I recently ran a Christmas party for a toddler group. On the surface, this sounds (relatively) easy – put some music together, run some games, and hand out some prizes. That last one however, is not as easy as it sounds.
As I was looking round the shops, I quickly found that almost all the items available at a reasonable price (bearing in mind I was buying for a party of 20 – 30!) were either not appropriate for the age, or would constitute as a choking hazard. There was also the issue that it was a mixed gender party, so I was ideally looking for non-gender specific prizes.
Here is what I did end up with:
- Pencils and rubbers – princess and pirate themed
- Polkadot purses
- Small soft balls with a football pattern
- Bath toys
- Bouncy balls
- Soft sweets
Annoyingly, I only thought of the bath toys after I had bought the first items, as in hindsight I think finding some packs of bath toys to use as prizes would have been a much better idea than the pencils and rubbers.
I used the first three for the pass the parcels, and created one parcel for girls and one for boys. Again, on the surface this sounds like a good idea, however in the future I will be putting more and more efforts into finding gender neutral prizes, as (especially at the age of 0 – 5) there will inevitably be brothers and sisters there, and the parents usually will need to sit with their children to help them with the game. The other prizes I used for the other games I ran, and chose which to give out based on the age of the winner.
All in all, I had a fantastic time running this party, the children were just lovely, and the older ones were very keen to get involved with the games (while some of the younger ones were happy being memorised by the disco lights!), and from the feedback I’ve had, everyone had a good time!
I am currently in the process of putting together various information documents for my own use for children’s parties, which I’d love to be able to publish online for everyone to use, so if you have children, I would love to hear your thoughts on what would make good prizes at a party (and also what doesn’t make a good prize at a party!) Please post your thoughts below, and let me know what age your kids are too 🙂