Here at One4all, we have carried out some research where we surveyed over 1,000 parents to address their views on today’s birthday party politics...

The results certainly were interesting! Forget lavish presents, expensive venues and over the top entertainers - retro children’s birthday parties are now the du jour according to parents!

We quizzed mums and dads on the types of birthday parties they most approve of and found many prefer to draw on their own 1970s and 1980s birthday experiences, with retro party games and food, and simple venues topping the list.

This is really interesting given this has been a year which has seen instances where some mums and dads are charged for birthday no-shows, and being expected to contribute towards lavish gifts (think Myleene Klass, who was outraged back in February after being asked to contribute to lavish gifts by the parents of children at her daughter’s school)!

In fact, to score points with other mums and dads, we think that those throwing parties for their children should draw on their own birthday experiences, opting for retro party games like pass the parcel and musical chairs, which surprisingly was voted the most popular form of entertainment!

Bouncy castles, magicians, and face painting, followed in second, third and fourth place which further suggests that parents are turning their backs on birthday party one-upmanship with costly or overly educational entertainers, like character appearances and mad scientists.

With regards to venue, the majority of parents admitted that they would prefer to hold parties in the home. Meanwhile town halls or church function rooms were voted as their second preferred venue, taking precedence over OTT venues and outdoor activity centres or museums.

The trend for back to basics parties is also extending to guest list etiquette, with almost half of parents saying that they would want their child to only be invited to their closest friends’ birthdays, suggesting the days of boastful, lengthy guest lists are gone.

We think that since 1 in 3 parents prefer to attend parties with their child, the money saved on throwing a big bash could be better invested in putting on a good old spread which will keep other mums and dads sweet! Moreover, parents shouldn’t feel pressured when it comes to catering, as over 75% of parents were happy for their children to indulge in retro party treats like jelly and ice cream. Only 7% of parents admitted that they wanted their child to eat mostly healthy options such as fruit and vegetables.

With 38% of parents confessing they don’t care what other parents think of their child’s birthday venue or entertainment as long as their child has fun, we think you should embrace the simplicity of birthday parties back in the good old days and make sure you’ve stocked up on jelly, party rings and don’t forget to pass the parcel!

We’d love to know, what is your idea of a perfect birthday party? It doesn’t have to be a child’s party, tell us what your perfect party would be if you’d prefer! Let us know with the hashtag #perfectparty !

For an infographic detailing the full One4all School Gate-Proof Guide to Birthday Parties, visit the One4all website.

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