Planning your child’s birthday party takes serious skill. Not only are you taking on a sugar-fuelled army of kiddos, but dealing with the venue, food, entertainer, and *gasp* other parents, can leave you feeling deflated and stressed on a day that should be special. Not to mention your own little angel, who may or may not choose to behave themselves on the day.
Keen to minimise any hassle and maximise fun for everyone involved?
Our entertainers have compiled together their knowledge from many years of experiencing the good, the bad, and the surprisingly calm children’s parties, to give you 10 top tips to help you make the most out of your little one’s big day. Please do pass our words of wisdom on to other parents you know – we’ve got to stick together!
1. Say Goodbye to the ‘Whole Class Invitation’
The first step of planning your child’s birthday party is deciding numbers, and though they may want their whole class of 40 children attending (more presents!), realistically this is a recipe for disaster. Don’t be guilt-tripped by the dreaded ‘payback’ invite (“our kid got an invite to their party, so now we have to invite their kids”); not only will this skyrocket the price for you, but the entertainer’s attention will be spread too thin, meaning less fun all round. For this reason, we recommend 25 children or less. HuffPost’s not being invited to parties builds resilience is a great read for more information on this.
2. Entertainment Comes First
While we’re on the subject of entertainers, booking your entertainer BEFORE the venue is a great idea! A hall is just a hall at the end of the day, but a well-chosen entertainer makes the party. Click HERE to book one of our fabulous entertainers.
3. Pre-Cut the Cake
Cutting the birthday cake before the party for the party bags, or alternatively providing cupcakes, saves a lot of time, mess, and hassle. Do you really want to miss the last 15 minutes of your child’s special day cutting up cake and missing the magical memories?
4. Make your Party Bags Practical
Why spend money on tat that you know the children will never use just to fill a party bag? Get creative – small story books and arts and crafts are great, affordable and most importantly usable options to entertain children and parents alike!
5. Caffeine is NOT the Answer
Although the day may prompt all the parents to want a caffeine kick, running around like a headless chicken at the start of the party, trying to remember who wants sugar and who wants soya milk for 20-30 varieties of teas and coffees, is not a good idea. Why not save yourself the time and stress by providing a buffet of nibbles and drinks for the parents, to allow them to help themselves to Pimms and fruit juice instead?
6. The Struggles of the Spotlight
It’s hard being the centre of attention on your big day, and most children certainly feel the pressure. From our experience, constantly filming and fussing over your child when they’re not joining in can leave them feeling self-conscious and stressed, which is the last thing you want during a fun-filled party!
7. Wait Until Lunch!
Any entertainer knows the struggle of trying to complete all our action-packed party activities when the kids are distracted by nibbles. After all, it’s hard to do the limbo or hold a parachute with a doughnut in hand! We find a designated food break of around 30 minutes allows for maximum entertainment and helps the event run much more smoothly, so that you’re fully getting your money’s worth on your child’s special day.
8. Sweet Temptations
Speaking of lunch, we all can relate to the temptation of choosing the big chocolate muffin over the cheese sandwich. Therefore, you should allow 10/15 minutes for the kids to eat their savoury food before bringing out the sweet treats, unless of course you want to be eating leftover sandwiches for the next week!
9. It’s a No to Party Blow(ers)
Trust us, 25 children with party blowers at lunch is not fun for parents or entertainers alike: the entertainers can’t be heard even over the PA system, and you are sure to go home without your hearing. That doesn’t mean the kids should miss out on this party classic altogether though; why not pop them in the party bags to annoy the parents when they get home? (Just don’t tell them we told you to…)
10. The Palaver of Packing Up
Although packing away before the end of the event to save precious time can be tempting, the reality is very different: noisy, distracting, and quite frankly, dangerous! It’s not useful or practical for bored parents to start lugging chairs and tables across a hall whilst your poor entertainer attempts to organise a relay race to end the party with a bang… You have paid for enough time at the venue to pack down after the guests have left.
Following all these tips will be sure to give your little one a day to remember. You can thank us later!