As every parent knows, great playdates and kids’ parties don’t just happen by themselves (even if we sometimes wish they would!). But they can also be fun and rewarding to plan and host.
In our #PomBearPartyPrep Campaign with Pom-Bear, we’ve been talking and sharing ideas on how to take the stress and worry out of planning a playdate or party. Pom-Bear has a natural place at the table at kids’ parties and playdates. It’s light but fun and tasty, and contains no artificial colours or flavours, is gluten-free and has under 100 calories per bag. Plus, it’s so convenient and easy to use for everyday occasions including playdates and parties.
Get the ultimate Party & Playdate Survival Guide!
Now Pom-Bear has teamed up with children’s party planning experts Sharky & George to create the ultimate guide to help parents across the nation by taking the stress out of planning for children’s parties and playdates. Check out the Pom-Bear Party & Playdate Survival Guide here!
We especially love their tips for getting kids involved with jobs at the party (DJing, counting, making them team captains and judging) and organising a scavenger hunt.
The guide put us in such a party mood, we want to share our own tips and games ideas – as well as some of our favourite advice from the guide.
- Two hours is plenty of time for children’s parties and playdates – this gives you lots of time for fun, food and play – any longer and little ones can start to tire out!
- You don’t need to spend hours baking to create a beautiful birthday cake. You can buy pre-iced cakes which you can decorate yourself at home – or pick up a shop-bought cake and decorate it with a bespoke cake topper. You can get any theme online and they look fantastic!
- Be ready for every eventuality by having a party-kit on hand! If it’s a birthday party, you’ll need a knife, candles and matches for the cake as well a big bag for any presents. Make sure you have plenty of tissues within reaching distance for runny noses or accidental spillages
- For the menu, keep the food simple with a balance of savoury, as well as sweet, and with lots of finger food that doesn’t drip or stain.
Here are some of our own tips for hosting successful playdates & kid’s parties
- If anyone asks if you need help, say yes! Ask if they can cut carrot sticks beforehand, stick around to supervise or pitch in with cleanup at pickup time. A heartfelt request, a thank you, a cup of tea and a biscuit go a long way, plus it’s a great way to get to know other parents better.
- Create a special snack area for grownups – The parents we know love a good natter while nibbling on kids’ party food – crudités and dip, cake and of course a packet of Pom-Bear.
- Schedule out the afternoon – we mean really schedule it. Map out a plan, blocked out in chunks: It might look like this:
- 10 mins for arrivals and free play
- 15 mins for a ‘get to know you’ game
- 15 mins for a crafting activity or ‘challenge’
- 5 mins for a water and loo break
- 15 mins for another game
- 20 mins for break for snacks
- 15 mins for an active game
- 10 mins for cake or sweet treats
- 10 mins of tidying up fun
- Have an extra activity or two ready to go in case the kids get restless and you need to switch things up.
- Get a big stash of ‘prizes’ to give out as rewards so everyone’s a winner. We like stickers, temporary tattoos, pencils or rubbers, a packet of Pom-Bear and so on. If you don’t want to hand them out throughout the party, set up paper bags with every child’s name on it so you can drop in their prizes (and ensure that everyone’s gotten several). Be generous and give out prizes not just for ‘winners’ but for ‘most helpful’, ‘good cheering’, ‘top recycling/tidying’ and so on.
- When picking teams, don’t let kids choose. Number them off going around the room (1-2-1-2…) then get all the 1s and the 2s into teams. That way, nobody is chosen last.
10 Great Playdate and Party Games
You can’t go wrong with Pass the Parcel, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Musical Chairs and Piñatas, but why not shake things up with some new party games out of the Pom-Bear party guide.
- Big Bear’s Footsteps – Everyone stands at one end of the room. One person (The Bear) stands right at the far end with a bowl full of sweets at their feet. When the Bear turns away from everyone, they creep forward slowly and quietly. When they spin back around everyone must freeze, any movers go back to the beginning. Keep playing until everyone has managed to get close enough to steal a sweet! Then you can play round two on hands and knees for a bit of a challenge
- Teddy Bear Scavenger Hunt – This game can be played inside or outdoors making it great for all seasons! Simply hide a teddy bear and let the children hunt to find it. You can adapt the game to suit different ages – younger children could each hunt for a bear with their name on – or if they are a little older, you could hide clues to lead them to the final hiding place.
We’ve also included some of our favourite party and playdate activities…
- Balloon race – Children grab a balloon at the starting line, run down to a chair, sit on the balloon to pop it then race back to tag the next person. With more children, teams can compete. With fewer, they can play beat the clock.
- Water balloon toss – Gather the children outside then position them so they start standing close together, tossing the water balloon back and forth. After each toss, one takes a step back until…. This is one game when it’s almost better when someone drops the ‘ball’, and everyone gets splashed!
- Memory game – We love how simple but fun this game is. Place a tray of items from around the house (a spatula, a stapler, a hair ribbon, a screw) in front of everyone and give them a minute to memorise. Take it away then everyone writes down as many items as they can remember.
- Limbo – Who says this went out of style with Elvis in Blue Hawaii? Grab a broom handle and watch the kids giggle as they try to go lower and lower each round.
- Cornhole / Bean bag toss – This game is great inside and out. Toss beanbags into a hula hoop, a pan or other receptacle based on the skill level of the children’s aim. Variations could include bouncing a ping pong into a cup on a table or sailing cards into a hat.
- Ping pong ‘football’ – This one’s great for playdates and smaller groups of 2. Use masking tape to create a goal line on a tabletop. Children try to flick a Ping-Pong across their opponent’s line.
- Musical statues – So simple and so fun! Put on the music for a boogie and when it stops, they have to strike a pose. Give prizes, make people get ‘out’ if they don’t stop moving in time or just urge the kids to get sillier and sillier whenever the music stops.
- Salt dough modelling – This is a great inexpensive activity to slow the action down when the kids have been tearing around long enough. Make a simple salt dough and challenge them to create something: pendants, animal sculptures, the letter of their first name, hearts etc. Poke a hole in the top and thread through ribbon. If you do this at the beginning of the party, they will be dry enough by the end for the children to take them home.
Get more great party tips and games from Pom-Bear and Sharky & George in The Pom-Bear Party & Playdate Survival Guide