It’s great fun for your child to have a party in special venues, with interesting themes and activities to do, but it is still a top favourite for children to have a party at home. The excitement is prolonged by being part of all the preparations.
They can join in the baking and icing of the special cake. They can pack the food in bags. And who doesn’t enjoy using a heat sealer? You can create a list of their favourite games, and bring your own ingenuity into play in creating new, imaginative ones. The possibilities are numerous.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, here’s a guideline to follow.
Create a Theme
You know what subjects your kid loves. Create an age-appropriate theme, although most of them can be adapted to any age except tiny children. Adapt everything around that topic – decorations, the cake, and the games.
For boys, a pirate-theme is an ever-popular one, whilst for girls, a ‘Frozen’-theme from the film of the same name seems to be a favourite. Princesses, dragons, cowboys and Indians, motorcars, animals, and other film themes will keep all the children interested and excited.
Plan Adult Helpers
You’ll never be able to do the party on your own, so make sure you have a team on the day. Plan to have about 1 adult for 4 children under the age of 6, and 1 adult for 6 children over that age. Parents do tend to accompany their children to parties, so why not involve them in the games and handing out of food?
Prepare the Food
You don’t have to prepare everything yourself – it is much simpler to buy pre-prepared food. However, even if you prefer to do the latter, there are some activities that are enjoyable for your child to be involved in. It prolongs the party into the week or weeks preceding it, and can be very rewarding. For instance, you can get your child involved in the baking or choosing of the cake.
Going to a shop to order a special cake, or baking and icing it, especially brings delight to any child.
Depending on their age and the amount of time that can be spent on any one activity, your child will develop both skill and empathy—for all your hard work—in getting edibles ready for their friends.
If you do it yourself, you’ll need to plan in advance, as many foods can’t be readied too far ahead of time.
Remember that many children have food allergies or dietary requirements for health or personal reasons. Find out their particular sensitivities, and plan the menu around that.
One tip to save yourself a lot of headaches: avoid nuts at all costs. Those allergies are life-threatening, and you really don’t want a medical emergency on your hands.
The main food-intolerances are to gluten and sugar, so make sure you have food that includes alternatives.
This is where party-packs come in, which is super easy to make when you use a heat sealer. People tend to give plates of food to children at the end of the party. However, with the challenges surrounding food, it is far simpler to pack each child’s specific food into a bag and seal it to avoid contaminants entering each pack. Pop their name or photo on the packet, and give it to them so they can eat when they want to or as supervised by their parents.
The Sweet Nibbles
Don’t include too many sweet items, as parents don’t appreciate the sugar-rush it creates when the children get home.
Ideas for minimal sweet nibbles include chewy sweets. Under no circumstances give them hard or sucking sweets. Children choke very easily. Rather provide soft items, like caramel-cones, or marshmallows.
The Savoury Nibbles
Children actually enjoy savoury nibbles. Most of these don’t need to be packed into their party-bags. You can have:
- Mini-carrots or tomatoes with hummus.
- Crisps and dip.
- Savoury biscuits with fish.
Use your imagination and ask your kid for input!
Plan the Games
Steve Libralon, Unsplash]
Here are a number of suggestions for games:
The Wide Game, or Scavenger Hunt
The Wide Game has to be played on a large property, or in a safe park with lots of trees and other hiding-places. This is how it goes:
- The children are divided into two teams.
- You give each team ‘treasures’, which they then hide from the other team.
- Each group tries to capture the treasure, and can capture children as well.
- The team that gets the other’s well-hidden ‘valuables’ first wins.
Have a prize and consolation-prize handy to keep them motivated.
A Scavenger Hunt is where children search for items that you have hidden all across the area where you play the games.
Games of Hide and Seek
This ever-popular game is simply one where one, two or three children give others the opportunity to hide when they’re not looking. They count down the time before they go and look for the others. The first child or children they find are the next ones to be ‘on’.
Your theme will also determine some of the games. For instance, you can call your Wide Game ‘Pirates Treasure’, or ‘Find the Princess’s Tower’.
Basic catch or soccer games can get children playing and cooperating in teams. They will be something that most children can join in. Just be aware of children with disabilities, and think of ways you can include them.
Plan for Emergencies
The most important plan you can make is for any accident or emergency. Have a First-Aid Kit handy, as well as a doctor or ambulance telephone number.
Your child’s party will be one they remember forever. Make sure that you plan well so that you can also enjoy it.