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Legendary kids party

The Ultimate Guide to Kids Escape Room Party Success

Check off these 12 things to guarantee fun for your kids ... and to be a super parent!
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Shirley watson puzzle master
When there's a kids' party every weekend, how do you make yours stand out? Easy, just follow this checklist, and watch their smiles light up!

Wondering how to make your kid's day special?

You're not alone.

That’s a question that every parent has asked – and if you have more than one child, you probably ask it several times a year. Let's face it, coming up with interesting kids parties is hard!

Whether you go with a completely original idea, a long-time favorite, or some sort of mash-up of themes and activities, you’ll always want your kids to have the best party experience ever

After all, who doesn’t love that look of total awe in their eyes? Yep, 'Parent of the Year' is a title to be proud of! And good news, we've got the secret sauce you'll need to wow your kids no matter what. The key? A kids escape room game and just a little old-fashioned planning.

Shall we get started?
Show me the kids escape rooms

1. Pick a Theme

First, you'll need a theme for your kids party, and choosing one is usually easier than you think.

Kids generally go through phases when they’re obsessed with something: trains, unicorns, superheroes, pirates, butterflies, a sport, a book, an animated movie, a cartoon show, dinosaurs, mermaids, space, the beach … the list goes on.

Then there are one-off experiences that are guaranteed to delight young and old, from the circus to solving a mystery and from ‘visiting’ an exotic destination to a magic show.

The great thing about picking a theme for a kids’ party is that everyone can get into the spirit of the occasion even before the party starts, not to mention that it’s the clearest way to express the fact that this is something out of the ordinary, something special.
And, let’s be honest, we never grow out of wanting to play pretend and dress-ups (it’s just that, as you get older, you need a better excuse, like Halloween).

There’s only one ‘rule’ around selecting a theme: you need to be able to decorate in some way to make sure the theme is represented in the look of the party.

If you’re stuck with theme ideas, here’s a list of kids party theme ideas that you can steal right now.

If you make it clear what the theme is in the invitations, the guests will anticipate what you’ll be offering, which will build the excitement – but you will want to meet those expectations.

Depending on how creative you are, you may need to temper your ambition and vision for the perfect party, because some themes take a lot more effort and cost a lot more to pull off successfully. Don't worry though, at the end of the day, this is a kids party. With a few decorations and the right soundtrack, the kids will quickly fill in the rest with their imaginations (and no, that's not a cop-out, that's a real thing!).

2. Work Out a Realistic Budget

Deciding how much you’re going to spend before you start will help you plan more thoughtfully and resourcefully. Unless money is no object, you don’t want to spend it on small things that nobody notices... it's not fun when you're forced to cut corners on the more significant big-ticket items. 

While sometimes more is better, know your limits. Often, doing a couple of things outstandingly well is an even better approach. Hiring a venue, for example, will account for a good portion of your budget, whereas if you’re able to host the party at your place, that’s probably several hundred dollars that you can allocate to decorations, party favors, entertainers, or even some extra sets of hands, instead. This means you could save money on the venue, and turn your whole house into a live game experience like this - awesome!!!

If you know you have a certain amount to spend, you can decide how important it is to have lots of different foods. After all, when you get kids hyped up on the party atmosphere (and fizzy drinks), they don’t care all that much whether you give them a selection of gourmet quiches!

At the same time, if it’s a birthday party and having the perfect cake to suit the theme is a pivotal part of your vision, you might need to set aside a decent ‘slice’ of your funding to get that right (see 6. Consider the cake carefully).
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3. Get the Guest List Right

It’s important for parents to understand this so that they can help their kids get it, too: you can’t always include everyone in everything.

That’s not being petty or playing favorites, it’s simply being practical. Logistics generally dictate some limits.

When it comes to kids, they often have a few ‘best friends’, but their broader circle of friends tends to change by the week, if not the day.

Ask most youngsters who they’d like to invite to their party, and they’ll only be really definitive about a few. If you need to set an upper limit, you should start with that number in mind. Perhaps surprisingly, if you aim for 15 or 20 or 25 invitees, your kids can often get pretty close to the mark.

