Children’s parties: a growth industry?

Decorate your own t-shirt

There are so many great ideas out there – opportunities waiting to be tapped.

Children’s parties have shifted focus.

When our kids were small their parties were held at home. We prepared party food for days, stayed up late decorating THE cake, and then let chaos take over our homes for several precious hours. The kids ran around screaming at the tops of their voices, played party games like ‘pass the parcel’, devoured plates of fairy bread, sausage rolls, cheerios, mini-quiches, jelly and ice-cream and ate heaps of sweets.

They all went home happy and exhausted. There was no talk of ‘too much sugar’. They were wonderful moments in time.

The clean up was fun … not too onerous. As our kids got older activities like indoor cricket, paintball and laser-strike became popular – either before or after the feed at home.

It’s great to see that girls are now being better catered for … although I can only imagine the pressure it puts some parents under.

We walked into a fabulous children’s gift shop in Auckland recently – Seedlings. It sells a broad range of products focused on educational activities: cooking kits, kids gardening kits, craft activities, art products, science kits, a few quirky toys and great books. It’s the kind of shop that you just can’t walk past – it begs you to come in and browse. And browse we did … I thought it was fabulous. (We also bought a few xmas presents knowing that they would be enthusiastically received by parents and children alike.)

At the back of the shop a couple of tables were set up with pots of paintbrushes, pens and pencils, crafty-bits and bobs and pristine white cotton camisole tops laid out flat – looked to me like they were for 5-6 year olds. I asked the shop assistant (a lovely young girl) what the set-up was for … a birthday party.

What fun! Such a fabulous idea … I’d love to have a go at decorating my own cami-top even now. You’re never too old!

I didn’t ask if the party included food. There was no sign of any in the shop, but that’s not to say it wasn’t there.

Then yesterday as I was walking in town I saw a similar set-up in a bead shop. No need to ask questions this time.

It made me wonder whether these new party activities are a godsend for parents who don’t know what to do or whether they just put more pressure on the household dollar. For creative fun-loving entrepreneurs, there seems to be heap of opportunity….

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