Welcome to Party Tip Tuesday! Today we’re featuring Catherine of Smart Party Planning. Catherine is here to share tips with us on how to keep all of the little party guests entertained and involved. She has some fun activity ideas and more so let’s jump right into it.
1) What is Smart Party Planning?
Smart Party Planning is a combination of party ideas, themes, decorations, food, party printables and much much more. It caters for everyday people on an everyday budget, showing that unique and special parties can be created by everyone regardless of their creativity level. There is also an ETSY shop in the pipeline for printable party needs.
2) What is one party planning element that you think a lot of parents may be forgetting?
One of the main elements that I often see overlooked at parties is the music. Even while reading this many of you may feel that music isn’t actually a party element…and there sits my point!
Music is so incredibly important for creating a vibe and filling in the blank space! Just as decorations fill in the visual space, music fills the air space. Music should be set at a level where it is background noise. By that I mean it should not be blaring out to be all you can hear, but it should be at a level whereby if you were to turn it off, you would notice something missing. How many times have you been to parties where people seem to be standing around, without much talking….maybe only a few guests have arrived and it feels kind of awkward. I bet there wasn’t any background music!
For the little ones you may like to have Hi 5 or the Wiggles, something lively in the background. Older children may have a favourite pop group or artist they would like to listen to. It doesn’t have to match the theme…this could get quite tricky otherwise. Just remember the music is a “filler”. If you have people wishing the music is turned off….it is too loud!
3) Can you give us some samples for party activities for children aged 5-10?
Kids love to be occupied, therefore activities at a party are an absolute must. If your party has a theme (which I strongly suggest it does), then pick an activity that matches that theme. For instance, if the theme is a fairy or princess party, you could have a craft station for the girls to make up fairy wings or a tiara. For a pirate party they may like to make a pirate hat or cardboard sword.
If you have the room you could organize a treasure hunt, with either written or picture clues. This would be great for parties that have an adventure or explorer theme.
Girls of this age love pampering themselves and spa parties have become increasingly popular. You can easily set up some make-up stations, and let the girls paint their nails and toes. They could relax with their feet in a bucket while reading a magazine and sipping on some pink lemonade….sounds divine doesn’t it!
If you are stuck with matching an activity to your party theme, why not try out a photo booth. Again if you are not very crafty, this is still a great option. The photo booth does not need to be extravagant and some fabric or table cloths are all that is needed as a backdrop. Then supply some dress up props and the kids would have endless fun.
4) What tips do you have for making sure all of the little party guests feel included in the festivities?
No matter how hard you try to make the party inclusive for all the little guests, there will always be one or two children that are slightly shy and not as eager to get involved. You will generally find however that with a little encouragement, these children will happily become involved. You will probably know in advance who these children will be, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for them.
If your child has an older sibling, maybe assign them the task of being ‘chum’ to the shy child. This would also make your older child feel important on the day with their special job! Otherwise this job will be down to you.
Having activities at the party will help avoid any children from feeling left out. Organized activities cater for all, and with gentle encouragement from you, the shy child may be the last one to get stuck in, but they will when all the other children are doing so. Without activities in place, shy children can often feel left out with nothing to do. Rather than having free run free play time as a party activity, it would be a good idea to have activities planned in advance, which will make it a lot easier to ensure all the children are involved and having a good time.
5) What do you suggest for parents that are looking for a unique non-edible party favor for a child’s party?
Party favors can literally be everything and anything! While edible party favors are always a crowd favourite, it really is easy to think outside of the box and provide a favour that is non-edible and still loved by the kids!
While there are some lovely crafty party favors you could spend hours putting together, this often isn’t practical for a lot of moms, especially when you have 10 thumbs and no fingers! But that’s okay, there is no need to despair as there are plenty of other options available.
Some great and easy party favors are often the simplest of things. Bubbles are a great example…..all kids LOVE bubbles! They are cheap and no preparation is required. To spruce them up you could add a personalized label with either the child’s name or a thank you tag and add some ribbon – then you’re done!
It is a good idea to link the party favour to the theme of the party wherever possible. For example you could have a fairy wand, glitter fairy dust and stickers for a fairy party or some gold coins, pirate pencil and notepad….for a pirate party. Most of these items can be found in $2 shops, so have a search and you will be amazed at what you can find.
Party favors are not just for the crafty people out there, and if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body you can still find something amazing.
All photos are courtesy of Smart Party Planning.
We’d like to send a big Thank You to Catherine for being featured in this Party Tip Tuesday! Be sure to follow her social media accounts (you’ll find the links on the left side of the Smart Party Planning site) to keep updated with the latest creative ideas.
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