The real test comes when your child wants to invite all but a couple of the kids from his or her class, team, or some other relatively small group. Is it fair to leave one or two out when all the others will be talking about it in front of them? It’s worth asking your child if there’s a particular reason they don’t want to invite those couple of kids and, if there’s not, ask them how they would feel if they were the only one not invited to another child’s party.

The difference that adding a couple more to the guest list makes to your cost might be very small compared to the difference being invited to join in the fun will make to those kids. (Especially if you're running the event as a kids escape room game, they can fit any number of kids). But, in the end, it’s your party and you and your child do need to do what feels right for you.

SPOILER - You can jump ahead and skip the fuss with a printable kids escape room kit

Show me the kids escape rooms

4. Decide on the Right Venue

Of course, there’s a chance that choosing the venue comes with choosing the theme, particularly if the two things go hand-in-hand (for example, a bowling party needs to be at a bowling alley).

Choosing a venue can be tricky, although sometimes your hand is forced somewhat. If your home just isn’t big enough or otherwise not ideal for the number of guests and the entertainment or activities you’re planning, you might have no choice but to look elsewhere. 

If your child is a member of a sporting or other club, and is inviting all of his or her teammates, the clubrooms might be just the ticket.

Locality is also a factor. If most of your invitees live nearby, as is often the case with kids’ parties, you probably don’t want to ask the parents to drive an hour away – unless it’s for a truly unique venue.
Escape room game at a school
Depending on your theme, there might be places that are ideal, like a swimming pool or a beachside venue if you’re throwing a Little Mermaid (or Spongebob Squarepants) party, a music studio for a musical theme, or a playcenter if the activities are going to be fairly, well, active.

A lot of people prefer to host a kids’ party at their own home because they feel more in control and are more comfortable making decisions and setting things up, and those are pretty good reasons. If you've never tried hosting a themed kids' party at your house before, check out this kids party that the Adams family threw for inspiration. (Don't be overwhelmed! Yours doesn't have to be anywhere near as extravagent!)

If you want to put up a lot of decorations and props to really ‘sell’ your theme, that can certainly be easier to do at home, unless it’s easier to work with a blank slate, in which case a relatively sparse room such as a community center hall or even a gym might give you free rein.

5. Make Inviting Invitations

An invitation can be very simple and matter of fact, however, kids’ party invitations are one element that can provide maximum impact with just a little bit of extra creativity and effort. This is especially true for themed parties, because the extra level of excitement that kids can get from receiving an invitation to a themed party shouldn’t be underestimated.

To be fair, kids get excited about being invited to a party anyway, anywhere, anyhow, but if you really want to commit to a theme why wouldn’t you want your guests to get that from the get-go?

You could spend aaages crafting the perfect invitation (and if that's your jam, good on you!), but we've got you covered. Our kids' escape room kits all have customizable party invitation templates, so all you need to do is put in your details and boom! Instant party invite epicness!
Invitation writing tips:

If you want your guests to dress for your theme – or especially if they have to wear or bring something – make that a very clear focal point. The parents and kids would prefer to know up front of they should bring swimsuits and towels, wear clothes that they don’t mind getting messy in, or come along with their own favorite teddy bear to join the picnic.

As well as making the date, time, and venue for the party clear, one thing you shouldn’t overlook is to make the RSVP clear and simple. Who should they RSVP to, how, and by what date?

Every parent of every invitee will appreciate you making it easy for them to RSVP – not to mention you’ll be making things a lot easier on yourself if you don’t need to do as much chasing up or wondering whether your child’s friends are coming or not.

6. Consider the Cake Carefully

If your party is to celebrate a birthday, having a cake is a nobrainer. Sometimes a simple cake with “Happy Birthday Buddy” is enough. After all, isn’t it all about blowing out the candles? Once you choose a theme, however, you’ve pretty much locked yourself in to upping your cake game!

The difference in cake-making expertise and effort – and, therefore, cost – can be significant, depending on whether you want the cake in a certain shape and how closely you want to match the look of the cake to an object or character. Then you can go a step further and have multiple characters or figurines adorning the cake.

