‘Tis the season for celebrations, and maybe, like me, you would like to enjoy an adult beverage and maybe even a grown-up conversation (i.e. one not about poop, pee, or whose turn it is to hold the scissors) without constant interruption. There are two choices: leave the kids home —an expensive option if you have to hire a sitter — or bring them and find a way to keep them busy without you doing all the entertaining.
How do you keep the kids busy so you can drink a cocktail?Here are my top party pastimes to keep the little ones busy while I suck down a glass of wine and eat as many hors d'oeuvres as possible.
Dinner Together, Dessert Apart If the party includes a meal, I don’t expect (or want) my kids to make it all the way through. That’s an hour or more sitting in a chair. Instead, they can join us for dinner, and since their eating pace rivals that of a starving wild cat, be done before we even finish the first course. Rather than wait for dessert, which sucks, I give it to them at a kids’ table (or on the floor, or in another room—they don’t care, it’s dessert!) while I’m still eating. When they finish, they go play and leave the adults to all the “boring” dinner stuff.2. Crafts for the Kids’ Table It can be as simple as Play-Doh or as complex as your kid can handle without your help. Think popsicle stick gingerbread houses, pom-pom balls made of yarn, turkey hands, and coloring pages that don’t make a huge mess or need a ton of supplies. Let them make paper crowns to gussy up their party clothes or perform a concert with the flutes and kazoos they’ve made. Just clear whatever project you’re going to set up with the host ahead of time. Most folks don’t want a five-year-old on the loose with a glue gun. Books! Coloring books, sticker books, picture books, chapter books for the big kids. It’s not every kid that curls up in the corner with a book during a party, but most like to look at them for at least a little while. Movie Screening Throw down some pillows and blankets and get the popcorn. Watching a favorite film or something seasonally appropriate is always a good time (and a good time eater — a movie buys you 90 whole minutes of adult time, my friend!). The No-Fail Option A fully stocked iPad. Your kids won’t care where they are if they have unfettered access to “Elmo’s Alphabet.” Have more tips on what to do with the kids while the adults party? Share below. Plus, check out our Wine and Dine Pinterest board for your adult party treats. Cheers.