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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Rob Grigor. All Rights Reserved