Think back to your time as a child and it’s not hard to remember playing pass the parcel when all the kids in a birthday party took off one layer of wrapping every time the music stopped. For parents, timing that music to stop on the correct layer is easier said than done, but pass the parcel and musical chairs are two of the great birthday party games that are timeless in their ability to get children involved at parties. Move on twenty or thirty years and kids will still play those two games, but they want more. So what do you do for a bunch of demanding ten year-olds?
The Pool Party
This is a great idea if you don’t like the thought of babysitting a bunch or children, paying for them all to eat and then giving them a party bag to go home with afterwards, while at the same time, the parents get a child-free afternoon. Pool parties organised by your local swimming pool usually stipulate there has to be at least one parent to every two children or something similar because of the health and safety considerations and this means the other parents need to muck in with the party.
The Cinema Party
Similarly, taking all your cherub’s friends to the cinema will mean some parents coming with you because you can’t exactly leave them wander off to the lavatory alone when they need to go and you can’t leave a cinema full of kids to their own devices. In fact, a party anywhere apart from in your own home is a great way to make other parents chip in with a little help and some parents are usually willing to chip in with the budget too, although when you invite someone, you should usually pay.
The House Party
If you are prepared to risk sanity, furnishings and reputation on creating your own birthday party for a bunch of judgemental parents and child peers, then a party at home is an option. First, you need to navigate the politics of whom you invite and who you leave out from the clique and this can be tricky. Cold winter mornings waiting for the school bell to ring can be a lot frostier when certain mothers are avoiding conversation.
Generally, it’s a good idea to provide all attendees with a birthday party bag containing a few special treats and parents, after all, your little one would not have such a great day if their friends had not come along and taken part. The party bags don’t need to be expensive, but all kids love to have something to open and it will keep the green eyed monsters at bay for the duration of the day.
Using the Game to Reward Tactic
There is nothing like creating a winner to make someone feel special, but spraying a few winning prizes around for other guests is just good etiquette. After all, you want the other children to enjoy playing the games so you should really make it a worthwhile exercise for them too because a little enthusiasm is infectious.
A game of musical statues could reward the last three left playing and it’s a great way to get everyone involved. If you don’t know how that game works, it’s simple to learn. All you do is play music and the children need to dance, when the music stops, the children need to hold their pose until it starts again. When they move, they’re out until the next round. Whatever games you play, inclusion is the name of the day and making your children happy comes easy when everyone is included.
Angela Rogers is a mother of three with a few children’s party bag ideas that have served her well. She is a keen blogger and enjoys writing about everything to do with her children.