Being the host of any party can be a stressful affair at the best of times, but when faced with eight little expectant faces the pressure is really on! Electing to host your child’s birthday party at home, as well as opting to provide the entertainment yourself, are not decisions to be taken lightly – especially when there are many enticing professional party entertainers out there who guarantee stress-free party perfection!
As a family, we love to be creative and like nothing more than getting stuck into any kind of project. And yet, we’ve never been confident enough to host a party of our own. After much discussion, we decided to bite the bullet and host a birthday party for our five-year-old son. The ideas were fairly fast flowing. I’m not saying they were innovative ideas, just good old party games; handmade, revised and with a twist. Thankfully, on the day of the party, the weather was on our side; enabling us to host in the garden – or we could have had a very different story otherwise.
The party theme of choice was none other than Star Wars. Disney now own the Star Wars franchise, (all 42 billion dollars of it!) so it’s of little surprise to know that there is a huge selection of children’s party paraphernalia available out there, and at great prices too! Winner winner so far….
We knew we wanted Star Wars designed plates, table cloths, bunting, cups, napkins and party bags etc. And, once numbers were in, we were in a position to start researching the best deals around. Many bargain high street stores did well but none in comparison fared well when it came to buying the whole package, complete with FILLED party bags. Yes, already filled from www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk. What a find!
Themed party ware and filled party bags sourced from one click of the mouse and delivered to the door. Ok, so it was minus the bunting but that was insignificant to the fact that the bags were already filled! Only £30 for a set for 8 party guests, that was £3.75 per child! (www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk)
I must admit, the jury was out as to whether the bags were going to impress the young partygoers enough. We needn’t have worried. Success here too! As promised, the bags were delivered promptly, with predominately boy based toys inside. As soon as they were handed out, the boys were eager to check out the blow up light sabre’s and other bits and pieces, “Ah cool!” was heard down the drive as they departed. Result!
As for games on the day, we attempted Twister with Darth Vader as spinner and Kylo Ren as umpire. However, knowing your left from your right at five years of age proved too much for the dark sides capabilities! A swift change to a make shift assault course was a great distraction and most of the children attacked it with great enthusiasm!
Next up: ‘Snack time’ in the form a treasure hunt. The children loved the hunt for treasure and we got them to bring their bounty back to base where it was distributed fairly out to everyone; otherwise tears and tantrums could quite possibly have erupedt!
Onto ‘Pin the Tail’ on the..?? game. Our version was Pin the Head on the BB8 robot. Whilst this is a great game, it’s hard to have equal winners. This begged the question; should we have winning teams or is it ok to go for an overall winner? The latter worked back in my day so, fingers crossed, it would be the same with these chaps… and it was. Not only did all of the boys have a turn at Pin the Head on the BB8 robot, they went as far as trying to help each other to win! Admirable really.
Our way of ensuring that all of the children won a prize was to have eight games where each child was victorious. Musical Star Wars Statues with Star Wars music, Flap the Darth Vader and Pass the Parcel were all a great success. A Darth Vader pinnate at the very end ensured all of the children took enough high calorie sweets and sugar products home, essentially so as not to be left at our house for weeks afterwards. Apologies to the other parents! And finally, the birthday cake; themed, cut up, wrapped and placed in party bags finished the day.
So, after all the effort, did we look back and feel we had succeeded in our mission to host a children’s party at home? I think so. The children played well together and were constantly entertained, fed and watered. All were equal winners and all took a token gift home for their efforts. The mess however was less impressive. Although, you could say, if there was no mess, not enough fun was had! Keeping it simple with easy homemade games, party bags from one supplier and food from another meant stress levels were kept to a minimum.
A week later, I attended a professionally hosted birthday party with my son at a local leisure centre. Understandably, the birthday boy’s parents’ were hoping to leave the entertainment in the hands of the party professional, yet he seemed too stretched to entertain and organise the excitable children, resulting in mum and dad being required to fill in the gaps. I couldn’t help but feel an element of pride that our homemade party had worked out as well as it did! However, I must admit, I was rather envious as I watched the parents simply get up and leave the mess behind at the end of the party! Hiring a professional party organiser takes research; and getting recommendations from other mums is key to ensuring a successful party.
To parents who are deliberating as to whether to host their child’s party, I’d certainly say to give it a go. It does not have to be costly or filled with dramatic and theatrical pieces; just good old fashioned games and interaction with fun adults is all our children really want and love. In return, the reward you can get from making kids laugh and smile is as good a feeling as you can get.
Keeping it simple worked for us with our five-year-old, although I’m sure the pressure is only going to increase as he gets older. Perhaps we’ll be more inclined to go with a professional as the years go on.
Shame children don’t like Pin the Tail on the donkey at 15…