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How Adults Can Have Fun At a Child's Party PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gina Roberts-Grey   


Quite often parents find themselves guests at a child’s birthday party. Whether you’re intentionally inviting adults to attend or they’re unexpectedly staying to accompany a shy child, it’s always tough to blend food and activities that entertain both children and adults at a young person’s birthday party.


From playing games to serving finger sandwiches, it can be challenging to make sure the adult guests at your child’s party enjoy themselves. Parent hosts typically wonder how to keep two different sets of guests entertained at the same party. From what to serve, to how to find the tine to mingle, hosting a child’s birthday party that includes adult guests presents certain obstacles.

You can throw a party all your guests are sure to enjoy by incorporating a few creative ideas when planning your child’s next party.


Be proactive. When parents call to R.S.V.P., inquire if they’re planning on staying for the party. If you know of a shy or introverted child, invite his parent as well to eliminate potential stress for everyone on the day of the party. You’ll avoid an unexpected attendee or crying guest, and be able to plan for extra food, beverages, seating, etc.


Use creative food and beverage alternatives. Keep the ages of all your guests in mind when planning the menu. Instead of soda or juice boxes, make a colorful punch to serve your guests. Children and adults alike will enjoy clear soda mixed with frozen fruits and ice cream or sherbet. You can serve punch to younger children in spill proof cups while adults sip out of party themed plastic tumblers or glasses. Simple foods that compliment each other such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut with cookie cutters for the kids look nice on a platter that also features finger sandwiches, fruits and cheeses for adults.


Plan games for both groups. Nothing breaks the ice more than silliness. If you have an eclectic blend of party goers, you’ll put your guests at ease if you begin the party with a conversation starting or introduction game. Kids can work mad libs, play pass the balloon or sit in a circle and tell how they all know the birthday child. The adults can answer a sheet of 3 -5 engaging questions designed to give some insight into each other and stimulate socializing among the mixed bunch of guests.


Serve the adults separately. Many parents focus on their children during social settings and public meals. Serving the kids first will create a more relaxed atmosphere for parents to enjoy eating and adult conversation. Parents can focus on enjoying the party while their children have already eaten and are involved in party activities.


Don’t expect parents to help. It can be frustrating if a parent appears unaware their child is acting inappropriately at a birthday party. Also keep in mind that a parent might not realize how overwhelming the party is, however he or she may be willing to lend a hand. If you need help with crowd control or cutting the cake ask for it, but don’t assume that parents will automatically help keep the party on track or clean-up.


Inform parents of the party theme. You’ll eliminate potential tears and confrontations if parents know what to expect at the party. Some guests are fearful of dogs, allergic to cats, or despite a child’s pleading, a parent may prefer their child not eat excessive sweets or have food allergy concerns. If a parent is aware that the party will include a piñata filled with peanut butter treats, they can request or provide an alternative for their child. A highly sensitive child will appreciate your four-legged friend staying out of sight during the party. You’ll prevent a scene at the party and everyone will be comfortable with the planned festivities.


Goodie bags for everyone. Adults appreciate a small take home treat just as much as children. Assemble inexpensive and creative take home favors for adults that feature recipes from the party, theme scented votive candles or home made fudge and toffee. Add flair and pass out disposable containers tied with ribbons and filled with brownies or recipes. Be a comedian with white paper lunch bags that feature a comic strip or humorous photo affixed to the bag. Adding ‘thank you for being a part of our day’ to the goodie bags helps it to serve as a thank you to the adults who attended as well.


Don’t try to be everywhere at once. Party hosts typically feel the need to channel superhuman powers the day of their child’s party. It is difficult to keep a child’s party on track while entertaining several adult guests as well as keeping the party on track. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t have the time to enjoy a lengthy conversation with each of your guests. If you sense a guest is feeling neglected, take a minute to explain how hectic the day is but how you’d love to get together for lunch to catch up. Your guest will know you’re busy but that you value the time they took to attend the party.


Be interactive. If you have some outgoing parents or adults at the party, give them disposable cameras to catch candid shots of the kids and guests. If you’re hosting a child and family party together, ask family members to pass around a video camera and share their thoughts about the birthday child to commemorate the day.


Be relaxed. Attendees will model your attitude. If you project a calm and happy demeanor, you’ll set the tone for a successful day.


Keeping all the potential guests in mind when you’re planning a birthday party will ensure everyone has a memorable day. Your child will enjoy a wonderful party and your guests will appreciate your efforts to host a thoughtful and entertaining event.



Gina Roberts-Grey is a freelance parenting and women's issues writer and has been published in more than 130 regional, national and international magazines. She can be reached via her website www.ginaroberts-grey.com.

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