Home Birthday Parties for Children
by Tash Hughes of
So many of us look back with pleasure
on the childhood birthday parties we went to. We
remember the ice cream, cake, party games and excitement
of the piles of presents.
Yet many children today consider a
home birthday party to be a rarity, a treat. They donít
often get invited to simple home parties so they have
When my daughter turned 5, she and
her friends were very happy to have time to play and use
their imaginations in group play in a way they donít
normally get the chance to do.
It isnít really that hard to organise
a home party, and it certainly can cost a lot less than
going to an activity centre or fast food place.
Children of all ages can enjoy a home
party; you just need to adjust the activities and time
frames to suit.
Here are some tips for making the
party fun for the kids and easy for you:
Limit the party to one or two rooms
of the house. This makes them easier to supervise as
well as meaning less cleaning up.
Play games and eat outside if the
weather allows. Not only is it easier for keeping
things tidy, fresh air is good for everyone and being
outside like that is something different for many
If you include prizes for games,
make sure you have enough prizes for every child, and
make sure every child wins one. You can make the rules
up as you go along; for instance, the prize may go the
most careful or the most enthusiastic, rather then the
first or the best.
Apply some structure to the party,
but also allow children time to just play and choose
their own activities. You might find that giving them
play time between organised games can work well.
Old fashioned games like pass the
parcel and pin the tail on the donkey are still
favourites, especially as they are not often played
anywhere but at home parties. You can adjust these
games to suit the ages of the children invited and the
party Ė maybe it becomes pin the wand on the fairy or
the patch on the pirate.
Decorations help set the scene for
a party as something different to normal, something
special. It is always nice to have balloons hang up
and then send one home with each guest. Decorations
can be added to suit the theme of the party, but they
donít have to be overly fancy.
A few balloons hanging off the gate
or fence is fun as well helping guests find your
house. Even Passers by get some pleasure out of seeing
balloons out the front of a party.
The cake is obviously a feature of
any party. Children will happily eat it no matter what
it looks like, but there is a thrill in seeing a
special cake. You donít have to be a cake decorating
genius, or spend a fortune on an ordered cake, to have
a special cake. Cover a normal cake in icing and stick
on some lollies, make a face from fruit pieces, have
individual cakes and decorate each one, use weird
coloured icing or use multi-coloured icing. You could
even make a cake out of lamingtons or doughnuts in a
tower drizzled with chocolate or strawberry sauce.
Get involved. You donít need to
play with the children every minute of the party Ė in
fact, itís better if you donít Ė but some playfulness
on your part will increase their enjoyment. For
instance, dress to the theme in some way, allow the
wrapping paper to lie around, fall down in
ring-a-ring-a-rosie or have a dance with them.
Play music the kids will like Ė
whether it is Playschool songs or the Wiggles, or the
top 10 pop songs, music can keep the party happy and
Involve your child in the planning
process. Ask what they want in terms of a theme and
activities so that the party suits them. Of course,
you set the limits and account for the fickle nature
of young children, but make it feel like it actually
is their party.
Send out invitations Ė donít assume
children can make verbal invitations accurately. For
children, you need to include a party ending time as
well as the start time, date and place. Also include
your name and contact details and whether any costume
or such is required.
For your childís sake, follow up
invitations not replied to as they will be heart
broken to have few or no children at the party. If
numbers are dwindling, catch it early and compensate
for it with more invitations or some other treat.
Tash Hughes is
the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses
in preparing all written documentation and web site
content. Tash also writes parenting and business articles for
inclusion in newsletter and web sites.