Children's Parties 481
each little guest, and if it may be bestowed in some entertaining or amusing way, so much the better.
When the hour for the entertainment has arrived, the older person who receives with the little host or hostess should be so cordial in her greeting that the child may have a very gratifying sense of being warmly welcome.
Give the boys a boisterous reception. They need to be set at ease, and noisy demonstrations are to their taste.
Meanwhile, the pianist should be in place, playing lively airs, and the assistant busily engaged in drawing into some simple ring game the children that have already arrived. The active games and the more quiet ones should be alternated, for each enhances the enjoyment of the other.
If there are any preparations to be made in which the larger boys can help, they will feel honoured and pleased at being depended upon.
When everything is done for children, they lose half the fun. Of course, a Punch-and-Judy show, magic lantern, or sleight of hand performance is always much enjoyed, but nothing should take the place of merry, hearty, active games. Look at their faces, if it be doubted which entertainment brings the readiest smiles.
At birthday parties it is customary for the little guests to bring some trifling gifts to their comrade, host or hostess, who will probably need no prompting in the expression of delighted thanks—if the presents come as a surprise, as, indeed, they should.
Prizes and penalties play important parts in the entertainment. The former should be numerous, but inexpensive—the honour of winning constituting their chief value. The forfeits add to the fun, but must be chosen so that the amusement for the rest of the company