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 3


INVITING TROUBLE

"It will all be such fun" said Amelia,
"And there's no need to worry you'll see,
Even though from my list of twenty best friends
I've had to invite forty three".

Aah yes Invitations, how innocent they are. Available in a whole host of pretty colours, some bearing pictures of current children's heros such as Thunderbirds and Batman (that's strange, I'm sure they had those when I was a lad). Yes the writing of invitations is at least one part of the party where nothing can go wrong, am I right? Those of you who answered "yes" read on and those who answered "no" take a two week holiday in Barbados, at your own expense of course.

Unfortunately even at this seemingly stress free stage of party planning it is possible to sow a couple of those legendary seeds of disaster. To avoid this unnecessary manual labour, here's what you do.

1) Before inviting the whole class take a look at the room in which you are proposing to entertain the little dears. If you genuinely feel that it is going to be a bit of a squeeze then don't do it. Much better to ask the soon to be party host or hostess, to select a group of special friends for the day. This will give everyone (including you) room to breath and move around without continually bumping into and damaging things. You will with this one simple action be minimising the possibility of injury to both, little bodies and already depleted bank balances.

If you really must invite Uncle Tom Cobbly and all, then it would be much wiser to move the party lock stock and birthday cake to a local hall. Parties in halls however are a whole different ball game, Rugby being the one that springs to mind, and I will be dealing with these later on in my special "NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED" section.

2)

"But they're all well behaved" she continued,
"There'll be no one whose naughty, it's true!
Except perhaps Tommy or Mary or John
Or the one they call "Kid Super Glue"!!

Let's be honest here, not all children can be accurately described by the phrase "little angel". Indeed some of them would more suitably fit the description "little *******". Yes of course the missing word is "problem", unless of course you know better. As the organiser of a "successful" children's party it is in your own interests and those of the other guests NOT to invite trouble-makers. Make no mistake about this, children are great judges of character and if they refer to someone as a "naughty" boy or girl, do not even entertain the idea of sending them an invitation. This single piece of advice will increase the odds of surviving the big day dramatically and is undoubtedly worth the price of this book on its own (if we were charging you for it). Remember the proverb "One bad apple etc. etc. (actually I don't think it ends with etc. etc. but I couldn't remember the rest).

3) And finally (let me hear you all say "it's about time").......correct, it is indeed about time, the time of the party to be precise. Here again, as you sit poised to write the invitation, you are holding potential success or failure in the palm of your hand, it may look like a pen to you but believe me.... For your eyes only I will now reveal the optimum time for a successful children's party (imagine a drum roll here). It is TWO HOURS. Yes just two, not three or two and a half but TWO HOURS. Trying to impress everyone by having a longer party, may look good on the invitations. On the day however as you frantically try to come up with another twenty seven games to fill that final hour, while the children cheerfully show off their expertise in the field of demolition, you will realise, all too late, the hidden truth in that wise old saying, "size isn't everything" (titter ye not).

Children are far more impressed with the content of a party than the duration of it so pick out your TWO HOURS and write them clearly on the invitation. A word of caution here, don't be tempted to add half an hour or even fifteen minutes either side for taking coats off or putting coats on etc. In practise this is pure fantasy and most of the guests will be ready for action within a couple of minutes of arriving. Similarly it will take far less time than you imagine for coats, party bags and parents to be assigned to the relevant individuals at the end of the proceedings.

Before the invitations are sent out do remember to make a separate note of all the details, i.e. names of the guests, date of the party, time of the party and keep it in a safe place for reference. This done you can sit back, put your feet up, have a drink, (lemonade or orange juice) safe in the knowledge that you, yes you, have single-handedly (well almost), put the wheels in motion for your darling son or daughter's first, problem free (you can always hope), birthday party. And incidentally while you are laying there, why not reflect for a moment on what a wonderful guide this is and wouldn't it be a great idea to phone everyone you know and urge them to go on-line immediately and read it and then phone their friends and... (that's enough of that....Ed).

 

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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