A Guest Post By Chris Skaroupka
What is the role of the Modern Party Dad? Contemporary Dads are now stepping up and taking one for the team, by sharing the mental load of the party planning stress. In this guest blog post written by my adorable husband, you’ll read about all the different ways it’s possible for your child’s father to help with the many aspects of organising and throwing a beautiful children’s birthday party!
I’m not one for gender stereotypes, but in this modern age, Dads can have a significant role in their children’s party! That’s right, you have heard it. I’m not saying that we are the ones that need to decide on the party theme or the guest list, what I am saying is that we can do more than just turn up!
Over the last 6 years, I’ve had a unique insight to what goes into parties, from the planning phase right up to the big day. Now I was hopeless to start… I would have called myself poor labour at best. But, as time progressed I evolved and with each party took on greater interest and input. So if I can offer any dads some advice on how to be a larger part of your child’s special day (and of course share the workload with your significant other) here is a quick list for you to get cracking on:
1. Party Day Lead Up
I’ve found this part of the party process the hardest. I’m one to get excited the night before an event rather than days or weeks before. It is fun though to get the kiddies a bit hyped up about their upcoming special day. Ask your child daily from a couple of weeks before the party “Are you excited for the party?” and “How many sleeps to go?” and really build up the anticipation!
Now comes some of the more pragmatic things. Print & Party has a free downloadable Perfect Party Planner which is a really simple way to make sure that all items have been ticked off. Chances are that the theme and invitations have already been done. Create a list of all the types of food and drinks which could be served, both hot and cold. Now do a quick Google and see if any of the items are on sale at the shops (who doesn’t like making use of a bargain when they are around).
Have a think about music for the party. This is something which can be done straight from Spotify and pumped out through a blue tooth speaker. Simpler is best here – it’s just for the background music as the kids will be off playing. That is unless you play pass the parcel. This brings us to games. So if you are having games, just have a few crowd favourites ready as usually that is more than enough.
Otherwise just communicate with your significant other regarding any party decisions and ask every few days if there is anything else that you can do to help out.
2. Set Up
No, you don’t need to buy and van to transport all the party goods, but you should be there to help set up on party day. This means arriving early and helping be the match day labour. Depending on the venue, it might be things such as reserving tables at a park or setting up a marquee. If you hire a hall or have the party at your house, you could be helping to put up bunting and balloon garlands (if you google these they are nowhere near as intimidating as they sound.)
There could be specific tables for the cake, presents and drinks. Having an idea from the outset where things go makes for a much smoother set up. There should be a list of party day tasks that need to be completed so you can run through these and tick them off one by one.
3. Be There
We all live busy lives and get caught up at work but, it’s really important that you are there for the whole duration of the party. Kids get super excited in the lead up to party time and there is no better start to an event then when your child can watch you help set up and also greet their friends on arrival. Once all the guests are there make sure everyone (adults included) have enough food and drinks. Don’t be afraid to carry some trays of food around as this way you can mingle. Chances are you could see these same people over and over again at future parties, so get to know the parents of your kid’s friends.
Kids can get a bit over-excited on the day, so chances are someone will fall over and hurt themselves during the party. Supervise the kids and ensure the sugar-laden children maintain a relative amount of controlled fun. Try and take some photos throughout the day. Using your phone is fine if you don’t have a SLR camera. Remember to capture any tables (including close ups) that have been set up at the start of the party, as what makes parties special is the little details. Another good tip is to take a little video of the Happy Birthday song (we forgot to do that at our son’s First Birthday Party!)
Most importantly of all, make sure you can smile and have a laugh as today is something your kids will remember, both in memories and in photos. Thank your guests for making the effort to come and celebrate with your family.
So, as you can see, the Modern Party Dad can do quite a lot to be involved through the process of party planning. The best thing, is that after all your hard work, you’ve totally earned that ice cold beer… after pack up of course!
Freebie: Perfect Party Planner
Make your party planning a breeze with our free downloadable Perfect Party Planner. Click to download now: