In our home, kids parties are embraced. Weird, right? I think it’s mostly because we are only crazy enough to host one every second year and I genuinely love to cook for friends and family. I do get it though; kids parties can be stressful, super hard work and not much fun for the host. But, the truth is, they really-honestly-truly don’t have to be this way and they should definitely not be any of these things for the guests, especially the parents that come along. So, here’s to creating a super fun party for everyone that is easy on you too:
1. First things first, ditch the kiddy invites. It can be easy to buy invites off-the-shelf and, granted, there are some great options, but I say ditch those and make your own. Or why not free yourself up even more and send an email invite? (That is exactly what I did, thank you Facebook!) My only rule of thumb is to think about the ‘feel’ you want the party to have – a party invite on brown recycled paper says something very different to a honking big clown face version. Of course you want it to have a kids’ party feel but you want the parents to feel equally included. There’s always a happy medium, always.
2. Serve grown-up tucker, for everyone. It’s not fun to spend the week before the babe’s birthday party making tiny chocolate cars for cookies to sit in or chopping every piece of fruit into uniform star shapes. Oh Lordy, that would age anyone. I say be kind to yourself and serve just a few options that everyone will eat. It will save you time, your guests will love it and let’s be honest, when it’s a party, kids will eat whatever is on offer as long as there is a big, delicious piece of cake awaiting for them. At my kid’s birthday a few weeks back, I made BBQ pulled pork sliders for everyone. I think every dad there had seconds (a few may have even gobbled down thirds) and every kid ate them too, in some form or another.
3. Host it somewhere ‘noiccce’. Some of the best parties I’ve been to were held in local parks. Uncomplicated, pretty and just plain easy for all involved. Yes, I agree, a kids’-themed climbing gym is super-rad fun for the kids but being outdoors in a park with a nice view, a few balls and a cricket bat is pretty awesome fun for EVERYONE too.
4. Have activities for everyone to do, together. Parents love parties where the kids are constantly entertained and they can jump in too if they feel like it. It’s the ultimate when the kids have eaten lunch, played their little hearts out and then crawl into the car, pooped and ready to sleep all the way home. We especially love it when we can transfer those tired babes from the car to their beds for an afternoon catnap. Winning! In a nutshell, have lots of activities for the kids and parents to enjoy. Pick a park with a playground, maybe bring some extra games along or just have a great big space (fenced in, of course) for the kids to run around and enjoy.
5. Make sure you have fun too.You know the wise, old saying about leading by example? It really is a good one to try out at your next child’s birthday party. I know at my babe’s birthday, a few weeks back, there were a million things I could have been doing but instead I chose to do just a handful of them so that I could have a chat and enjoy the birthday for myself. Here are a few ideas to help you do the same:
- Cut everything that could possibly need to be cut before guests arrive. I’m talking bread rolls, slices, fruit etc.
- Hire a huge container and fill it with ice and water so you’re not constantly refilling jugs
- Have the ‘lunch’ course sitting out when people arrive so you’re not ducking back and forth from the kitchen or car halfway through the party. Parents will love you for this too because their kids can fill up on lunch before the cake and sweet treats start flowing.
What are your golden party tips for making parents want to stick around too?
More ways to throw a memorable kids’ party:
- A modern dinosaur party (no DIY needed)
- 101 adorable first birthday smash cakes
- Ice cream themed birthday party ideas
Image: Stacey Clare