I’ve been a parent for just over 4 years now and it’s taken me 7 birthday parties to figure out where I’ve been going wrong. And the answer is simple: I’ve been hosting them at home! Last weekend Miss A was invited to two different 4 year-old parties. These smart mothers had the sense to outsource the parties. Clever. Both parties were a hit and it has struck me that this could be the way to go.
Children’s birthday parties have changed a lot in recent years. In the last generation, most parties were celebrated modestly at the family home where ‘Pin the tail on the Donkey’, and ‘Pass-the-parcel’ were de rigour. A themed party or a fancy pants cake were about as exciting and unique as they got. And there’s nothing wrong with that – we all loved them! But, in the words of Bob Dylan, The times they are a-changin’! And I think it might be time for me to change party tactics.
Even though I’ve kept things simple for my kids’ birthday parties at home, it’s still a huge effort, and there’s a layer of stress that seems unavoidable. Whilst it probably costs more to outsource a party, if you can afford it, it may just save your sanity. There are many reasons why it pays to pay someone else to have the party.
1. It’s less effort
2. It’s less stress
3. It’s less preparation
4. It’s less… correction… there’s NO CLEAN UP!!!
Miss A attended a 4th birthday party at the very sweet Petit Atelier. Petit Atelier is french for Little Sudio. It’s a place for little ones to create (read: make mess somewhere else) and explore their imaginations. If you’re in Melbourne and looking for a great venue to host a party for any preschooler age, then this could be the place for you. (And in case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post).
They specialise in Arts and Crafts Parties with a colourful and creative edge! The party that Miss A attended was a “Fairy Tale Princess Themed Party” aimed at younger children aged 2-5. As soon as the party began the kids adorned aprons and they set to work on a craft activity, led by the staff, making and decorating crowns and treasure chests. Following the craft activity, Snow White herself appeared for story time. The kids sat entranced for 15 minutes listening to…. yep, you guessed it, Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. After the story it was time for party food and cake. And at the end of this, the party was over, 90 minutes after it began, which I think is the perfect duration for a preschooler.
The reason parties like this work so well is that they gets kids engaged in creative play and focusing on an activity. Everyone knows it can be hard to entertain preschoolers at home as they tend to play alongside each other rather than interacting. When you have a party at home the onus is on the parent to create interaction. Of course, you could do this at home – I’ve heard of brave parents hosting baking parties (where they get the kids to decorate cup cakes) but that seems like an awful lot of mess to clean afterwards!
The party was a smashing success and all the little party guests were able to take home their creations. The take home party bags were a hit and the take home message for parents was clear: If you don’t really like having kids’ parties at home, have them elsewhere, if you can afford to. And the same applies to the birthday cake. If baking isn’t really your thing, buy a cake (and it doesn’t have to be in the same league as this Snow White cake). For Miss H’s birthday I bought a cake from the supermarket, iced it in thick buttercream at home and the kids decorated it. Success.
I’ve got just 4 weeks to hatch a plan for Miss J’s 3rd birthday party….stay tuned.
For some great kids birthday party ideas, check out Amazing Kids Parties – they come to YOU and have some great mobile kids party packs available!
Do you have any tips to alleviating the stress of kids’ birthday parties? Do you have them at home or do you outsource? Tips and suggestions welcome!