Depending on whether you want to spend under $100 or up to several hundred dollars and whether you think the perfect cake will make or break how memorable your child’s birthday party actually is, you may need to spend a bit of time thinking, discussing, and deciding.

In the end, what sort of cake you get might be the most important thing to the birthday boy or girl and their guests. You can’t go wrong with chocolate … or ice-cream … or chocolate ice-cream!
Party time with Lost Mummy

Psst... We've done 90% of the work for you, just grab a printable party kit.

Show me the kids escape rooms

7. Figure Out Your Shopping List

Snacking while playing Escape Zoom Z - zombie escape room
Your party supplies shopping list might include any or all of:

· Food – This might be themed, for example popcorn and fairy floss for a carnival or circus theme, hotdogs for a sporting theme, fairy bread for fairy theme, and frozen food if your kids can’t let it go! 

You might want to make sure most of the food is easy for kids to pick up without making too much of a mess, and if the parents are staying while the kids party, don’t forget something for them to snack on.

· Drinks – As kids often have a sip of their drink then get distracted, consider how to provide individual drinks that they can keep going back to, for example juice boxes or drink bottles with names on them. The added bonus is likely to be less spillage!

· Table settings – Plates, bowls, plastic forks and spoons, napkins and the like come in lots of colors, while paper plates, bowls, and napkins are also available with a range of party-themed prints and patterns.
· Party favors – Whether it’s party poppers, noisemakers, hats, fake tattoos, plastic animals, wristbands, rings, necklaces, or anything else to help the guests get right into the party spirit, sometimes one or two of these can be a perfect way to reinforce a theme.

· Decorations – Here’s a chance to get creative in ‘dressing’ your venue to suit the occasion. From the basics like balloons, streamers, and bunting to bigger things like a balloon arch, a banner, or a chalkboard or sign on an easel, you simply must have a few decorations at any kids’ party.

When it comes to a themed party, though, you can go quite a bit further, with decorative features made from Papier Mache, cardboard or wooden cut-outs, pictures and posters, fabric backdrops, table centerpieces, and even plush toys.

If you're hosting an escape room for kids, our printable kits come bundled with a bucketload of party goodies that will theme your place in an instant - posters, photo booth props, table decorations, and fun art assets you can steal for later...

· Props – Props are particularly handy if you’re looking to decorate on a larger scale (creating perfect photo opportunities). These might be actual items that you hire or dig out of an attic, printed backdrops and/or cardboard ‘standees’ that suit the theme, like some planets and a rocket for a space-themed party, a t-rex, velociraptor, or triceratops for a dinosaur theme, any number of movie characters, or animals for a farm or jungle theme.
· Equipment – There are quite a few things you can hire for a few hours or a day to pump up your kids’ party, such as popcorn carts, fairy floss machines, bubble machines, carousels, and jumping castles, as well as the more practical things like furniture, serving trolleys, and cake stands.

· Entertainers – Most people know about the ‘traditional’ kids’ party entertainers that you can engage, like clowns, fairies, face painters, magicians, and balloon animal artists. But have you ever considered hiring people to play certain characters?

If you’re having a jungle party, you can arrange for a couple of explorers to lead the expedition, you might want a ringmaster and an acrobat for your circus party, and it shouldn’t be too hard to recruit an astronaut, train driver, or even a superhero or two.

8. Plan Your Entertainment

Whether you opt for professional kids’ party performers (see 7. Figure out your shopping list: Entertainers, above) or not, you’ll probably want a few games and activities to keep the guests amused and entertained.

There’s a good reason that the old staples like Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and Duck, Duck, Goose are perennial favorites: kids are pretty happy with a simple, fun game that everyone can join in.

However, if you’re partying to a theme, you might prefer to design a version of a game or activity that suits that theme. Maybe something like a game of physical or mental skill, possibly something in teams, perhaps something like a treasure hunt looking for items that come together to reveal something theme-related.

This is where hosting an escape room for kids is your best bet. It's a super fun, super novel experience that they're guaranteed to love - plus, if you use a kids escape room kit, the work is done for you. All you need to do is print out the escape room sheets, and you're all set for a solid hour of party fun.

