Whether you’re putting a party together on your own or hiring a planner, children’s parties can be unpredictable. All the hard work and preparation in the world won’t prevent the occasional unforeseen mishap from occurring on the big day. Nonetheless, you’re still hopeful and excited to execute the most awesome party your birthday child and guests have ever seen, right?
Sure. We all are…until… it happens.
The one thing you hadn’t imagined happening happens and now you’re left to think quick on your feet. While it may feel like a total disaster, you can fix this, guests will applaud you for it and your party will rock.
Here are 8 Common Hiccups at a Birthday Party and How to Fix Them:
1. Outdoor Party and it Starts to Rain
Okay you looked at the weather and from what you saw the rain wasn’t supposed to start until several hours after party time and it said a slight drizzle. And here it is, the party’s starting and you’re witnessing a torrential storm of the century right before your eyes. Now what? Move it inside, ASAP!
If it’s a playground party and your home isn’t an option, try for a local restaurant that is accessible to your guests and notify them of the change. Be sure to call the restaurant ahead of time to give as much notice as possible so that they can accommodate you. If the playground is near a recreation center, try asking to relocate the party indoors. Truthfully, the best way to troubleshoot a rained out party is to prepare ahead of time with an alternative and have a rain date made clear to guests prior to the big day.
2. A Child Gets Hurt
Running around and playing at a party is pretty much a given. In some cases, unfortunately, a child can get hurt from falling or crashing into another friend.
The first thing to do is immediately seek care for the injured child. This might include providing an ice-pack, Band-Aid or hug as needed. Once the child has been taken care of, notify the parent if they haven’t already been informed. As a follow up, call to check in on the child after the event and/or perhaps have the birthday child make a card for the guest.
3. The Cake Drops
So much work and money invested into this delectable treat and main party feature, it’s a shame when we’ve got a destroyed cake on our hands. But fear not! Depending on the timing of the cake hiccup, you can fix this in a few different ways. If you have enough time, you can have a willing guest or helper to run and grab cupcakes as an alternative.
If that’s not an option and it’s early enough in the party, have some of the children help bake a cake with a homemade recipe if you’ve got the materials. This makes for a great activity that will be extra special! If you’ve got extra snacks (whether it be cookies or fruits; still a sweet treat) in the cupboard, you can always substitute those for the dropped cake.
4. The Bounce House Collapses
An honest mistake in activity set up can make for an unexpected mishap. In this case, all you can do is quickly try and troubleshoot the mishap by fixing it and apologizing profusely. However, if you can no longer continue with the activity, come up with an easy group game that the children might want to play.
There’s hide and seek, tag and many high energy running games that will let out their energy and provide some relief when a main feature has backfired.
5. The children are bored
Children of all ages are easily distracted and it while you may have good ideas for entertainment they may not be as well received as you’d hoped on the day.
Have several activities/ games up your sleeve to keep the kids entertained – e.g you may have a great craft activity planned but find they finish it in 5 minutes and you’d planned that activity would take 1/2hr.
If it is an unstructured party have several stations set up for the guests to move about as they please (eg: play equipment, craft table, bubble machine with music). Otherwise if you are primarily playing games have more games than you think you need just in case. If the thought of planning all the entertainment seems daunting hire a children’s entertainer and let them take care of all that!
6. Guests Arrive Late
This can be a very sticky situation if you have booked a block of time at a venue.
If you the venue permits, you may be able to add an additional block of time to your party package so that guests can enjoy themselves. If that is not an option, utilize the last few minutes for a group game such as Simon Says or freeze dance. You can then thank everyone for coming and if you’re up for it, you can have an “after party” at a local playground or nearby location for people who still want to mingle.
7. Children are Getting Rowdy
Certain themes or settings can bring out a lively crowd of very excited friends. And while excitement goes hand and hand with children’s parties, we also want to be sure that everyone is safe and happy.
If you find that birthday guests are beginning to display some disruptive behavior from that enthusiasm, finding a calm activity like a group story or coloring on paper can be helpful. Changing the music can also calm the energy of the room.
8. Cranky Birthday Child
A birthday party for a young child can be a lot to handle. There’s a lot of attention, noise and people. With expectations high on the guest of honor to be charming and social, it can be very overwhelming. Thus, here come the tears and mood swings from your little one.
As common as this is, it still doesn’t make for a very pleasant situation. So how can we help out a cranky birthday child? Give them some space and allow some time for them to get warmed up. Guide them through different aspects of the party they might enjoy, such as balloons and friends.
If none of that works, remember that it’s their special day and if they’re not ready for a big crowd, follow their lead! That might mean that they stay close to you or even take a nap. Your guests will understand and still have fun celebrating.
Hosting a birthday party for a child is supposed to be fun! Although there is bound to be a mishap every now and then, some of it is simply out of our control. When all is said and done, take a breather and put it all into perspective: you’re celebrating another year of life with loved ones…and there’s no mistaking that!