Natural disasters and the kids who create them

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Very often it’s not the idea of providing the snacks and fun for a child’s birthday party a parent dreads, but it’s the potential for destruction which can follow. From toddlers to teens, birthday parties can mean the end of a tidy, intact home. What can you do to help prevent these natural disasters?

From Flings smooshed into carpets to flooded bathrooms, here are some tips from parents, many of whom have learned by trial and error:

7 party disaster prevention tips

1.    Lay down a giant table cloth across the floor. Newspaper tends to leave marks on clothing and flooring and plastic sheeting can become slippery when cold drinks topple over, so choose a layer that’s non-slippery and resilient. A large bed sheet can work.

2.    Provide rubbish bags or bins and clear counter space and floors regularly. Encourage children to empty their cupcake wrappers, sweet papers and half-eaten snacks into the rubbish bags. Some junk is bound to escape, so do pick up anything lying on the floor before it gets tracked through the home.

3.    Remove valuables, breakables and collectables. Even the most polite, reserved children can break household items. When there is a room full of kids, the potential for damage to your possessions rises exponentially. It will save children and their parents from the embarrassment of causing a breakage if you remove items you suspect could be in the firing line.

4.    Even older kids should have an adult present to supervise (discreetly) at the party. After all, it’s your home and you are responsible for what goes on there. Smaller kids will benefit, too, by having someone help to pour juice or divide snacks fairly.

5.    Avoid having glass or crockery wherever possible. Plastic cups and paper plates should be fine for kid’s parties. This helps to minimise the risk of injury which would exist if something sharp broke on the floor of a crowded room.

6.    Close off certain areas of the house such as balconies, swimming pools (unless it’s a pool party!), upstairs and other areas you’d prefer to keep party-free. As long as there’s a toilet available, the kids should be more than happy. If there are tiny children who may need to nap, you can always make a plan to cope with this beforehand.

7.    Try to relax! There will be a bit of a mess to clean up, and accidents will happen. A party is supposed to be a bit chaotic, so you want your child to remember the fun and not that they were too closely policed.

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What advice would you give to nervous parents about having parties that don’t end in disaster?
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