The Truth About Children’s Parties!

On Saturday we hosted our very first children’s party as my little boy turned 2. It was one of the most nerve wracking events of my life so far, far more than when I got married. You generally know what to expect at a wedding and adults will usually behave in a reasonable manner. Kids parties were an unknown quantity.

Well, we survived and I’m thinking of making myself a badge to wear with pride, “I’ve survived a Children’s party!” So after the past manic week this is what I’ve learnt about children’s parties:

1. Bouncy castles are worth their weight in gold! There really isn’t anything else to say, kids love them and one relatively small inflatable kept 15 kids occupied for hours!

2. Kids don’t actually eat that much. I was so worried about running out of food I went in the complete opposite direction and made far too much (and brought most of it home with me!) But they do like a mini cupcake and jelly goes down a storm!

3. Adults do eat quite a lot. I’ve been to few children’s parties now where a big spread is put on for the kids with no food for the grown ups. I’ve taken to stealing food from Baby O’s plate in the past, to stifle the tummy rumbles. We ordered some sandwiches from a local cafe for the adults and within 15 mins they were all gone!

4. A few wines/beers will go down a treat with the adults. My dad went into a panic at the thought of a party where the strongest beverage served would be a coffee. You see, our families (and most of our friends) like a drink so a few glasses of wine went down pretty well.

5. Balloons. A few balloons knocking around the floor will always keep young children entertained. Just be prepared for the crying when one bursts, my son takes it like he’s lost a close friend if a balloon pops!

6. Kids love a party bag. My goodness, I didn’t realize the importance of a party bag. My friends were telling me their kids had been talking about the party bags all the way there, I had previously thought they were a nice add on. Apparently not, a party is judged on the quality of the leaving bag!

7. You can never have too much help! We were so lucky to have a lot of very good friends and family help to set up, pack away, make sandwiches, ferry party goods to the venue and generally stop me from cracking up!

8. No matter how bad/crazy/stressful the run up to the party is and the hosting whilst your doing it the look on your child’s face as they are loving every minute makes it all worth while.

So despite insisting that next year you would find us at a soft play centre party (and you know how I feel about those places), where everything was done for us, I’m already changing my mind. Quite a big part of me loved being the hostess and loved having all our friends and their children together to celebrate our boys special day. Within a day the rose tinted glasses are out and all the hard parts are turning a bit blurry round the edges. I’d better get my thinking cap on and start planing next years party!

And then the fun began...

34 Comments

  1. November 17, 2013 / 9:20 pm

    OMG I am so glad I never have to do another party bag in my life.

    The party bag is an adult Rite Of Passage. Also it’s very true that there is always loads of food left over after a children’s party.

    Well done for surviving!

    • notafrumpymum
      November 17, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      Don’t rub it in πŸ˜‰ it dawned on me yesterday I have years of this ahead of me!!! x

  2. November 17, 2013 / 9:36 pm

    Er yeh it’s all about the party bags and your dad was so right! I doubt my dad would have even come without booze being involved πŸ™‚

    • notafrumpymum
      November 18, 2013 / 10:39 pm

      Apparently I was a bit over generous with my party bag fillings, but I suppose that is better than being the opposite.
      I’m fairly certain my da would have brought his own beers if I told him there was no alcohol being served!

  3. November 18, 2013 / 8:35 am

    See, now I remember my childhood birthday parties fondly… but S turns 2 in April and I’m not sure I have the nerve for a party! #MagicMoments

    • notafrumpymum
      November 18, 2013 / 8:39 am

      That’s exactly how I felt! And I still can’t quite believe the amount of planning that went into it (for a fairly small do!) and I didn’t stop at all on Saturday. All morning was spent organising and then at the party we were so busy making sure kids an adults were okay, we barely spoke to each other.
      But I loved seeing my little boys face, he had a ball. And even managed to blow out his own candles πŸ™‚ x

  4. November 18, 2013 / 10:09 am

    The look on their faces will always make any madness worthwhile πŸ™‚

    • notafrumpymum
      November 18, 2013 / 10:40 pm

      So true, and my little man loved watching all the other kids running around!

  5. Kriss MacDonald
    November 18, 2013 / 6:02 pm

    I laughed when I read about the adults wanting food. Too true. Too many parties where all of us grownups are desperate for some food too!

    • notafrumpymum
      November 18, 2013 / 10:42 pm

      I know! One of my little niggles but I understand why people don’t put food on for the grown ups.
      I’m just greedy and have no self control if orders are eating. Plus I love a buffet!

