Parties are great, aren’t they? We love it when people get together, share stories and laughter, making memories for themselves and their children.
But it can be tough hosting a party that adults and children enjoy in equal measure. If children need a lot of adult supervision, it can mean a small posse of adult guests constantly chasing after children, keeping them out of mischief.
So how can you be the host that pulls off a child and adult friendly party? Here are five useful tips…
#1 Stay away from kid’s activities that need a lot of adult supervision
Take a browse through the endless accounts on Pinterest and you will come across some amazing ideas for kid’s activities and games for your party. But, there is a problem: they can sometimes require a small army of adult supervisors which means a group of people not necessarily enjoying themselves to the max.
Keep it simple to encourage children to find their own way with things, with just an overseeing adult role rather than getting involved. Craft tables work well, as do self-serve areas for food and other small games too.
#2 Have game hubs
Children are usually adept at getting to know each other, without the interference of well-intentioned of adults. A fantastic way to encourage safe play with minimal supervision is to group together games and crafts that kids can simply enjoy at their own pace and in their on time.
Again, don’t be tempted to go too elaborate – bottles of bubbles, complete with ‘fly swatters’ to fan the bubbles around work great!
#3 Inside toys to the outside
There are all kinds of toys that we collect over the years and we are adept at segregating them to ‘inside’ and outside’ toys. Frankly, if you haven’t got enough bikes for everyone, put them away.
Think ‘sharing toys’ and toys that can be used by more than one person. ‘Singular’ toys are the ones that cause the arguments. So, get tents and tunnels, play mat with map, boxes of cars and trucks, trains and tracks etc. and have them on the lawn and/or the patio, if this is where the party is at.
Top tip – favourite toys are not usually for public consumption or sharing. Avoid meltdowns by putting these favourite toys away – every toy needs a rest from time to time – and bring back out when the party is over and guests have gone home.
#4 Messy activities or not…?
Outside parties are ideal for messy play BUT they can be a nightmare to supervise – and they do need to be supervised.
Frankly, messy play is more effort than its worth, especially if you want to create an adult and kid party that flows, and is a sea of calm and happiness.
Not only does it mean a higher level of supervision, it also means a change of clothes, water being trampled into the house, slightly stressed parents that clothes are being stained or ruined, arguments, towels being used… you get the picture!
Stay away from messy play and overly messy crafts, and save your sanity.
#5 A child-friendly menu
The other source of stress at any event parents take their kids too is what there is to eat and drink. Some children have a fantastic palate, eating anything and everything in sight.
Other children, however, tend to be pickier with it comes to food but when a child is hungry, cue tantrums, belly aches and tears.
Essentially, the best food for kids at any party is simple fare, without too many clashing flavours and colours. As well as simple but delicious flavours, keep food bites small too. When there is so much excitement and so much to do at a party, children want to grab things quickly.
Keep drinks simple too, staying away from too many colour-ridden fizzy drinks that can make children giddy or sick.
Our Best Advice…
… don’t sweat the small stuff.
For adult parties, small details can make all the difference – pretty fairy lights, tea lights on the tables, flowers, lanterns, serviettes and more – all help to create the mood and ambience.
We are not saying, ‘don’t bother with a table cloth’. What we are saying is that some of the smaller details can quickly turn into a nightmare. Making 100 fairy cakes may be possible with your superb baking skills, but then you must ice and decorate them all too.
Keep it simple, and you will keep the party flowing, with children enjoying themselves and their parents relaxed.