Children’s parties have come a long way in the last decade, parties used to be a basic checklist of guests, ‘party food’, games, cake and party bags. A simple and predictable structure yet always fun, easy and relatively cheap. The two biggest decisions would be, which cake out of the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday cakes to choose and should be a party for a few close friends or the whole class?
Nowadays it’s more like should we have it at the indoor Playcentre, McDonalds or the bowling alley and to hire a face painter, magician, jumping castle or clown? It’s a modern world, children’s entertainment services like everything are more readily available and in our time poor lifestyles it easier to outsource and get somebody else to take care of the food and entertainment.
These days’ parents are happy to spend more on their children and really spoil them on their birthday. If you have the money and you know your child will absolutely love it, go for it. The added bonus is that it can make your life a little less stressful – the children are entertained and you can kick back and enjoy the party yourself.
It’s become the new normal to hire an entertainer or activity for a child’s Birthday party and it is certainly a special gift to the children to experience something out of the ordinary.
I do however think there is a fine line between enhancing a children party and an overblown party. I think the best parties are based on the traditional concepts with an added extra, like a jumping castle OR a clown show not both! I have attended many parties where the parent has hired a face painter, a magician-balloonist plus a jumping castle and lolly buffet and the children are either being forced into a tight schedule so they experience everything or they are completely wild with so much stimulation they’re bouncing from one thing to another without the time to really enjoy each activity or each others company.
Birthday parties are so popular with children as essentially they enjoying sharing this special occasion together, playing games, running about and laughing. I guarantee if you went to the park, brought along a birthday cake and called it a party the children would enjoy themselves. Some parents can overlook the fundamental purpose of the party and hijack it using it as a vehicle to show-off to friends and family.
I have read several articles about the excessiveness of the ‘modern day’ children’s party can be fuelled by parent’s guilt. Parents feel guilty that due to work commitments and heavy schedules they haven’t spent enough quality time with their children. Putting on a no-expense-spared party proves their love to their child while appeasing the guilt they feel as failed parents.
As a parent I can see the validity as to why children’s parties have developed into a mini circus. We want our children’s party to be a special experience and parents are under constant pressure to have what that friend’s party had or worse; to go one step better! It’s easy to get over excited and even easier to blow out the budget.
When planning your next children’s party, keep in mind who the party is for and who is it really you want to impress. Set yourself a budget and remember – keep it simple!