When we host parties, we tend to categorize them according to the type of fun we want to have. For instance, if we are looking for a night of conversation over tasty wine and culinary delicacies, we throw a small dinner party. If we are looking to host a bash kids will like, we blow up balloons and stock the place with sugar. Too often we forget that we can host a party that both kids and adults will enjoy, without compromising quality family time.
One way to really host a good party for the whole family is by choosing something everyone loves as the basis for the event. Be it a theme, an activity, or a food, choose something everyone can get behind and enjoy. One surefire crowd-pleaser? An old-fashioned chili party — at least if your kids are old enough to appreciate a little spice and complexity in their food. Chili is a fun and delicious dish that opens the doors not only to a good celebration, but also to party prep time the whole family can actually help with and enjoy. From choosing the best games to play to actually preparing the main dish, hosting a chili party can be a collaborative event that leaves everybody happy.
The key to having a successful party prep and cooking session with the kids is to give them age-appropriate jobs. If you task them with things you know they can accomplish, it will build their confidence and will allow them to expand their “jobs” as they grow. So let the little ones color in the decorations and the bigger ones help with the meal prep.
Getting everyone involved doesn’t have to be a chore; in fact, it may even be the best part of the whole night. Just follow our tips for hosting the ultimate chili party and our ideas for keeping everyone involved throughout the process.
Step 1: Pick a Theme
Before you can really plan any party, you have to have a theme to base it around. Yes, you know you want chili to be the main focus, but having a broader theme will make party planning more fun for you and your kids. Have them help you pick out a party theme that they’ll feel excited about. If they love Westerns, have the entire party be Wild West-themed. Or perhaps they are obsessed with football? An indoor tailgate theme will do just fine!
Step 2: Make Fun Decorations Together
Depending on what you choose as your theme, you and your little helpers can work on some fun decorations. Give them projects that are hands-on and safe (no cutting anything out for anyone under 6!), which will make them feel like a big help. For instance, if you go with the Western theme, have the over-sixers make cardboard cacti to decorate your chili bar!