Introduction Foreword Chapter 1 - In Praise Of Children's Parties Chapter 2 - So What Was Chapter 1 All About? Chapter 3 - Inviting Trouble Chapter 4 - We've Only Just Begun Chapter 5 - Beware Of Strangers Bearing Gifts Chapter 6 - Let The Games Commence Chapter 7 - That's Another Fine Mess Chapter 8 - Feeding Time At The Zoo Chapter 9 - To Be Or Not To Be Chapter 10 - Tea For 2 (or 20, or 200!) Chapter 11 - Everybody Get Down Chapter 12 - The Party's Over Appendix 1 - Parties Outside The Home Appendix 2 - Further Reading Appendix 3 - Table of Contents

The Complete Children's Party Survival Guide

By Rob Grigor

 

CHAPTER 12


The Party's Over!

The last hour flew by in what seemed like a week,
The quietness descending like heaven
As the children withdrew, apart from a few,
Who imagined it finished at Seven!

Can it really be true, are we really nearing the end? Yes, the end is nigh. It is almost time to return those angelic little creatures that you have so expertly kept under control (and wonderfully entertained) for the last two hours, to their rightful owners.

In the nightmare scenario alluded to in the penultimate verse of the poem above we can see that even at this stage of the proceedings it is possible for problems to occur. In your case however due to your stalwart adherence to the guidelines of this book, it should be the proverbial breeze and a warm comforting one at that.

Parents will usually start to arrive anything up to 10 minutes before the end of the party. Unless they urgently have to remove their little ones and be on their way immediately, it is better to continue on with what you are doing and let one of your helpers greet the incoming guardians without disturbing the final stages of your carefully organized program. To this end, if it is at all possible to have them wait in another room or the hallway or garden (if the weather permits), so much the better.

In the event that a child has to leave early then it is a simple matter to locate their party bag, and allow them to leave, accompanied by profuse waving and a chorus of goodbyes from the remaining hoard. Do not be tempted to break up the party at this point or leave the children to their own devices as, even in these last few minutes, chaos can ensue.

The final stages of handing the children over to their rightful protectors is most definitely a two handed operation. As the parent of the party host/hostess you will, quite rightly, want to see the children off yourself and should therefore once again utilise the assistance of a helper to keep the children seated, releasing them one at a time to avoid a stampede. This is done quite easily with the aid of the party bags.

Once again the children are invited to sit as nicely as possible and advised that you will choose the ones sitting the best to come up and collect a party bag. If the bags are named, do make sure that you have them arranged alphabetically so that it is easy to find the correct one each time. Alternatively you can call out the names one at a time and have the appropriate child come up to collect the bag, after which they are instructed to make their way to where the parents are waiting as “they are allowed to take one of them home with them as well” (always gets a giggle from the adults). At this point, if you have balloons to be distributed also, a third helper can assist or you can do this yourself. Do not be tempted however to distribute them willy nilly to the rest of the still seated children as that is the surest way to dissolve your carefully built up harmonious exodus.

The person in charge of distributing the party bags should keep an eye on the parent child ratio at all times and avoid releasing too many children too quickly. This helps to provide time for parents to make sure that their offspring are reunited with their, coats, shoes, socks, kitchen sinks etc. before leaving.

In an ideal world each parent along with their joyfully enthusiastic child/children will then make a speedy exit and avoid clogging up the hallway, front porch etc. If for any reason you need to have a longer chat with anyone of them or they with you, just ask them to wait to one side until the thronging crowds have cleared.

Many of you will no doubt have witnessed scenarios where the parents are invited to stay a while and partake of a beverage before leaving the party. Needless to say this is not to be recommended from a smooth running party point of view and as such falls beyond the scope of this book. As somebody once said, if you decide to do this, “on your own head be it”.

And that (pause for a drum roll) is that!! Job done. Party over. Now that wasn’t too difficult was it? Time to look at the very last verse of our poem:

'Twas the day of Amelia's party
And she'd had a great time, that was plain
As she went to bed dancing and singing,
Her parents cried "NEVER AGAIN"!!

Never again? Well you might not exactly be champing at the bit to do it all over again straight away. After all, even a smoothly run party requires a fair amount of energy, patience and valium (just kidding). But chances are that having completed your first brilliantly well organised and hugely rewarding children’s party you will actually be looking forward to the next time, “Oh yes you will”.

So there you have it, The Complete Children’s Party Survival Guide. Well perhaps not completely complete. There are of course other case scenarios, parties outside the home for instance which may require a slightly modified approach. Rest assured however that the golden rules laid out in these pages will stand you in good stead and can be applied to all types of children’s parties both large and small. For the sake of completeness however I have added a few appendices with additional advice and links to games, entertainers etc. which you may enjoy browsing through.

I wish you good luck with all your future parties and hope that you will...

Sing the praises far and wide
of The Complete Children’s Party Survival Guide.

Rob Grigor.

Introduction Foreword Chapter 1 - In Praise Of Children's Parties Chapter 2 - So What Was Chapter 1 All About? Chapter 3 - Inviting Trouble Chapter 4 - We've Only Just Begun Chapter 5 - Beware Of Strangers Bearing Gifts Chapter 6 - Let The Games Commence Chapter 7 - That's Another Fine Mess Chapter 8 - Feeding Time At The Zoo Chapter 9 - To Be Or Not To Be Chapter 10 - Tea For 2 (or 20, or 200!) Chapter 11 - Everybody Get Down Chapter 12 - The Party's Over Appendix 1 - Parties Outside The Home Appendix 2 - Further Reading Appendix 3 - Table of Contents

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