Throwing a party with a guest list that includes both kids and adults can be a bit of a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done successfully, you just have to know how to do it right.
These five ideas for family friendly parties are sure to keep everyone happy and entertained, guaranteeing the party is a great success. They are suitable for parties for any celebration, whether it’s a special event, birthday, Christmas, Easter or something else entirely. Couple them with some ideas for a minimalist party to make your life as easy as possible without compromising on the fun.
Avoid Kids’ Activities That Require A Lot of Adult Assistance
If you want the adults to be able to have a good time while keeping the kids occupied and enjoying themselves too, try to plan activities younger ones can do on their own. If you plan an elaborate game, the grownups will probably have to help out and referee. You could set up an arts and crafts table or rent a bouncy castle or soft play equipment which will allow the kids to run wild, and burn off a ton of energy too. When things like face painting require an adult to be in charge, consider face painting artists for hire instead – that way your guests can enjoy the party and someone else can take care of the fun for the kids, giving the adults time to have something to eat, drink and socialise.
There’s no need to go overboard like Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” bringing in ponies or other barnyard animals and the like, as an article in Vogue notes, “go big or go home” doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Hire a Trusted Babysitter
Consider hiring a trusted babysitter that can take charge of keeping all your younger guests entertained. If parents know that the kids are being looked after properly and not getting into trouble, they can relax and enjoy some adult time. If you’re in the UK, here’s an excellent resource for finding a trusted local babysitter.
Bring Out the Toys
Bring out lots of toys that will allow a bigger group of kids to have fun and not have to worry about doing much sharing. For example, you could put out a bucket of balls, like footballs and basketballs, or whatever you happen to have. If your party will be hosted outside during the warmer months you’ve got lots of options, like a homemade ball pit. Get a paddling pool or use the one you have and buy ball pit balls at a toy store to fill it up with. Bring out all the ride-on bikes and toys you have, and maybe pick up some cheap ones second hand, from eBay, local marketplaces or a charity shop, so that everyone has something to ride. Buying second hand is also more eco-friendly than buying new, and can always be given as gifts.
Don’t Forget the Kid-Friendly Foods
Whenever you throw a party with a mix of adults and kids, it’s a must to think about options for the younger ones who tend to be picky eaters. It’s fine to have fancy fare for the adults, but think mac n cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter and jam sandwiches to keep the kids happy and full. While you’ll want to have some treats, don’t overdo it with the sugary items for obvious reasons – no one wants a party full of kids on a sugar rush! Speaking of food, it’s a whole lot easier to do it potluck style, so another option is to serve the main meal, and ask everyone to pitch in with a dish, assigning some kid-friendly options to families. But be sure and have some finger foods on hand just in case.
Create it Around a Theme
If your family-friendly party has a theme, it will make everything else easier to plan, from the decorations to games, activities and even the food. Whether it’s a topic, season, holiday, or what have you (maybe tropical or luau in the summer or snow-themed in the winter), aiming to keep it non-gender and non-age specific. I’ve put together some epic party theme ideas that are well worth checking out.