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Dance Friends vs School Friends

9 Nov 2016 10:45 AMLauren Nairne
 Dance Friends vs School Friends

School and dance friends at one party... It's not always easier for the guests, the parents or the birthday girls/boy.  To make the transition and integration easier for everyone, ensuring we limit the risk of tears I've put together my top tips to ensure that everyone gets along and there isn't a visible line between one group and the other with your party prince/princess sitting in the middle on the fence.  


1.  Be Organised - Don't expect that your guests are going to play games and devise creative ways to pass the party time on their own.  Being organised, whether you’re running the party yourself or you have a talented team (fly by fun of course) making it easier will help with the integration of all your guests.  Try to come up with games and activities that are neutral to or interest all your guests.  If your prince/princess is a dancer and half the party are dance friends and the other half school friends, having a dance competition as part of your schedule will only exclude one half of your guest list.  Instead why not play musical chairs.  The dancers are free to dance around the chairs while the others will be confident bopping or walking but the end result isn't who is the best dancer it's who is the quickest to the chair.... That could be anyone.


2.  Pick an Integration Captain - Look at your guest list and pick someone you know either knows friends on both sides, who will be happy to make new friends quickly and encourage others.  Make this child your go-to person who can help integrate both sides easily.  Try to avoid making this person the birthday girl/boy as you don't need any extra pressure on them, they just need to have fun and not be worried.  If you choose the right person they will probably love the responsibility that comes with their special role.  They don't need a badge or a special speech they can just be your 'special secret helper'.  


3. Your Role as Chief Of Introductions - Do your homework so when guests arrive you know who they are and which side they are on.  Nothing worse than having 5 dancers or soccer team members at the party first then Harry from school arrives and only knows the birthday child.  Make an effort to introduce kids to the others explaining that this is Harry he is Jets friends from school.  Nothing worse than a kid feeling isolated from the moment he/she walks in the door.


4. Discuss it as a family before hand - Naturally your child may be more comfortable or closer to one side than the other but if they have invited guests from 2 worlds to the party they don't want to make anyone feel left out.  Discuss this as a family before the party and give your kids specific tools to help them make sure they spread the love.   Greeting each guest with you when they arrive and staying while they are introduced to other kids is a great way to make sure they are being involved without too much stress to do it on their own.


5. Don't be Stressed - Kids will be kids and 9 times out of 10 you will have no problems and everyone will get along like they have been friends forever.  Remember the feeling of being left out though, it's not fun for adults let alone for kids.  Keep an eye on the party and if you start to see the Red Sea parting... You know what to do :)