If you are having games or activities, don’t forget to work out what props you need, how much time you need to allocate, whether you need prizes, and if you need music. On the subject of music, you might want to plan and prepare a suitable playlist for the entire event.
Playing Lost Mummy escape room game at home

9. Arrange for Extra Help

If you’ve ever been to (or held) a kids’ party at a specialist kids’ party venue, you’ll understand how much less the parents have to do when the staff look after everything and, therefore, how much more the adults get to be present and enjoy watching their kids have fun.

Even if you’re planning to host a party at your place, it’s a good idea to arrange for a couple of extra sets of hands, whether willing friends and relatives or hired help.

If you’re serving food, give someone who doesn’t have any children at the party the task of putting it out and cleaning it up. That’ll be a massive load off your plate.

If there are games to be organized and guests to be ‘wrangled’, doing that yourself can cause you to miss some of the best fun your birthday boy or girl has, so get a helper to do that job.

And one that’s very much worthwhile for any sort of party: organize someone to take photos and video, particularly of those key moments like the singing of Happy Birthday, blowing out the candles, and cutting the cake. Your kid wants you in those shots, not taking them.

Get it all done in one click. Grab a kids escape room game they'll LOVE!

Show me the kids escape rooms

10. Get Stuff for Gift Bags

As every parent knows, the fun of a kids’ party continues in the car on the way home when your child has been given a gift bag on the way out the door.

Of course, anything with sugar in it is always going to be gleefully received by kids, while some of the smallest novelty items can also put a big smile on little faces.

Putting the guests’ gift bags together is a great opportunity to give one final nod to your party theme because there are so many items that align with a favorite character, movie, or subject.

And don’t overlook the possibility that the bags themselves can be customized to suit your theme, perhaps with some stickers or hand-drawn art, or that the ‘bags’ end up being boxes, tins, or other containers that are shaped, colored, or printed to be more ‘on message’.

One hint: anything you can buy in a bulk pack is a lot easier to manage, as well as being particularly cost-effective - for example, two 10 packs of toy cars will end up costing a lot less per car than 20 bought as individual items.

11. Send Reminders

There are two sorts of reminders that you might want to send out: to those who’ve already RSVP confirming their attendance and to those who haven’t RSVP’d yet.

If you have a handful of invitees who have yet to respond, it’s best not to be left wondering. A few days before the RSVP date, you can check with them by sending a “don’t miss this” reminder – sort of a “last chance to let us know you’re in” note. If they don’t respond to that, they probably don’t want to be invited to any future parties, either!

Then, the week before your party, it’s a great idea to send a reminder with all the details to all those who have confirmed that they’re coming. 

That’s an opportunity to include a checklist of any of those special conditions: what to wear or bring or even a brief agenda of the approximate timings of activities (particularly if timing is tight and any latecomers might be missing some of the good stuff).

12. Send Out Thank You Notes

It’s extremely courteous to send out thank-you notes after any event and it’s a great lesson to teach your kids when they’re young.

Of course, we should all do it with no expectation of a further ‘reward’ but, just between us, if your kids need any convincing you can tell them that more people will want to come to their future parties, and they’ll be invited to more parties themselves if they make this gesture.

One thing to keep in mind for a birthday party: make sure you stick the cards to the gifts as you unwrap them (or make a list as you go) so that you know who gave which present. That will help you personalize the thank-you notes even more (and, as an added bonus, knowing what another child chose to give your child for his or her birthday often gives you a decent hint as to what to get them in return).

We've Got You Covered For Half of Our Tips:

What if we told you that you could cross off about half of the above things in one hit?

That’s exactly the sort of head start to kids’ party planning and organization you get from Lock Paper Scissors’ themed escape room kits. They're top-notch escape room games designed for kids.

For example, our super-popular The Lost Mummy kit comes complete with everything you need to create your own escape room, including editable invitations and posters, customizable puzzles, and even a themed Spotify playlist!

The instructions are easy to follow, you don’t need any equipment, and we offer a money-back guarantee.

All you’ve got to lose is a few stray partygoers somewhere deep in the mummy’s tomb!

Check it out and we’re sure you’ll be amazed by the value we’ve packed in!

Grab a stress-free party in one click. Interested?

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