Back in the day, I used to perform at kids’ parties. Even though that has changed pretty drastically in the last several years, I still do “kids’ parties” every year that follow these three very important guidelines. I know…a little surprising isn’t it? However, trust me. I can’t even begin to tell you how this will change a party! These three things can literally turn a house full of 7 year old ping-pong balls, bouncing off everything, into a fairly controlled environment where everyone…and I mean everyone, is having fun.
1. Keep the parents!
It seems to be “party protocol” to have the parents drop the kids off and flee the scene like they just robbed a bank. This is a great way to create some gray hairs for display on your head. Kids in a party environment automatically have a 50% ramp in energy. Just imagine kids playing outside during recess and having that in your house. A lot of the reason for this is, the average kid at the party doesn’t have a familiar authority figure around and finds it quite difficult to turn over all power to an adult they’re maybe not very familiar with. So my highest recommendation, is for you to invite the parents as well. I know you might be thinking, no parent is going to stay for a kids’ birthday party. I promise, they will if you do what I’m about to show you. If you’re having entertainment (which I recommend you do), then say to the parents what I instruct other parents to say: “Hey, on the 15th, we’re having ‘Jake’s’ 7th birthday party and it’s really going to be a fun, family get together. We’ve got a great family entertainer coming along with a lot of kids and parents. We would really love for you to come as well!” Add a serious level of control to the young crowd by having the parents there!
2. Family Entertainment
More “party protocol”, when it comes to entertainment, is to have the kids sitting on the floor up front and the parents sitting on furniture or standing in the back. Now, if the entertainer specifically asks for that, then follow their lead! If they’re a professional, let them do what works for them. This tip I’m about to give you, came from a friend of mine that lives in New York and makes close to a half million dollars a year doing kids’ shows. Are you ready? Have the kids and parents sitting together in chairs. My friend said, this was a major turning point for him. This gives it more of a family atmosphere rather than just a kid-like atmosphere. Once again, you will feel there was bigger level of control because the kids were sitting with their parents. I cannot recommend this one enough!
3. Cake and Ice Cream…don’t you even think about it…
Ok, don’t think about what? You have to have cake and ice cream at a party. I couldn’t agree more. Here’s the best time: after the entertainment is over and about 30 minutes before the end of the party. If you feed sugar to kids near the beginning of the party or, heaven forbid, before the entertainment, you are really going to experience the wrath of the children. Don’t let them take over your house. Have the presents and cake be the last thing on the agenda. Plus, you will also avoid the VERY strong possibility of a kid that eats too much sugar and what eventually slows that kid down is when they get sick. I’ve seen it happen more than once. Once that happens, there’s a good chance of the kid not having any fun from that point on. So let’s keep the kids healthy, as well as the interior of your house.
**Two Quick Bonus Tips!**
Here’s a quick tip on getting the parents to your house for the party. Have it early evening! Think about it, most kids’ parties happen on a Saturday and if the parents have been working all week, that may be the only time that they can get some errands done. It’s much more likely that they’ll be able to clear up time in the evening versus having to do it at 11:00 that morning.
For the second quick tip, let’s say that you tried your hardest, followed instructions, and you could only get a few parents tops. There is actually one person that you can invite who’s presence works wonders! No, not Santa Claus (unless you can get him). Believe it or not, it’s a teacher! If most of the kids at the party are in the same class, AND (this is important) they like the teacher, then definitely give the teacher an invitation. The kids will definitely exercise a little more control since they like the teacher and it’s just naturally engraved in their little minds that they need to behave around her. I can remember going to birthday parties when I was in first and second grade and seeing the teacher there. That was a cool thing as far as we (the students) were concerned. It was kinda like, “How did land that party guest?”
So with that, I hope you’re next kids’ party is the best kids’ party you’ve ever had. May all of your houses remain livable.