Ideas for Kids’ Party Entertainment

We ask 26 of our Facebook friends what their tried-and-true tips to keep the littlies happy and engaged at a party are.

“The best games we play at parties are: Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs/Statues, Charades, Bobbing Apples and The Chocolate Game. Always have backups.” Lauren

“I love to get in on all of the fun activities of the day — cupcake decorating, musical chairs — all the old favourites are still well and truly alive.” Suzanne

“As guests arrive we settle the kids into a craft activity such as decorating T-shirts, making photo frames or threading necklaces, then it’s time for some high-energy games. For the under fives, Musical Statues, 4Corners and Duck, Duck Goose are great. The older kids love a crazy Hip Hop or Zumba session. After that, they’re ready to sit down and eat!” Emma

“Hiring a jumping castle is well worthwhile — all that jumping in-between sausage rolls, Smarties and brightly-coloured cupcakes somehow works.” Michelle

“Kids have active imaginations and lots of energy, so ensure the entertainment is active. If you’re doing a sleepover then you might like to rent a DVD in keeping with your theme to wind down the day.” Nicole

A decorate-your-own-cupcake station works great for kids who love to cook. Laura

“Plan the party beforehand: the food, games, decorations and entertainment. Then write out a plan for the party itself so you’re not all over the place. Have a friend help you, so they can follow the plan if things get hectic. But only use the plan as a guide, don’t be too strict, have fun and you’ll feel like everything is in order.” Dawn

“The secret to a successful party is often a sensible time structure. When children arrive at a party they are usually excited and eager so it’s a great idea to have your planned activity first. Whether it’s riding a pony or watching a clown it’s easier to harness their energy and delight immediately, before the distractions of food, drinks, presents etc. divert their attention in multiple directions.” Jan

“Keep it simple and easy for you. Remember you’ll be organising and running the games and sorting out kids and party bags. Best games are icing biscuits, bubble blowing, making crowns and wands, treasure hunts and dress-ups, as the kids are involved and can help set up and organise. Parties fall apart when you fall apart, so keep it simple and it will be simply fun.” Claire

“Best games are the ones the kids create themselves, usually involving running around and chasing each other outside. If the weather doesn’t permit this, I purchase a whole lot of cheap indoor board games, craft and other activities, which the kids can use then take home.” Theoni

“Being organised with food and games is the first tip I have. Kids love Pass the Parcel the most.” Hayley

Make each game short and simple — kids lose interest very easily! Karina

“The best kids’ party is one held simply in your backyard or local playground, where the kids are just free to run around and have fun. I don’t think kids need clowns, magicians or any other paid performers — just other kids!” Sonya

“We hide lots of little themed toys and get the kids to do a treasure hunt. It keeps them moving and happy (and out of your hair!).” Nikki

“Party games can get complicated for little ones so instead try activity stations. You can have anything from a craft table and cookie decorating to playdough. Children always have a lot of fun making and showing off their creations.” Fiona

“The best venue is a park, with your home as a back-up option. Kids love to play in the park, boys especially love footy games. Mothers love it as there’s no mess to worry about. Make sure you take plastic bags for the rubbish as some parks do not have rubbish bins.” Cheryl

“The cleverest thing I saw at a birthday party was when everyone in the household was labelled by their role. There was ‘The Birthday Boy’, ‘The Mum’, ‘The Granddad’ and ‘The Best Friend’. The party was held at the grandma’s house and since she would be stuck with the cleaning up, she labelled herself ‘The Maid’.” Dennis

My kids love playing Pass the Parcel, and lollybags when the kids go home are a popular thing. Mandy

“Organisation is key with a party and keeping things moving along is important, otherwise boredom and shenanigans set in. And most importantly, sometimes less is more. Less party guests equals more fun!” Katrina

“I organised a DJ for my daughter’s 10th birthday party. The DJ did all sorts of fun games with the kids and they danced all night. It was easy to organise and the girls and boys loved the music, and got to put in their own song requests.” Jayne

“The most popular lollybags are those with a small toy like a yo-yo. My best tip for kids’ parties is to make sure you leave enough time for unstructured fun. Too many games can bog down a party.” Falon

“Play Guess Who by putting pictures of celebrities or animals on people’s heads, and letting them guess who or what they are. It’s great fun and adults and kids love it.” Kathy

“Kids feel special if you know their name. If you can organise nametags for each child this is a great help to you and other guests.” Maria

The key is to play music that kids love and is age appropriate – most children love the latest Top 40 hits. Cathy

“Here are some fabulous favour ideas: host a simple craft activity and let them take it home as the parting gift; send kids home with something edible (such as a cupcake they have decorated); or take a group photo and print out copies (at the party or after) for each child to keep. Favours that match your theme are also very popular. Another item to watch out for is funky handmade guest books, where each guest has a special page to draw a picture, write a message and autograph.” Jemanda

“Holding my son’s sixth birthday party at an indoor sports centre was a hit. The boys played many different sports and activities. They loved it so much they rushed through the cake to go back and play some more.” Lyn


Guest Contributor