My kids are aged 3 & 6 years old. They get invited to a lot of parties. Some by people I know (YAY) and some by people I don’t know (Yikes).
Now, I’m not sure if ALL parents feel the same way as I do but, I know the vast majority do …. kids parties are just NOT a whole bunch of fun for us grown up’s are they? You’re standing around with a bunch of strangers, trying to be interested in making small talk, while keeping one eye on your child who’s leaping from the jumping castle or who keeps running off with a friend, while surreptitiously looking at your watch and trying to decide when would be an ok time for you to thank the host and get the hell out of dodge. They’re awkward as all hell and honestly, my idea of the worst kind of way to spend a weekend. All the screaming and the noise and the mess and the chaos, not to mention the awkward small talk. It’s all just too much for me.
From the time I started hosting parties for my kids, six years now, I’ve had one hard and fast rule – to try and make the party as enjoyable for the parents attending, as for the kids! I feel that a kids party should not be a completely dreaded event for the parents attending, I see no reason why parents should have to suffer through the hours of kids party.
There are a number of ways of ensuring this, one of them is that I encourage both parents (if they’re still together) to attend the party, so no one lands up wandering around like a lost fart.
The other, non-negotiable rule for kids parties I host is that there will be grown up drinks for the grown ups!
There was an interesting discussion happening about this very topic on Twitter over the weekend, when one mom commented that she felt awkward offering wine to the parents at her kids party at 9am.
There’s a very simple solution, tailor your offering to the time of day….
9am – 11am Mimosa’s and Champagne for the more adventurous.
11am – 1pm A jug of Pimms and Lemonade
1pm on wards WINE WINE WINE
And of course… for the Dad’s… beer irrespective of the time of day!
I know it makes the party a little more expensive and if that’s now within your budget and you have no religious objection, then there’s also no reason why you can’t invite guests to bring their own too. I’ve attended plenty of parties where guests have been asked to do so. And honestly, as a guest at those parties, I have had no objection for bringing my own wine, I’d far rather do that, than stand around parched or worse, surreptitiously stealing sips from whatever plastic cup filled with weak oros I can find.
It’s also been my experience, 6 years of hosting parties, I’ve hosted 9 kids parties in that time, that at a kids party, no one is going to get shit faced and misbehave, but it certainly does go a long way in creating a more social environment where everybody, including the poor parents who are there because they’re required to be and not because they want to be, have a good time.
My friends will tell you, we host fun kids parties and I can say with 100% certainty it’s because we always focus on creating a sociable and relaxed environment for the parents too.
The other thing I feel is so often neglected at a kids party is suitable and adequate eats for the adults.
In a few years, my girls will be old enough to attend drop off parties, or, God forbid, I will be hosting a drop off party then none of this will be necessary but till then…
What do you do to make your kids party more enjoyable to your adult guests?