Posts Tagged ‘entertainment industry’

The Politics of Pass the Parcel

laurajane021 November 3rd, 2016 No Comments
The Politics of Pass the Parcel | NWC Parties

Possibly the most famous of all of the party games. Read on as I attempt to break down “The Politics of Pass the Parcel” – loved by children and loathed by many parents. Why, you ask?  It’s merely passing a wrapped present around a circle? Simple! Oh no, it is so much more– in truth, pass the parcel is a game of quick wit, negotiation, tactics, cunning, tears and of course tantrums. How can we avoid this I hear you cry? Let me tell you….

The perfect parcel

No one loves an anti-climax – no one, thus selecting the perfect gift for the centre of a pass the parcel can be a challenge. I tend to select two small gifts (from Poundland or any pound shop) that are easy to wrap and look good! Combine this with three packets of sweets (the optimum number in my experience as the children usually care the most about the sweets) and you have the beginnings of a perfect parcel. Then, inclusive of the prize layer, wrap eight layers of paper – this ensures the game doesn’t go on for too long and children don’t loose interest. Each layer = one pack of sweets.

The music

Now this is key – this is how we combat any sweet problems. Select a song that all of the children know the words to and can sing along to. Then during the game you are able to award sweets for the best, sitting dancer and the loudest singers – thus ensuring every child feels like a winner.

These are the two basics and it now sounds so simple – but now we look deeper and begin to explore the playing of pass the parcel…it’s about to get dark..prepare yourselves.


During a game of pass the parcel, a child approached me – she uttered the immortal words “I ONLY (emphasis on the only) play pass the parcel when I get to win.” She looked at me – (similar to Regina George for all of the Mean Girls fans out there) and I turned to her and said “Well, in that case, I wouldn’t play” she looked at me again and before I knew it she was sat passing in the circle. She wanted to challenge me and win but I was prepared for this. For me, the playing and learning how to lose is just as important for children. The key to avoiding this are the singing games above and ensuring that the energy of the game is high – children will enjoy it even if they don’t win and don’t worry about letting that child win because they may get upset – they will be fine!

The Birthday Child

This is the most simple for me although it can prove problematic for parents – the birthday child gets to win a packet of sweets and unwraps, one layer. They never win the main prize as parents we all know how many toys you are already going to have to take home when the party is over – you don’t need/ want anymore.

The Slow Passer

My favourite child – and I can only imagine the child I once was. They can make a pass last for a whole chorus of a song. Even if you tell them once they will do it each time and stare at you as they do. My advice – read this and laugh to yourself as you label the various players as the game goes on. I also add the “Not slowly, pass fast” shout out for the children to do if someone is passing slowly – use at your own discretion.

The Steamroller

This child will stop at nothing to open that present – we lost three good layers once (and no the music hadn’t stopped they were just sick of waiting). This child just really wants to open that parcel and they will. You have two options here – wrestle the parcel from them (not the most graceful – been there done that) or stop around layer four on them. This way their sweets should last to the end and they won’t have got too wound up by the fourth layer – I never encourage this form of music stopping tactics however on this occasion, it really does call for it.

The Clever Passer

Another of my favourite children – they select a space next to a child who gets distracted easily, then when they are passing the distracted child doesn’t take the parcel thus the child next to them has to (or chooses to) hold it for longer the music then stops and they win – genius! I have been caught out many times by these children – they are clever. I avoid combating this, as such a well thought out strategy does deserve a reward!

The Distracted Child

My advice – don’t make them play.

And finally…

The – You Can’t Help It – But You Just Want Them To WIN Child!

There is always at least one child in every game of pass the parcel EVER that plays fairly helps their friends and sings along throughout. A moment that will forever stay with me was a little girl (aged 4) turning to her friend that was sad (I want to win child) and saying “Don’t worry it’s okay, remember we can’t always win – it’s the taking part that counts”. A wonderful moment and when the parcel coincidently stopped on her on the final layer (not fixed I promise) she opened it and with tears in her eyes said “I can’t believe I won” she then turned to her friend and said “Would you like to share my sweets” – needless to say she showed the true kindness and the real “Positivity of pass the parcel”.


If you have enjoyed this blog please check out our website for packages, party tips and stories!



Part two – the creation of NWC Parties

laurajane021 September 20th, 2016 No Comments
Part two - the creation of NWC Parties

Part two – the creation of NWC Parties; thank you for sticking around for the second half!  If you have booked with us or had a visit you will have, at some point, I am sure spoken with me, sang with me, had a selfie with me or potentially danced with me (it has been known) as many various characters over the past four years – see image above!

NWC Parties was originally created in February 2012 with just me, my speaker and an abundance of enthusiastic Pop Star Party children – my original and first party theme! The parties came about with an idea from my Uncle (who still likes to take credit for the conception of NWC and protests he is still waiting on his royalties cheque, which is lost in the post 😉 ) and it simply grew from there…

My very first Princess party for Esme was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences – a wonderful group of children, who I have visited many times since and who I was completely convinced (having just painted all of their faces as myself) would call me out on not being the real Cinderella! However, this was not to be the case as I discovered when one of the little girls (Thea) explained very excitedly to “Cinderella” that the lady who was here before her had painted her face and what did I (Cinderella) think of it!

