And so it begins. Your children have reached the age where they can nag, lobby and moan for what they want. Close the door on the golden age of toddlerdom, when they just went with the flow and worshipped every move you made. Those days are in the past, and you will have time to look back on the fond memories when you are old and grey.
But right now, more important matters need addressing. Your children are old enough to have strong opinions about the type of party they have. For months they will have been musing over different ideas. They may want a spider man themed party, complete with arachnid expert (and his hairy, eight legged friends) from the zoo. Or how about a hair and nails makeover for the girls at the local salon? Do you think your nerves are up to a gang of marauding kids buzzing down zip wires through the forest in a re-enactment of Tarzan? Could your budget cope with a trip to a West End show?
Don’t despair. All of the above options are guaranteed to send you over the edge, so don’t agree to any of them. Work out your excuses early and stick to them. Don’t let the kids grind you down. Tell them they are going to have a craft party – and that they will enjoy it. End of story.
This article is all about throwing a craft party for kids whilst retaining your sanity. Let me explain the many benefits of a craft themed extravaganza that you may not have already considered in your over-stressed, parentally-pressured state.
Although we like to indulge our kids, going bankrupt to throw a party isn’t going to help anyone. A craft party can be held at home and the art and craft supplies can be decided upon and purchased beforehand. Both of these key elements mean you have a degree of control over the venue and the cost of entertainment. Throwing a bash in your home is free, and ordering art and craft supplies online in advance is a cost effective and efficient use of your money and time. This is all sensible stuff and it should be making you feel very calm, grounded and most of all, sane.
A party that has a strong theme and focus, with a project to complete that children can take home, will be far more memorable than most other chaotic and poorly planned kiddo jamborees. Not only will party guests be occupied and entertained by the craft activity, they should feel satisfied and pleased with their efforts afterwards. A party with a point, other than to just crank the hysteria to the max, gorge on sugary food and drink and scream at the tops of their voices – how refreshing. Just you wait – sending children home happy and centred with a craft project to be proud of; you might start a trend.
It’s no accident that art can be a form of therapy, used to ease the troubled minds of young and old. Exploit this cunning coincidence by choosing projects that will engage, intrigue and challenge young guests. Whether it’s origami, papier mache, card making, beading and jewellery, painting or stencilling, pottery, masks, sewing or one of the many other craft projects you could choose – if you strive to make it relevant and personal to them with a well judged level of difficulty, you really can’t go wrong. Yes, arts and crafts can be the best form of therapy for children and adults alike.
The final thing to consider about a craft party are the practicalities. Make sure you have enough equipment to empower the kids to succeed with the project. Don’t let the house get trashed, reserve a special, easy clean space where crafting is to take place. If the weather is good, it may be nice to get artistic outside. Have a rough idea of how you want the party to roll out. It is wise to save the cake and food and drink until after the crafts are finished. Think about how party guests will transport their craft project when they leave – do they need a bag or box?
Don’t be out manoeuvred by your kids and tricked into throwing a party that could separate you from your marbles. Other parents will appreciate the effort and thought that has gone into planning a craft party that aims to stimulate creativity among children and gives them a sense of achievement. How many crazy kids parties do that?