As any parent knows, kids’ party planning can be a pretty stressful experience! Keeping a group of sugar-fuelled party guests entertained – and contained – is a definite art. Which is why we turned to two top Hong Kong party planners to share their party-planning tips.
Sweet Soirees is a boutique party planning company specialising in custom-made parties to suit every occasion. Founder and director Lauren Roberts says: “We offer all party planning services, from decoration and party design, to catering, entertainment, photography, customised cakes, goodie bags and more. All we need is around three to four weeks’ notice to plan a party.”
“Kids’ parties are our favourite to plan because kids just love having fun with their friends, playing games and eating special party food,” Lauren says. “As long as you have the key party items in place, they’ll have fun! We do believe having help at a party makes a big difference. With so many kids around doing different things it helps to have additional eyes and hands around to make sure everything goes smoothly.”
Here are five tips from Lauren on kids’ party planning:
#1 How far in advance should you issue invitations to a child’s party?
We would suggest around three to four weeks to make sure your party invitation gets out early and before weekends get busy and booked up.
#2 What’s a good rule of thumb to apply when it comes to the size of a child’s party?
It really depends on what kind of party you want to throw. At any age, kids and parents can choose to have small or big parties as it’s really up to them how they want to celebrate. We do find it helps to size your party according to how much you want to spend and the venue you have chosen.
#3 How should the age group of guests impact the type of party you plan?
We find that kids’ parties in general need plenty of entertainment. Make sure you plan a party with lots for kids to do; whether it be arts and crafts, games or an entertainer – entertainment is key. Kids love organised fun! They also have a lot of excitement and energy when it comes to parties, so make sure there’s plenty of kid-friendly food and drinks. It also sets the whole mood if there are lots of fun party decorations.
#4 What’s a good length of time for a child’s party?
We find two to three hours is the perfect amount of time for a party. Kids start to get tired and grouchy after three to four hours.
#5 Is it important to have a theme for the party?
We believe it’s important to have a theme for a party because it makes everything much easier when planning the party. Once you pick the theme or even colour scheme you can then match the decorations, cake, entertainment, goodie bags and so on, all to the theme which makes everything much simpler. A theme also helps kids to get excited about a party, dress up and really get involved with the theme.
Little Miss Party
Cynthia Hui is the co-founder of Little Miss Party, a boutique kids’ party planning company based in Hong Kong. She says: “We specialise in planning and executing themed parties that give the sweetest and most unforgettable memories for everyone.”
“Parties are about having fun and celebrating a birthday or other special life event,” says Cynthia. “Making a party special doesn’t always mean you need to break the bank to do so. Try not to overthink it – often the simplest ideas are the most fun. Being together with friends and family is what a great party is all about”.
Here are five kids’ party-planning tips from Cynthia:
#1 What are popular choices to include in party catering?
Always consider all guests who will be attending. If a guest has special dietary requirements, it’s important to ensure there are options for everyone. Food safety is also important. Finger food, canapés or dishes that are easy to prepare and serve are the best options. Traditional party favourites are common inclusions in any party buffet – sliders, mini sub rolls, wraps,
pizza slices and various dips, veggies and chips.
#2 How do you handle a situation where some parents want to drop-off their child, but others want to stay with them during the party?
I think we are prepared for any situation and it’s understandable that some parents want to be with their child, especially if they’re new to the party scene. It’s always good to ensure there is space available for them, and hot and cold beverages are also provided.
#3 What’s a reasonable policy towards including siblings in party invitations?
Again, this is very much down to the individual host. This is more commonplace in expat environments as often the children may also be dropped by a domestic helper – who will be under their care – especially during the week if parents are working. We see more younger siblings joining parties with their older brothers or sisters. I think that if the party doesn’t involve anything that would be considered inappropriate for a younger sibling and the host is okay including them, then it’s very much down to them. Cost is a big factor to consider, especially if it’s at a third-party event location where the host would pay per person.
#4 What are some good choices to have as party favours?
We’ve seen various favours over time, ranging from candy bags and craft sets, to gift cards for book stores. A charity donation on the child’s behalf is also a great way to give back. We also think it’s a great gift if the child makes their own favours, such as bookmarks. There aren’t any rules.
#5 Should you open gifts at a party?
This is a tough one. Not everyone likes to. However, it’s a nice way to show appreciation to the guests for their gifts.
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