A precious moment – that I would soon learn would make every element of my job the best job EVER!

From that point on Cinderella and Tink visited lots of little girls and partied with lots of little princesses until suddenly in March 2014 we had a request…for a Snow Queen?!? Having missed the film I rapidly caught up on the premise of this film Frozen?! which I had assumed would pass by quickly (HA!). My first costume arrived (a lovely prom dress from a sixteen-year-old) and my mum was my assistant and off we went to Amber’s Party! Frozen a passing theme….oh how wrong I was…A Snow Queen was born and from then on – thanks to a wonderful and supportive fabulous base – we flew!!!

I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to grow my other businesses – my Zumbini, Zumba, Performing Arts Classes – all whilst getting to dress as a Princess on the weekend too (A fitness instructor/actor by week and a princess on the weekends – talk about a double life)

I am now predominantly based between Wrexham and Manchester (I like to say I am based on the M56 motorway). We have grown (and I use “we” as we are a team who have grown together) and I now have the pleasure of working alongside the most wonderful performers. Each of whom – as well as being extremely talented – are the most lovely and genuine people you could wish for. We aren’t a huge team – we are a bespoke team. We don’t expand and expand because when you sprinkle fairy dust too thinly the magic just doesn’t work as well.

We love what we do – we aim to provide the best service you could want and we love to make dreams come true and will endeavour to do so for a long time to come (or for as long as my anti-aging routine works ;-))

Here’s to an exciting and jam packed future for NWC Parties!

Our next Blog – “Bargain Birthday’s on a budget” is inspired by my Mother – the real original party host of the family (seriously her themes were amazing!!).

I look forward to sharing our tips and tricks with you!


Party host behind the presents

laurajane021 June 29th, 2016 No Comments

Welcome to, Party Host behind the Presents, blog – an introduction to myself and NWC Parties. My name is Laura, I am the owner and generally extremely enthusiastic lady behind NWC Parties. I thought it would be exciting for you in our first Blog on our brand new website, to know just who the, Party Host behind the Presents, is!

This blog will also allow me the opportunity to share my stories, trials, tribulations and a mountain of fabulous advice that I have been fortunate enough to gain over the twelve years that I have worked in the children’s party entertainment industry.

Where to start….

Twelve years seems like an awful long time and I imagine you are saying; “Twelve years, she only looks eighteen.” You are much too kind. It is true I have been fortunate enough to do this job since I was fourteen. Granted at fourteen I did not run my own business, although not for lack of trying and for the gift of a twelve year old brother who assured me if I sold apple sticks at 20p but bought them at 10p I would indeed be a millionaire. This was not (shockingly) the case and I soon had to relent and take a Saturday job (sourced of course by my Mother).

I began working at Jolly Jungle Children’s Play Centre in Wrexham – I LOVED it. From the off it was everything I love; high energy, child centred, fun and allowed me to be as dramatic as I liked! It provided me with constant amusement – I mean how can you ever be bored? (Sooo many mums disagreeing with me now…and uttering the words – “you try going there four times a week..”) I can imagine from the other side; the noise, screams, constant laughter and wailing would be extremely tedious. However, from a fourteen year old girls perspective who is getting paid the big bucks to be there (£3.75 per hour #livingthedream) whilst friends had paper rounds (I also had one – I have a rather determined Mother!), it was pretty awesome!

I worked constantly throughout the four years (pre-university), not only at Jolly Jungle but also in an after-school club, as a football manager, a waitress and I performed at every and all opportunities. After four years of part-time experience at JJ I moved on to Rascals Play Centre in Preston whilst at university. Reflecting on this as an adult, I now understand why the “Griffiths” family were not invited to a great deal of parties – we like to perform too much and I have three siblings; that’s a lot of mouths to feed. (My “Inviting the Siblings” party blog in September will reflect on this further).

At the age of eighteen, I filled in my application to become a Primary School Teacher, then on hearing about all of the paperwork, I swiftly filled out my application to become an Actor- the BEST decision I have made! Such a great choice, in fact, that my sister wanted to follow in my footsteps recently completing her Acting with Stage-Combat Degree. She says I’m the inspiration for her path in life and one day she hopes to be just like me (Rachel that sentence is especially for you ;-)).

I went to the University of Central Lancashire to Study Acting in 2007; the most amazing three years – a fantastic course, fantastic people (some of whom you may have had the pleasure of partying with since…) and an amazing learning experience that provided me with so many of the skills I believe have helped my business to succeed and flourish. Most definitely gave the improvisation skills to answer; “Queen Elsa, if it was you against the Hulk…who would win?”. I’ll leave that one up to you…

What’s Next?

Now I could go into more depth here about the raucous university Karaoke that provided the musical coaching and preparation for “Let it Go” or the Uni Dance off that taught me so many moves that our Princesses now “bust” in a party – but I feel that maybe for another week. The start of NWC Parties journey will follow shortly – it’s a good one (I promise!) and I can’t wait to share it with you!


Thank you for reading and please do download my free E-book “Five tips for a stress free kids party”

(and I know you think you may have guessed the first one – but no – it is not wine ;-)).

Lots of Love.
Laura x

get in touch

For more information about NWC Parties, packages, prices or to book a party please contact Laura

Address: North Wales and North West


Phone: 07913963891