If you have a kid in a team sport you are probably all too familiar with team parties. Parties that the parents are often responsible for organizing. As the co-managers of sailing race teams and ski race teams I’ve planned more than a few team parties, and here are my tips that keep it simple, affordable and most importantly FUN!
Step One - The Invite
Everyone loves a party so teams parties can get very large quickly. Consider a few things before you send out your invite. Are both of the parents invited or just one? Are siblings invited? Will be there be a cost per person? How will you be collecting that money if there is.
Once you’ve decided on how many people will be attending you need to find a venue. A lot of team parties are hosted at one of the team member’s homes. It is definitely the best way to keep costs down and is still a lot of fun.
Now that you’ve got your guest list and venue pick a date and a two hour window. Two hours is enough for everyone to catch up, have something to eat, play a game or two and head home. Entertaining is exhausting and expensive so leave your guests wanting more and sending them home at the two hour mark.
I like to use an online invitation website to keep the party details and the RSVPs all in one place and not in a mile long email chain. There are lots of great free ones, check to see if there is an app in case you need to message guests while you are on the go…it’s saved me a few times.
Step Two - The Food
Stop now and don’t overthink this step. This is not a dinner party for six of your closest friends, this isn’t a milestone birthday party for you child. This a quick and fun party to kick off or celebrate a great season. Plus it is only two hours, so keep it simple and save not only your sanity but a few bucks as well.
Often the party responsibilities fall on the hosts, which I think is way too much to ask. The family that has graciously offered their home for the party shouldn’t have to do anything else. The rest of the team can chip in and bring the food and drink. We used to just order a bunch of super greasy lukewarm warm party pizzas from a local place, you know the typical order a bunch of cheese pizza and bunch of pepperoni. Now the kids they are just fine with that but why not offer up a few more choices and serve the pizza fresh and hot right at the party? Pick up Delissio frozen pizzas and offer flavours like Canadian (meat, veggies, bacon) and Butter Chicken, yes butter chicken PIZZA! They aren’t greasy and they also come in cheese and pepperoni for the less adventurous eaters.
Have each family sign up to bring a dessert, snack or beverage. Many of the invite sites also offer a potluck function to make who’s bringing what super simple.
Step Three - The Fun
Like the food the fun begins with everyone in one place that’s not a practice, game or race. It’s fun to hangout with people in a new environment so don’t worry about planning a million activities, remember it’s only two hours!
Your decor can be a part of the fun, pick up some inexpensive balloons which make the party festive and provide the perfect selfie background! This is a huge hit with tween/teen crowd.
The food can also be a part of the fun! Give kids the chance to jazz up their cheese pizza with their own custom toppings. Maybe this will be the day they discover pineapple is amazing on pizza, or that green peppers are not really that bad. If they see their friends trying new things you never know what you might just see show up on their pizza.
You can also put out some cookie cutters and have the kids cut fun shapes in their pizza. The Delissio pizzas are perfect for this, as the crust doesn’t get rock hard or super chewy like other pizzas.
A piñata is always a HUGE hit with a group of kids of any or mixed ages. Just make sure you have enough stick swinging space around it before you begin. Outdoors is always a good idea.
With older kids, I sometimes buy a bag of treats and have the kids come up with their own games to divide it up. They are SO creative and participate more than adult run games, plus what adult really wants to run kiddie games?
That’s it your two hours is up, everyone is well fed, had a great time and are on their way! Team Party #PizzaNight Success!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Delissio Canada, however as always all opinions and advice are all my own.