Do your kids love Disney? Do you have girls? Did they love Monster High…EverAfter High…and now love The Descendants? Mine do. I have no control over this. They come home, every day just knowing things…things that I know absolutely nothing about, but that now, I just have to know. Things I wouldn’t necessarily choose… But then, I am not 10, or 9 or 5 for that matter. They will always be telling me how to “know” new things.
So…The Descendants. That was the chosen theme for this year’s home-birthday-party. If you are not familiar, here’s a loose interpretation: The villians from the Disney movies, have kids. The kids are the “Descendants.” These kids have been banished from the Island where all the protagonists live. It is arranged to have 4 kids, the children of Cruella Daville, Malificient, Jafar, and The Evil Queen in Snow White, go to school with the Protagonist’s kids: giving them some opportunity.
Sigh. See? I know way more than I want to about things, I don’t really want to know about. Anyhooo….
Here was the plan for the party:
So that is the itinerary that we followed. Of course, I was too busy actually LIVING my life to record it for the blog. I am sorry, but I just don’t have any pictures. What???? I know. Weelll…Barely any.
Here are my tips for hosting ANY type of kid’s party:
(Because you will need all the help you can get… when you decide to host your own birthday party for 18, under-9 year olds!!)
1. Clean the house.
2. Clear the house: put away all toys and extra little things so that 1) your decorations stand out 2) no one messes up the nice things that you have 3) it helps keep everything in order when the chaos begins.
3. Set an expectation for the parents. Don’t stay. Don’t come. Your crazy kids will have way more fun when you give them 3 hours to play at my house. Come to pick them up ON-time. Yes, I want to have them to myself for 3 hours…but don’t be late. When it’s over, it’s over.
4. Set expectations for the kids. I start with the itinerary placed at every place setting. It set them up to know what was happening and when. I stuck to the list, and if I veered from it at all, it was minimal and explained.
5. Overplan. I put a ton of activities on the schedule this year. I learned from last year’s party (link) that idle kids, means trouble. They find their own entertainment, and it’s usually loud. So I over-book our time. Activities take surprisingly less time than you think, if they are done well, and even not rushing through, this timeline was PERFECT for a 3 hour party for 18 participants with each activity.
6. Let someone else help you. I had my husband and my mom helping me the whole time. While I was the main “cruise director” of sorts ushering each task, my mom did the cooking and prepping for the “cake time”. My husband was good about clearing the decks from the previous task, or helping with an activity. It was also good to have him there chatting to the parents while I was still involved with the kids.
7. Have fun! The kids know when you are having a good time, so try to enjoy it! You have planned this party, so let yourself relax. You may decide that you love the parties at home, as I do. Yes, they take work, and yes, you need helpers, but for an inside the house party, you can really make it tailored to fun and activities that the kids will love.
Specifics For a Descendants Themed Party:
The whole party was built around the idea that the kids were part of the story of the Descendants. We didn’t really overdo this too much. Essentially it was just breaking all the kids into 2 teams: Team Evie or Team Mal. All the activities were competitions that the winning team tried to score a point. The team with the most points at the end, won a prize (a YOYO for us).
We started the party on a Friday night (bonus, because the kids already had a day of school to get a little tired-out) at 5:30 and ended at 8:30. I made the mistake of having it on a Saturday and a sleepover…not good. A three hour end-of-week party is way better!
When the kids arrived they found their name and place-setting at the table, which had a print-out of the itinerary in front of them, and a water bottle. This was kind of their home-base. In between tasks, or actually some of the activities took place back at the table, so it was a way to re-group and also so they could always come back to an assigned spot.
The kids were great about keeping up with the program, and also involved with their teams. I used a few teacher tricks like clapping three times, which got them to also repeat the clap, and then quiet themselves (thank you teacher friends!). My mom was the judge for the cookie-decorating contest, and we moved right into another activity away from the table to get them to NOT eat the cookie, and let us pack it in a baggie for them.
It was like Survivor for 9 year olds, except they all survived and most thrived and loved it. I didn’t have to yell once, or interject at all, and it was actually super entertaining to watch them (and hear them…it did get really loud!) have so much fun chasing down a win!
I hope you host your own birthday party at home, because it was fun, and unique and because you can make it your very own. Have a great day and if you have ANY questions, just send me an email or comment below!
Linking up with: Winthrop Chronicles