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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Operation Oliver's Party - part 2

Well, I survived Oliver's birthday party.  More than that, I actually rather enjoyed it! 

The party was from 12 - 2, so I had enough time in the morning to sort out the party food - a pretty basic buffet - 3 types of sandwiches, nibbles, cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, grapes, cherry tomatoes, fairy cakes, with old fashioned jelly and ice cream was to follow.

The room was easy to decorate - just moved all furniture out of the way, stuck up a few birthday banners and chucked in a few (inflated!) balloons.  I made sure there were plenty of colouring pages and crayons on a coffee table, and I was glad I did so, because the first arrivals went straight to it and happily coloured in until the games started.

Well, I say "games"...half the kids were quite content with raiding the toy box and trying every item of dressing-up clothing on, so I left them to it, and mustered the remaining lot into a game of musical statues.  I'm not sure what they thought of my John Travolta moves, by I thought I was great!

Food was followed by a game of pass the parcel, a fair bit of dancing (the kids as well as me), and the party finished with a run around the garden and a chicken feeding session.  We have 4 chickens, so it was really nice to let the kids stroke and feed them.

We were having so much fun we almost forgot the Pinata, which Oliver's Dad hung from the rotary washing line (ingenious, isn't he?).  After what seemed a half-hour of bashing with a plastic cricket wicket, it finally gave way, sending hundreds of sweets all over the lawn.

Finally, we all sang happy birthday to Oliver, and then it was time to go home!

So what pearls of wisdom have I picked up from this experience?  Quite a few really:

  • Be prepared - make a list of all you need to do, and make sure everything is in hand or done before the big day - it's far too easy to leave things to the last minute, and then forget - nothing worse than filling the party bags as the kids are running out of the door, or realising you forgot to buy a lighter for the candles!

  • Have a few games planned - better too many than not enough, and if you run out of time to do all the games, then that's good - shows the kids had a good time!

  • Have a quiet colouring or craft activity

  • Have a few toys and dressing up clothes to hand - there's nothing better than rooting round someone else's stuff!

  • Always, always make sure you have a strong adult available to crack open the Pinata!

And finally, don't stress too much - it's a party, so enjoy it.  So long as you have everything planned, there's no reason why you shouldn't.

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