Anything but child’s play
Planning kids’ parties in the Pinterest age is anything but child’s play.
To assist wary, and weary, parents managing expectations and Frozen-theme fatigue, New Zealand’s first Kids’ Birthday Party Expo is on in Palmerston North for two days this week.
It intends to showcase creative and contemporary easy-to-organise ideas for celebrating children’s birthdays and making them memorable.
It was the brainchild of Palmerston North woman Emma Anderson, the result of one of those ‘wouldn’t it be good if there was...’ moments.
‘‘When I became a mum I realised how time-consuming it was looking for party ideas, and how the costs add up.’’
Anderson has two boys, Roman, 5, and Vincent, 4.
‘‘I have always loved creating unique parties for my kids. I am not proclaiming to be the best, but I have as much fun during the planning process as the kids have on the day.’’
She sat on her idea for a few months, sharing it around a few friends.
‘‘In our Pinterest and Instagram generation, many families can be intimidated by high expectations on what a child’s birthday party could look like.
‘‘I now know that there are plenty of mums just like me - and it’s difficult for busy parents who love to celebrate their children, to find all the options in one place.’’
Anderson gave up her position as a fundraiser for Arohanui Hospice in February to concentrate on the project.
She used her event organising background to bring together a selection of local and national suppliers providing a variety of products and services that range from catering, decorations and photography, to stationery, entertainment and venues.
Among the exhibitors were a number of start-up ventures going public for the first time.
Christchurch blogger Gerardine Baxter, from My Kids Party, will be running four free half-hour workshops daily between 10am and 4pm, covering party games, food options, DIY decorations, and recreating trending parties on a budget.
Expo entertainment at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre will include a bouncy castle, mascot character guests, and a Saturday afternoon dance performance.
Kids Party Expo convenor Emma Anderson with her son Roman Anderson, 5, in the ball pit at Lollipops Playland, one of the exhibitors at the Kids’ Party Expo.