  6. November 18, 2013 / 7:52 pm

    I have lost count of the number of soft play parties I have attended, and hosted for that matter! Glad it went well πŸ™‚

  7. November 18, 2013 / 10:27 pm

    Yay … massive well done honey Childrens parties can be a total killer!! I am so pleased you survived and not put off πŸ™‚

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

    • notafrumpymum
      November 18, 2013 / 10:43 pm

      It was the build up to it that put me off rather than the party itself. So exhausting!
      Thanks for commenting!

      • November 18, 2013 / 10:47 pm

        I have to say o blooming hate them!! lol

  8. sarahhillwheelers
    November 20, 2013 / 10:25 am

    Ahh… the tyranny of the party bag. With you on food and drink for adults though, really miss the social aspects of parties now Boy is at the drop off stage. Sounds like you must have had a brilliant time if you are looking forward to next years!

  9. we3three
    November 20, 2013 / 9:21 pm

    i love kids parties! it’s tough being the hostess but its so worth it to give your child lovely memories πŸ™‚ im thinking soft play for my boys next party, much less stress!

  10. November 22, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    This is why I couldn’t handle having kids lol. So much work has to go into the little details xx

  11. November 23, 2013 / 8:15 am

    Well done you! I will need these tips soon… We’re planning a big “All the Threes” party in 2014 as I turn 30, TJ turns 33 (and missed his own 30th when I was pregnant) and Little Man turns 3… It will mostly be a. kids party for Little Man and friends but we will be having a few extra friends to celebrate our 30s at the same time, so providing for both adults and kids will be crucial!

  12. November 23, 2013 / 2:24 pm

    Congrats! You survived, had a great time and created a fantastic party for your little one! My boy also just turned two and like you I had a party for him. I was terrified. I can plan a party for 40 adults- easy. Planning for a group of 20 toddlers was just too much for me. In the end though it was fantastic. Balloons were a must! I also had a cardboard house that was huge hit. My son had so much fun.

  13. thatlittlesomethingextra - Phili
    November 25, 2013 / 12:49 pm

    Thx for the tips! I am organising my kiddies party (joint 8 and 5) atm. It’s looking like up to 60 kids! I think I might have to down the “few wines/beers for the adults” just to get me through it! lol! x

  14. May 10, 2014 / 7:05 am

    I love hosting a party but I agree balloons bouncy castles and help = a much happier time

  15. May 10, 2014 / 7:43 am

    I’m usually ready to collapse into bed after a kids party. I love the bouncy castle idea. I saw one recently at a friends little girls party and it was so perfect. It kept the 12 or so little hyper things completely occupied for ages!

  16. May 10, 2014 / 8:32 am

    A lot of it depends on the children who attend (and sometimes their parents) I think! If only it wasn’t so long ago for me, I’d write a guide to the different types of children you get a parties and how to deal with them πŸ™‚

  17. May 10, 2014 / 10:59 am

    We’ve been caught out a couple of times in the past by massively over-catering too. Put kids into a party and they seem far more concerned about hooning about the place with their mates and being generally overexcited to worry about something as trivial as food!

  18. May 10, 2014 / 5:29 pm

    I haven’t done a kids party for quite a while (I have seem t have been pregnant permanently for the past three years ish ha ha) So anyway we are planning one this summer hopefully, so I’ll definitely be taking some tips from here! x Bouncy castles FTW x

  19. October 28, 2014 / 9:00 am

    Everything you’ve said is spot on although I do find a lot of the parents drive to the venues so alcohol isn’t really an option! I agree so much that despite all the stresses we put on ourselves and the money (I must have spent about Β£200 in the end just on the bits and bobs, party bags, bouncy castle hire [pure gold – you are so right about that!] and food) you do come away with those rose-tinted glasses on and it is nice to play hostess to all your loved ones occasionally – it’s definitely part of parenthood that I love! Thanks so much for joining up The Truth about… please come back again next week! πŸ™‚ #thetruthabout
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  20. October 28, 2014 / 11:00 pm

    We had one of those at home today for our little one’s 2nd birthday… and the house was trashed, but it was a brilliant party (oh the stress of the prep!). #TheTruthAbout
    Mel recently posted…Spooky Marshmallow Pumpkins… What Not to Do!My Profile

  21. October 29, 2014 / 12:34 pm

    Good tips – specially the booze! Though I am not as brave as you as to do parties at home, it’s the community centre all the way for me, ha! And I must confess to hating party bags – such a faff putting them together – but I am no way brave enough to break the mould and ditch them!! #thetruthabout
    LearnerMother recently posted…House Project is GO!!!!My Profile

    • October 29, 2014 / 12:39 pm

      Oh I didn’t do it at home, hubby had a panic attack at the very thought of it. We were at a local village hall.
      The most stressful part was making up the bloomin’ party bags! xx

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