It was party central at our house this long weekend. Jack celebrated his fourth birthday and we held Cameron’s 13th party on Monday evening. Both parties went off well and both boys were very happy.
I am very comfortable hosting kids parties, you chose a theme, Pinterest it to death, print out all the pretty things, buy a cake and Instagram the whole thing. When Cameron said he wanted a party at our David mom’s house (her house is a lot bigger than ours), I was a little thrown and when he said he wanted to invite 40 kids I actually started twitching nervously! I can handle 40 four year olds because they all come with their parents, so they aren’t really my responsibility but 40 13 year olds get dropped off and collected and for the duration of the party are my responsibility.
Despite my nerves the party was a huge success, the kids (all 30 of them) had a great time, Cameron was super spoilt (obviously with 30 guests comes 30 presents) and also had a really great time. I know some of you are approaching this age, so I thought I would share a few things I learnt from hosting a teen party.
- It was a lot less fuss. There wasn’t really a theme so I didn’t need to stress about finding themed stuff. Even with a theme I think it would have been a lot easier to manager.
- Don’t over cater. I didn’t put out a lot of food at all and they didn’t even finish it all. I basically just did chips, a few sweets and cupcakes. We did serve wors rolls which were a hit and disappeared in seconds.
- Kids will arrive who didn’t RSVP – plan for it, accept it!
- If you are going to host this many kids make sure you have an outside space for them to run around in and entertain themselves. I think this is one of the reasons the party worked so well. There was a little outside pool room that we set up for them and the garden is huge so they didn’t have to come inside much and they could spread out.
- Don’t get involved unnecessarily. I was so worried about what they were going to do for 4 hours. Cameron organised a ping pong table and we had music that was pretty much it. At 16h00 on the day I just let it go and you know what? They were not bored for a second. They just got on with it. They danced, ran around the garden, sang, sat on the grass and chatted. It was so great to see them just making fun out of “nothing”.
- Pay attention. We didn’t really walk around checking dark corners but we did make sure we were aware of what was going on. Your kid may be a good kid but put in a group situation you never really know what they will do, so just keep your eyes open for anything suspicious.
Organising this party was new experience and I am not sure we could host such a big one each year but it was great fun and nice to see that despite what the media says, kids are still able to be kids.