Introduction Foreword Chapter 1 - In Praise Of Children's Parties Chapter 2 - So What Was Chapter 1 All About? Chapter 3 - Inviting Trouble Chapter 4 - We've Only Just Begun Chapter 5 - Beware Of Strangers Bearing Gifts Chapter 6 - Let The Games Commence Chapter 7 - That's Another Fine Mess Chapter 8 - Feeding Time At The Zoo Chapter 9 - To Be Or Not To Be Chapter 10 - Tea For 2 (or 20, or 200!) Chapter 11 - Everybody Get Down Chapter 12 - The Party's Over Appendix 1 - Parties Outside The Home Appendix 2 - Further Reading Appendix 3 - Table of Contents

The Complete Children's Party Survival Guide

By Rob Grigor

 

CHAPTER 11


EVERYBODY GET DOWN!

But before that could happen they had to survive
One more hour (it all finished at six)
And with every game used up and no more ideas
They knew they were both in a fix.

Now don't get excited, I am not suggesting that we all nip off to the local disco and dance the night away. The above reference to "getting down" refers of course to the final leg of your beautifully well organised party commonly referred to as "after tea" or, by those who do not have a copy of this book, as "the worst part".

Before we launch ourselves into another do's and don'ts session let us deal for a moment with the seemingly innocent but, as usual, potentially treacherous act of getting the kids down from the table. Assuming that you have adhered to the sage advice in Chapter 10 regarding the firm refusal to let any child leave the table until everyone has finished, you should be looking at a hoard of expectant (and somewhat sticky) faces awaiting your next instruction. At this stage the following expressions should be carefully avoided:

"Right! Down you all get then"

"Let's see who can be first down from the table"

"Last one down is a ******* (anything you like really).

Just like getting the children to the table, getting them down again and back where you want them requires a subtle approach if you want to avoid the "stampeding Wild Boar" syndrome (see Chapter 8). Unlike adults, children who have just partaken of copious quantities of delicious foodstuffs do not find themselves in need of a lie down and a few minutes shuteye. On the contrary, such is the metabolism of the average youngster that a thirty minute tea break only serves to enhance the staggering amount of energy that they normally exude. You will therefore invariably find that, however lively you thought they were before tea, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

So in desparation they said to the hoard,
"Why don't you just play with the toys".
They then tried to ignore the ensuing furore,
The destruction, the mayhem, THE NOISE!!

First and foremost you need to be absolutely sure of what you are going to entertain the little darlings with next. A useful guideline here is not to choose anything particularly energetic as this could lead to the unwanted re-appearance of some of those tea-time goodies. A sitting down activity is therefore highly recommended and ideally suited to this criteria is the present opening referred to in Chapter 5.

Once again it is infinitely preferable to let the children vacate the table individually rather than en-mass. A good way of doing this is to go round the table with a cloth for wiping sticky hands. Tell all the little poppets that they are to remain seated until their hands have been wiped. Allow sufficient time between wipes for each newly de-stickyfied (what?)child to make their way to the after tea area where your ever dilligent helper/s will sit them down. If you are planning to utilize the present opening routine then they will need to be seated in a circle. Alternatively if the excited throng are to be entertained in some way then they should be seated accordingly.

Entertained in some way?? I hear you ask. Well, many people, faced with the daunting prospect of a couple of dozen excited little ones descending upon their home, decide to recruit the services of a member of that happy, fearless and ever enthusiastic band of lifesavers, known simply as Children’s Entertainers. Strange though it may seem, these apparently normal and well adjusted people actually enjoy facing countless groups of expectant offspring, day in and day out, often with nothing more than a magic wand, a ready wit and a gaily coloured bow-tie between them and their audience.

So much so that in recent years the numbers of Children's Entertainers have swelled to the point where a bewildering array of Clowns, Magicians, Puppeteers, Jugglers, etc, etc, etc are available to anyone in need of their considerable skills and bravery. What's more, for a modest fee (it says here), they are prepared to travel anywhere (within reason) at a moments notice (the more moments the better) and entertain those little or even not so little ones with their many varied talents.

The main problem for the potential booker is, who do we book and where do we find them? Fortunately in this day and age that wonder of wonders known as the internet is a great source of information on the subject and I would personally recommend that you take a look through the Entertainers Directories on that well known site at www.kidspartysurvivalguide.com. Curiously enough the site is called “The Complete Children’s Party Survival Guide”! Local phone directories of the Yellow page variety are another good source for finding Children’s Entertainers and the aforementioned excellent website has a whole section on how to ensure that you book the right one for the occasion (see also Appendix 2 of this publication).

If all has gone well you should have around 45 minutes to fill after tea. If you decide to book some entertainment as detailed above then a show of that length would be ideal. As the little dears will be entranced by the antics of the entertainer (they will, honestly), you will have the option of:

1) Collapsing in a heap until the end of the party

or

2) Doing a bit of clearing up in order to show the, soon to be arriving, parents that it really was a piece of cake

Of course not everyone will opt for the entertainer as the final jewel in the crown (or paper hat) and the time can be equally well filled with the present opening routine and possibly one other well chosen activity of the not too strenuous kind.

The whole idea dear patient reader, is that when the massed guardians of the young party goers arrive on the doorstep they are not greeted by a surging throng from which they have to extract their somewhat dishevelled little sweethearts. On the contrary, as the after tea time has been spent in calmer, though still captivating, pursuits you are ready to effect that Holy Grail of the party organiser, the orderly exit!

Just how is this achieved? Well as you probably know only too well by now, the next chapter ( and there aren’t many left) will reveal all.

Introduction Foreword Chapter 1 - In Praise Of Children's Parties Chapter 2 - So What Was Chapter 1 All About? Chapter 3 - Inviting Trouble Chapter 4 - We've Only Just Begun Chapter 5 - Beware Of Strangers Bearing Gifts Chapter 6 - Let The Games Commence Chapter 7 - That's Another Fine Mess Chapter 8 - Feeding Time At The Zoo Chapter 9 - To Be Or Not To Be Chapter 10 - Tea For 2 (or 20, or 200!) Chapter 11 - Everybody Get Down Chapter 12 - The Party's Over Appendix 1 - Parties Outside The Home Appendix 2 - Further Reading Appendix 3 - Table of Contents

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