I am often asked by parents for advice about how they can make their parties run more smoothly.
I have had the pleasure of entertaining at hundreds of parties over the years. During this time, I have picked up so many useful tips that I’d love to share with you.
My first piece of advice is to keep it as simple as possible for you. Every family, home and child is different. Sit down with your child and ask what they would like the most. Then take the list and remove or change anything that you think would be out of your budget or too stressful. You need to enjoy the day too and there's no point in being stressed to the point where you can't take photos or watch how much your child enjoys their special day!
After you've decided on the plan, it's a good idea to have a little chat with your child to explain what they can expect from the day.
This will prevent any tears or tantrums that might arise from an over-stimulated child.
It’s ok to have a few simple rules in place for your guests. Children like to have clear boundaries set and will be happy to stick to them.
For example, upstairs is out of bounds, no jumping on furniture (I’ve actually never seen this happen, so don’t panic!), make sure that everyone is included in the games etc.
Tidy away any toys that might get broken or damaged and also put any breakable or precious items away for safe keeping.
If you are going to have very young babies or toddlers at your party, remember that there can be many hazards lying around at a party. Plastic wrapping, popped balloons and unsuitable sweets are just some of the things that can be popped into mouths.
Also be mindful of loud music or flashing lights, these might unsettle those with sensory processing issues or special needs (adults as well as children!)
Its a good idea to wait until after the party is over to allow your child to open their presents.
Again, have a chat with your child beforehand to explain that the presents will be placed somewhere safe (bedroom/playroom etc) until the party has ended. They will have something to look forward to when everyone has gone home.
Over the years at kids parties dublin, I’ve been witness to many brand new toys being broken, lost or fought over because they’ve been opened during a party.
Opening them afterwards will also give you a chance to take note of who has gifted what, so that you can send thank you notes afterwards.
Teaching your child to send thank you notes sets up a very important lesson for life about gratitude and friendship.
If you know that your pet is nervous around loud noises or would prefer quiet time, place it in a quiet bedroom, away from the party or maybe arrange beforehand to have a neighbour take care of it for the duration of the party.
Children can become very excited when they see a family pet, grabbing and screeching and generally being very loud!