The last hour flew by in what seemed like
The quietness descending like heaven
As the children withdrew, apart from a few,
Who imagined it finished at Seven!
Can it really be true, are we really nearing
the end? Yes, the end is nigh. It is almost time to return those angelic
little creatures that you have so expertly kept under control (and
wonderfully entertained) for the last two hours, to their rightful
In the nightmare scenario alluded to in the penultimate verse of the
poem above we can see that even at this stage of the proceedings it
is possible for problems to occur. In your case however due to your
stalwart adherence to the guidelines of this book, it should be the
proverbial breeze and a warm comforting one at that.
Parents will usually start to arrive anything up to 10 minutes before
the end of the party. Unless they urgently have to remove their little
ones and be on their way immediately, it is better to continue on with
what you are doing and let one of your helpers greet the incoming guardians
without disturbing the final stages of your carefully organized program.
To this end, if it is at all possible to have them wait in another
room or the hallway or garden (if the weather permits), so much the
In the event that a child has to leave early then it is a simple matter
to locate their party bag, and allow them to leave, accompanied by
profuse waving and a chorus of goodbyes from the remaining hoard. Do
not be tempted to break up the party at this point or leave the children
to their own devices as, even in these last few minutes, chaos can
The final stages of handing the children over
to their rightful protectors is most definitely a two handed operation.
As the parent of the party host/hostess you will, quite rightly, want
to see the children off yourself and should therefore once again utilise
the assistance of a helper to keep the children seated, releasing them
one at a time to avoid a stampede. This is done quite easily with the
aid of the party bags.
Once again the children are invited to sit as nicely as possible and
advised that you will choose the ones sitting the best to come up and
collect a party bag. If the bags are named, do make sure that you have
them arranged alphabetically so that it is easy to find the correct
one each time. Alternatively you can call out the names one at a time
and have the appropriate child come up to collect the bag, after which
they are instructed to make their way to where the parents are waiting
as “they are allowed to take one of them home with them as well” (always
gets a giggle from the adults). At this point, if you have balloons
to be distributed also, a third helper can assist or you can do this
yourself. Do not be tempted however to distribute them willy nilly
to the rest of the still seated children as that is the surest way
to dissolve your carefully built up harmonious exodus.
The person in charge of distributing the party bags should keep an
eye on the parent child ratio at all times and avoid releasing too
many children too quickly. This helps to provide time for parents to
make sure that their offspring are reunited with their, coats, shoes,
socks, kitchen sinks etc. before leaving.
In an ideal world each parent along with their joyfully enthusiastic
child/children will then make a speedy exit and avoid clogging up the
hallway, front porch etc. If for any reason you need to have a longer
chat with anyone of them or they with you, just ask them to wait to
one side until the thronging crowds have cleared.
Many of you will no doubt have witnessed scenarios where the parents
are invited to stay a while and partake of a beverage before leaving
the party. Needless to say this is not to be recommended from a smooth
running party point of view and as such falls beyond the scope of this
book. As somebody once said, if you decide to do this, “on your
own head be it”.
And that (pause for a drum roll) is that!! Job
done. Party over. Now that wasn’t too difficult was it? Time
to look at the very last verse of our poem:
'Twas the day of Amelia's party
And she'd had a great time, that was plain
As she went to bed dancing and singing,
Her parents cried "NEVER AGAIN"!!
Never again? Well you might not exactly be champing
at the bit to do it all over again straight away. After all, even a
smoothly run party requires a fair amount of energy, patience and valium
(just kidding). But chances are that having completed your first brilliantly
well organised and hugely rewarding children’s
party you will actually be looking forward to the next time, “Oh
yes you will”.
So there you have it, The Complete Children’s
Party Survival Guide. Well perhaps not completely complete. There are
of course other case scenarios, parties outside the home for instance
which may require a slightly modified approach. Rest assured however
that the golden rules laid out in these pages will stand you in good
stead and can be applied to all types of children’s parties both
large and small. For the sake of completeness however I have added
a few appendices with additional
advice and links to games, entertainers etc. which you may enjoy browsing through.
I wish you good luck with all your future parties
and hope that you will...
Sing the praises far and wide
of The Complete
Party Survival Guide.
Rob Grigor. All Rights Reserved