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Party survival tips

(20 Posts)
Mog Fri 06-May-05 08:22:53

We're about to plan our first 'at home' party for a 4 year old. I would appreciate the collective wisdom of mners on things that do and don't work?

wheresmyfroggy Fri 06-May-05 08:28:19

If you have a room with a lock i would fill it with all your breakables!

Twiglett Fri 06-May-05 08:28:48

don't do it .. eek

ok if you must try and have it in the garden

don't try to organise them too much, let them play

get one or 2 parents to help out, if kids are particularly annoying / sensitive ask their parent specifically to stay

do simple food, plate it up rather than let them choose what they want that way you its easier

do drink cartons with straws not cups - too many accidental spills

have a start and an end time (2 hours)

but most of all, do it somewhere else

kaytee Fri 06-May-05 12:12:25

All good advice; I'd add "keep numbers to a minimum" if you can. I know it's difficult if for example you are inviting an entire nursery class, in which case you have to grin and bear the horde of over excited little ones. Have something as the central attraction, eg a bouncy castle to hire, if using the garden. Maybe a few organised games like musical bumps interspersed with free play. It wouldn't cost much to get a balloon animal maker or a face painter along for part or all of the time, to be on the sidelines and amuse those who weren't careering around manically. Unless you want the little darlings rampaging all over your house, wanting to do random things in small groups or pairs, etc., whining that they're bored, I definitely think you need a little bit of structure to the event.

KBear Fri 06-May-05 12:23:01

Sit them on a rug in the garden if it's fine and let them stick and glue and make pictures. They always love it. Or make crowns and tiaras and buy jewel stickers to decorate. Don't let them just run riot, it will end in tears. Also a sing song (they will know lots from nursery), pass the parcel, musical bumps, oranges and lemons. Keep it simple. Keep the food simple too, they don't eat loads. Rope some mums in to stay and help supervise, don't try to do it on your own or you will end up in tears .!! have fun and buy a large bottle of wine for when it's over.

Mog Fri 06-May-05 13:00:34

Defo not inviting the whole class- 15 children max and will probably try to get it nearer 10. It's a June birthday so I was thinking of a bouncy castle in the garden with my mum doing face painting and also have party hat making. Then some food and a few games (not looking forward to the games bit) and then back onto the bouncy castle and sweet hunt in the garden.

But I suppose I should have a contingency plan if it rains as I'm relying on the bouncy castle to fill a lot of time (any ideas?). Also since we don't really know the children I don't know if mums will stay or go - what would others expect for nearly 4.

Mog Fri 06-May-05 21:53:33

bump for the evening crowd

KBear Fri 06-May-05 21:55:48

B&Q are selling a gazebo for £15 - get down there and buy one so the bouncy castle can go under it in case it rains!! (small bouncy castle obviously but they are only 4 right?).

pootlepod Fri 06-May-05 22:00:30

Only tips I know for pass the parcel are to think of having 2 and wrap each layer alternatively with 2 sorts of paper, that way they know when to start and stop.

Sleeping lions?

MarsLady Fri 06-May-05 22:03:07

bouncy castle
hot dogs
ice cream in cones
lots of water/juice/squash

Fantastic! Best party we ever did was just that. No hassle, kids loved it and they all went home happy.

Mog Tue 10-May-05 10:04:21

We're going for a bouncy castle in our garden in June for dd's 4th birthday. The guests will mainly be from dd's nursery so the parents won't know us. We're trying to get an idea if parents will stay with their children or not. What would any of you do at a 4 party?
Do you think I should put something on the invites like 'feel free to drop off your child if you are comfortable with this' or just leave it to chance (in which case catering and chairs become too much guess work).

Weatherwax Tue 10-May-05 10:57:42

I have just had my 4 year olds party. 16 children and most parents stayed apart from the ones that knew us already. We hired a hall and therefore did not have a problem with chairs etc.

On Sunday we went to a party for another 4 year old. It was like the one you are planning in that it was in the garden with a bouncey castle and the majority of parents stayed. She had invited 30 children and siblings and it was chaos! But everyone had a good time. The gazebo wasn't over the bouncey castle it was over the rug where the children all ate their boxes of food.

I wound not leave my 4 year old at a party and find that at this age if they are left they become very needy, so having the parents around stops you having to look after the left child

Weatherwax Tue 10-May-05 10:58:36

Sorry for the typo's

WideWebWitch Tue 10-May-05 11:02:01

Bouncy castle = not much to do except supervise + worn out v happy kids, deflate it when you want them to eat (make sure no children trapped in it though)
Don't do too much food, they never eat much ime
Get lots of adult help, many parents drop and run at this age
You're brave doing it at home!

clary Tue 10-May-05 11:06:21

I always stayed up to DS1 being about 5. Depends in the child, when we had ds1 4th party some people did leave their children, but most not.
Don't feel you need to cater for parents, I never do and I never expect it either. If someone offers me a glass of water I'm impressed. They will all just pick at the leftover bits from the kids' tea anyhow.
Ideas here are good, you sound quite organised.
Songs are always a great idea, make a list, eg sleepign bunnies, dingle dangle scarecrow, wind the bobbin up, it gets them calmed down and sitting still.
We bought a pulina as suggested on MN for my 2yo party in April and it was a big success, only £5 or so, will try to find the link.

clary Tue 10-May-05 11:09:59

Ok this is it, we filled it with little bags of sweets and I just held it up but you could always tie it to a tree or similar. Mine all pulled at once but you could take turns with 4yos, keep back the “right” string for the birthday boy!

worriedfriend Tue 10-May-05 11:45:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mog Tue 10-May-05 12:02:55

Thanks for the links. Party pieces also do undecorated party crowns for 15p so might go for those as well.
How long does a pinata last as an activity? I mean is there a chance it could burst in the first couple of hits.

puddle Tue 10-May-05 12:04:26

Pinatas are quite hard to break Mog! When we last had one at a 4 year old part we went through all the kids and most of the adults present too. My Dp finally had to knock 10 bells out of it before the sweets came out!

Mog Tue 10-May-05 16:20:20

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