being on their feet, if they don’t want to pretend to be a character they will usually just  freeze normally so they still feel involved. It’s  easy to understand and we can play it instantly. The children are never bored in this game and are always riveted throughout. It’s been so good over the years.