Ah yes, the wonderful children’s party. We love our kids; the party….not so much. For awhile there had been the emphasis on big, elaborate parties for our little ones but, I think that that is starting to change, and there are a few children’s party trends that I am totally willing to embrace.
Part of the reason that I started this blog was that I found that as I researched ideas for myself, I was constantly bombarded with fantastically styled parties, that were so beautiful to not only look at but to aspire to. Unfortunately, even though I had the experience to probably pull it off, I didn’t have the time, creativity or will to pull it all together so expertly. I loved going to certain blogs to be inspired and just enjoy the photography, but felt overwhelmed with all the details. I needed a place that gave good, practical advice and had ideas for things I could actually do. Lightbulb! I’ll do it myself.
So, today is a post about what I think are some children’s party trends that are happening right now and that will continue to grow. I hope that by visiting Trix & Trumpet you feel empowered to be the party planner extraordinaire.
Trend #1: Size
The trend of having large kid’s parties is slowly on the decline. You don’t need to invite the whole class, or soccer team, or whoever just to invite them. This is good news to me. While it’s great to be inclusive, many times these parties become too impersonal. Smaller, more meaningful parties are on the rise. Children invite the friends that they spend the most time with and who they feel close to whether it be from school, gymnastics, or hockey.
#2: Mixing and Matching
I don’t mean in decor or theme, but with people. Our kid’s are involved in so many things these days that it is too difficult to have a party with school friends, another for sports or music friends, and then another for family. Inviting a couple of people from the exciting things our kids do adds a new element to the party. It allows kids to make new connections and play and work with friends they just met. There is nothing cooler than watching kids introduce each other and then running off to play together, forgetting that they just met. Now, why can’t I do that…..
#3: Getting back to basics
I remember back in the day having birthday parties at my house and doing puppet shows in the backyard with my friends. Or running through a sprinkler shrieking. Or playing games outside. In our quest to keep kids constantly entertained, we’ve forgotten how well they can entertain themselves together. I think the trend of less is more is happening; just the simple things, that don’t cost a lot and are easy to pull together. Try things like a scavenger hunt outside, a make-up and dress-up party, getting kids on teams to play croquet or badminton or providing canvasses to create paintings or works of art together. Simple, fun, interesting….the basics.
#4: Taking it off-site
This has always been a go-to for parents and it still continues today. More and more businesses are offering interesting programs for birthdays that there is really a ton of choice for parents to find something interesting to do. Plus it keeps the mess somewhere else. Parents can go, monitor everything and come home to just relax. It really is a win-win for everyone. I personally like the hands on type of parties, like the cooking classes or pottery making, because it keeps the kids active but most importantly, together. As you can guess, I’m not a fan of the indoor jungle gym parties. Don’t get me wrong, they are great places for fun and exercise, but for a party, the children are too all over the place. Keeping them together and having fun as a whole group is really what it should be about.
Okay, so I’ve given you some trends to think about. But, there are a few things that I feel you really should do, no matter what type of party you are having or attending.
Should #1: Open gifts
I know it sounds simple but it rarely happens. At almost every party we’ve been to over the last four years, the gifts have remained unopened. There is something fun about getting a gift for someone else and something even more fun about opening a gift up. Don’t you remember the anticipation of wanting your friend to open their gift, wondering if they’d like it, hoping it was a hit? I totally do and that element is something that we’re not letting our kids enjoy. Plus, kid’s love seeing what other people bought for their gift and it totally gives the opportunity for the birthday kid to say thank you, in person, to their friend. If this is not possible because of timing or some other element and you take the gifts home to open, at the very least, send a thank you card.
Should #2: Involve our kids in getting a gift
This is something that also doesn’t happen enough. I totally understand though. When do we actually have time between all the after school activities to now rally up the kids to go get someone else a gift? I hear ya. But, from my own personal experience, it gives so much to our own children. They feel connected and invested to what is selected and it teaches them to truly think about another person, not themselves. Plus, who would know what a kid would want more then our own kids? It really is worth the extra time to go with them instead of just popping in ourselves when we have a free moment.
Should #3: Rein in the budget
It is so easy to get carried away and the next thing you know, you’ve totally blown through more money than you anticipated. We want to give the best to our kids but more spending doesn’t mean a better party. Before indulging too much, quickly ask yourself whether that item is really needed? Will it increase the happiness and enjoyment of those who are there? If not really, scrap it. Only have and do things that make the experience memorable.
Should #4: Take the pressure off yourself
We really do need to relax and take some of the pressure off of ourselves. In our quest to make everything perfect for our kids, sometimes we run ourselves ragged and just can’t wait for everything to be over. That isn’t fun. Having a party that feels right to you and that fits your child’s personality will be a winner no matter what. So, enjoy. Well, try to anyways.
Do you agree with what I think are some children’s party trends? Anything you think should be added to the list? Let me know.