‘Stay and Mingle’ or ‘Drop and Go’ Kid’s Parties

There comes a certain age when parents start to feel comfortable about leaving their children at a party by themselves.

This age is usually around 7 years, give or take and really does vary greatly dependent on each child. If the parent knows you well and your children have had many a play date, they are likely to feel comfortable about leaving their child with you. Children with food allergies, severe shyness, disabilities or health difficulties may choose to have mum or dad close by with them, understandably. So be prepared for parents to request to be there, even if you have stated ‘drop and go’ on the invitation. Also be prepared for the opposite to happen, parents who feel comfortable leaving their child in your care even though they don’t know you from a bar of soap. It happens. Be prepared.


Here are some benefits of a ‘drop and go’ party

  • You won’t end up with extra, unexpected guests (siblings). Siblings can easily add up and lump you with an extra cost to consider and will likely want to join in on your entertainment, food, prizes, goodie bags etc.
  • You have less pressure to mingle with and entertain adult guests. It’s just you and the kids (and your Dancing Queen entertainer).


Don’t get us wrong; ‘stay and mingle’ parties are also great and can work really well! Here are some tips to make your ‘stay and mingle’ party perfection

  • Give the parents a separate space to mingle so the children can get on with their activities with out the chatter of the parents in the background (it can be really challenging for children to engage with an entertainer if there is a lot of background noise).
  • Set up a parent’s retreat area with some nibbles and drinks to encourage parents who don’t know each other well to mingle and chat. I find if the parents are hanging around with the kids while they are being entertained, they are less likely to chat with each other.
  • Tell guests in advance if any entertainment booked is exclusively for the birthday child’s friends. Parents are sure to understand if you have booked in something special for just immediate friends.
  • Give siblings an alterative activity or negotiate with your entertainer in advance for ways that siblings can be included without incurring an extra cost.


Some lines you might find useful to pop on your invitation

‘Drop and Go’ party – if you are more than happy for parents to leave their child with you.

Parents and siblings are invited to stay – if you are happy for parents and siblings to be there and join in on your party activities and food.

Parents, please stay at the party – use this line if you would prefer parents to stay and not drop and run off when you least expect it.

We are using a party entertainer to host our party so only [insert child’s name] guests will be able to participate in the entertainer’s activities, although siblings are welcome to watch – use this one if you don’t want siblings joining in on your paid entertainment but are happy for them to be there.


Extra Tips

  • If it’s a ‘drop and go’ party, collect every parents contact number! There is nothing worse than a child becoming sick or upset and wanting/needing their parent. Don’t be fooled, this does happen with older children so a parent contact number is imperative at every age.
  • Be upfront on the invitation with what you want so you don’t have to have awkward conversations on the day of the party.
  • Talk with your entertainer during the booking process about possible ways you can incorporate extra guests on the day.
  • If you are happy to have siblings in attendance, ask parents to RSVP for siblings too so you can cater for them and have a better idea of final numbers.
  • Keep in mind that it is often most convenient for parents to bring along their child’s sibling/s to your party.

Wanna know how we can help you build the best birthday party for your child? Give us a call 1300 DQ Parties (377 278) or take a look at our party packages to find out more.

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