The ideas around what constitutes a great kids party come and go faster than a teenager’s sense of fashion these days. There are Frozen parties, dinosaur parties, magic parties, activity parties, days out, Disney parties, sports parties, art parties and pretty much any other theme you could imagine. As far as the children are concerned, however, there are only two things that matter from a party: does it make them look good and how much fun can they have with their friends.

From a parent or other party organiser’s perspective there are far greater considerations to think about. For example, there is the budget, the venue, the organisation, the invites, the on-the-day management, and of course if the whole event will be considered a success. Will the child’s expectations be met, will they remember the day for many years to come, or possibly even, will the children get any lasting benefit from your efforts?

Here are a few of the things we think you should look out for:

What about the cost of a kids’ party?

In the real world, the costs could add up to several hundred pounds, and in extreme cases have been known to stretch well into the thousands. But, as with anything else in life, it all comes down to that open-ended, catch-all phrase ‘value for money’. In other words, what are you looking for from the party?

If themes are important that would be a good starting point. From there you will need to consider venue costs, catering, entertainment, decorations, party bags and so on. There is also the major factor around who is actually going to look after things: before and on the day.

The costs will soon add up according to what you want the children to do on the day and take away (literally and as a memory or experience). Our advice is to put a comfortable ceiling on your budget, but be prepared to be flexible.

Self-managed or outsourced?

A big call, for many parents, is how involved they want to be themselves. For some, the planning, preparation and festival of the day is all part and parcel of the event. They are almost as excited as the children and throw themselves into the activity each and every year. Most, I would suggest, simply want their children to have a great time, doing something that they enjoy with their friends. For them, the thought of being involved is nothing short of frightening.

Once again, the choice is down to you and the budget you want to achieve will be influenced accordingly. Of course, there are many options in between these extremes and some will just outsource the catering and/or entertainment.

Our advice is always to list your must-have and would-like criteria (both themes and outcomes): then research the costs of some of the options and try and fit your two lists into a compromise.

Can entertainment be educational?

Another criterion, and one that people often forget to consider, is the lasting benefit from the cost, time and effort that you have invested in the party. Namely, can the event be entertaining, engaging, fun, inclusive, memorable, fully managed, and beneficial to the children – all at once?

We believe it can and that is why we have added fully or part-managed sports parties to our wider range of educational sporting activities and classes for young people. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.