I’ve got some helpful hints to share with you for the next time you host a party for your child. Also, there’s a download at the end of this article with instructions for setting up an ice cream sundae party (along with some other fun extras) kids and adults are sure to love!
Are you ready to take on hosting a gathering for kids? With a little planning, it can be a breeze to host a party that is exciting for children without being overwhelming for the adults. Besides, the delights of childhood are never too far from a mature person’s happy place—cheery decorations, engaging activities, special prizes, and tempting treats along with permission to dive right in.
Granted, a kid-friendly party might not be something you want to sign on for every weekend, but when you think of the many smiles from the day, you’ll realize what a gift it is for kids to be kids and for adults to have some kidlike joy.
Whether your gathering is for kids or intended to be family friendly, always think through what atmosphere and details will work best for the little ones. I think we can safely say, “If the kids are happy, Mom and Dad are happy,” (and so are all the guests). Kid-tested party tips will help you create an atmosphere of fun. An added bonus is that these ways to feed and entertain kids are super doable for you.
Kid-Tested Party Tips
- Keep plans flexible and organized. Once several kids arrive, the energy rises to surprising levels, and it’s easy to lose control if you aren’t prepared.
- Prepare a variety of activities. An outdoor bubble-blowing station, a giant beach ball, or a lawn game will keep your young guests engaged.
- Consider a shorter guest list when families are invited.
- Have a kid-proof bedroom ready for naps and a child-friendly DVD on hand in case young guests become restless and adults want to stay longer to talk.
- Make the party short and sweet. Wind things down before too many meltdowns happen.
- Round up and purchase a mix of small toys and treats from a discount store. They can be used throughout the evening as silly door prizes or placed in goodie bags at a goodbye station.
- Purchase spill-proof cups for younger children. It will keep the kiddos dry and lessen Mom and Dad’s stress!
Activities and Conversation
Kids—and even some adults—can become distracted when sugar and shiny objects are near! So focus the energy, fun, and conversation with engaging activities. Crafts, games, or creative stations provide children with positive outlets, and they also give parents a way to help or even a chance to take a break when they need it. Most importantly, planned activities playfully encourage guests to interact with one another and create enjoyable memories.
The Special Touches
Simple ideas will increase the laughter and celebratory experience of your gathering. At the end of the afternoon, as you wipe tiny fingerprints from the sliding glass door and reflect on the kid-friendly gathering, you’ll be so glad you decided to create a memorable adventure. I promise.
- Make the tables vibrant and inviting with patterned napkins, pretty bowls, labels for toppings and drinks, a whimsical garland, confetti, and other unexpected touches.
- Choose interesting serving pieces, such as cake plates, a tiered serving stand, syrup pourers, and small colorful bowls for toppings.
- Get personal when you can! The kids and parents will feel the love when you provide meaningful touches, such as clever name tags, personalized goody bags, individualized beverage labels, or the captioned photos from the ice cream contest.
- Create and display simple, festive signs out of fabric or paper buntings, chalkboards, or almost anything. For our gathering, we painted an old door with chalkboard paint and wrote a memorable quote on it. These visuals add to the gathering and give you and your guests simple photo opportunities to remember the occasion.
What a gift it is for kids to be kids and for adults to have some kidlike joy!
Wishing you and your family much joy today!
Melissa Michaels is an award-winning decorating blogger, bestselling author, and mom to three young adults. She lives with her family in the Seattle area.