As we grow, the term “party” seems to evolve. In college the word meant “all night experience” filled with lots of friends and unknown shenanigans. But things like a full-time job, children and other responsibilities get thrown into the mix as we get older. We have a few ideas that can incorporate the entire family when throwing a fun weekend party.
Keep it Simple, Keep it Small
It doesn’t have to be tiny, but when you want to keep both kids and adults entertained, it’s easier to keep everyone engaged when there are fewer people to deal with. No one gets overwhelmed, and parents can keep track of their kids.
Invite Adults with Kids
It’s easier to keep kids interested in the party if they have other kids to play with. Having playmates will make the party feel less like a chore for kids – you can even encourage them to invite their own friends. There’s more incentive for them to get out and have a good time if they have someone to have a good time with.
To stir things up and get guests of all ages mingling, make a game the centerpiece of party. Divide everyone up into random teams, have several big games like charades or a dance competition planned that involve team-work and keep score. Everyone stays involved, everyone behaves and everyone has fun. It also gives the party a clear beginning, middle and end so guests and kids can gauge their comings and goings.
Go Easy on the Booze
If you’re serving alcohol, keep it simple and stick to single-serving beer and wine for the adults and soda for the kids. The single-servings will prevent mix-ups with mixers so the kids stay safe and the adults can still have fun responsibly.
Host as a Group
Divide the hosting responsibilities up and give everyone a job to do. It will keep kids busy, involved and feeling important. The pressure of entertaining the kids will be taken off parents and it will keep the adults socially active.
Make the Food Fun
A build-your-own taco or burrito bar will keep the kids as well as adults active and interactive. With finger foods and barbeque, it’s easy to walk off on their own to eat. They have more opportunity to talk with everyone and stay engaged if they have to fiddle with their food rather than if a grab and go buffet is an option.
Hard and Fast Times
Have a set starting and ending time. It’ll save you the grief of putting a cranky child to bed and your friends will be grateful that they have answer to the question, “When are we leaving?” It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but try a party with kids without a closing time and you’ll notice a difference.