SO! I had this idea.......
What if you gave a favor at a party to the kids BEFORE the party? What if it was filled with activities for those lulls in time?? Especially when kids aren't the main focus of the party.
I.e. had a b-day party for my little guy, but all our families are just getting started so there aren't a lot of kids for games and my buck-a-roo was turning one: hardly the age to care about what goes on at a party.
SO! I wanted the kids to be able to have fun without parents having to entertain them the whole time.
Here's what I did.
This was a jungle safari themed party so I tried to have activities that fit with that.
I put the following items in a cello bag: chalk, bubbles, a capsule with a sponge-y animal inside that you soak in water to make the animal 'come to life', crazy straw, a jungle animal with a parachute, and (not pictured) a small coloring book made by getting free clipart of jungle animals and putting four pics per page in a word document.
It ended up being bad weather (go figure) so the kiddos couldn't do many of the activities but near the end of the party they were able to and seemed to have a lot of fun.
SO! Next time you're throwing a mixed adult/children party make favor bags for the kiddos to hand out at the beginning and have a ball.
ALSO! Instead of party hats for everyone: I bought some animal masks and crayons and had the crayons laid out on the kiddie table and the kids were able to color their own masks. No supervision was required (although you might need to supervise your group) during the activity and the kids had lots of fun coloring their own and making the animal noises after.
If I had a group of older kids I also would have put out feathers, glue, glitter, sequins, buttons, pom poms, etc. for really dressing up the masks.