PARTY: Tips to keep kids busy during grown-up birthday parties

14 May 2019

Let's be honest, a child's attention span is v-e-e-r-y short, especially if it's for something not of interest! However, there are sometimes adult occasions that you need to bring the kids along to, perhaps you can’t find a babysitter or it’s a family birthday or gathering.

You want to maintain minimal complaints from your kids as much as possible during these events, but this can be hard, especially if the sole focus of the gathering is for adults to catch up. Children are not yet inclined to do that, nor do they enjoy it! They just think about playing, or doing something fun to kill the time.

That’s why if you are planning to have an event such as large gatherings or birthdays, you need to have something like kids party ideas or entertainment on hand.

Tips to make the party child-friendly

First, try to imitate a little of the atmosphere of a children’s party and make it more lively, and plan some activities to keep them occupied. Kids wants to play, and adding competition on the games to be played makes them more excited and engaged. This is also an effective way to have the kids burn off some energy!

If you don’t have enough time to plan for games and other activities, providing them with colouring books linked to the theme of the party can help them stay busy. You can also add some building blocks, LEGO and other small toys that aren't too messy.

Setting up an arts and crafts station for children can also be a great idea, especially if there are some young adults who are willing to supervise them. Children love to explore the possibilities of art. Give them materials that are easy for them to use and not messy to work with.You can place some clays for sculpting and moulding figures, paper and scissors to cut out various shapes, and glue to make a collage.

If there aren't any young adults that are happy to supervise the activities, agree a roster with other adults at the beginning of party, so everyone gets a chance to enjoy the party whilst knowing that the kids are always adequately supervised. 

To get kids excited about the party, the kids can also help in the preparation, such as making cupcakes and cookies, or setting up decorations. This can be a good way to let their artistic side come out and also have some quality time with your kids.

Another thing that could keep the kids entertained is hiring professional kids party entertainers. The entertainers can also be the facilitators for the games and other activities, to let all the guests enjoy the party without worrying about how the event should flow.

For longer occasions, rather than reaching for the iPads, set up a movie corner with age-appropriate movie that the kids can watch together. This way they are still socialising instead of being plugged into separate screens and you can easily monitor what they are watching. This can double up as a chill-out area for reading and quiet time, for kids that might be showing signs of over-stimulation. Have a range of books that older kids can read to the younger kids.

Whan catering, always check with families if there are any children with allergies attending and make the appropriate preparations.

Written by

Jamie / Jamie

Jamie is a mother to eight children and an avid cook. She enjoys theatre from both the audience as well as being on stage. She has been writing stories ever since she could put pen to paper and still enjoys doing so today. Her passion for food has her often creating new recipes to try on her family, who are always happy to sample. Jamie graduated with a diploma in Social Services and has worked with children for most of her life. She now writes for yabadoo.com.au and helps them in their content promotions.

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