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Top Tips for organising the best children's party!

I came to a realisation recently. I attend a lot of birthday parties. This weekend alone I performed at 6 different parties across the South East of England. I've lost count of how many children's parties I've been to in my career, but it's safe to say that when it comes to planning a kids party I've seen it all. And I've seen all the little mistakes that parents make when planning a party and things to do or avoid.

So I thought I'd share some of this knowledge with you so that when you come to plan your little ones next party you can relax knowing you're in control and it's going to be the most fun possible.

Having fun at a party!

#1 - Book enough time at the venue...

I know, this tip probably seems really self explanatory. But, just like at one of my parties this weekend, if you don't do this it can cause chaos. People often forget that a party never really is just 2 hours. You need to include time to set up your decorations, music, place for the presents, food etc. Most people do this, but what some people forget is that you need to book "tidy up" time at the end of your event too. As a minimum you should book at least 30 minutes before and after your party for setting up/tidying away. That way you don't get any surprises from staff at your venue coming in to lock up while you're still having the party.

#2 - Don't put balloons on the floor.

It looks really fun to have lots of balloons on the floor during a party. But these little balls of fun can soon become a real distraction for kids. Most entertainers will ask you not to put balloons on the floor as they often distract children and they will distract the other children who are trying to focus on the entertainment. Also a lot of children hate the sound of popping balloons (which is guaranteed to happen when kids play with balloons) Plus it's a real nightmare to clean up all the popped balloons and the little bits can be a choking hazard for little ones. So balloons on walls/tables yep - just not on the floor...

#3 - It doesn't have to be insta-perfect.

There's often a competition between parents to see who can hold the best party. Whether it's with decorations, excesses of entertainment or extravagant goodie bags people often go all out to impress other parents. But does this all really matter? You don't need to spend a fortune turning a church hall into a festival. Be careful of overloading your venue so that there's no room to have fun! Kids need a lot of space and if it's filled with Candy Floss Machines, balloon arches and huge banks of tables your kids will struggle to burn off that excited energy they are bound to have at their party.

#4 - Keep your buffet simple and fun!

I've noticed a fashion recently that parents are putting on more and more extravagant buffets for children. While it looks fantastic for "the gram" to have an amazing spread of meats, olive platters or even full blown meals, children don't really appreciate it and it's a lot more stress for you to plan. However clichéd it is, simplest food is often the best. You can't go wrong with chicken nuggets, sandwiches and biscuits.

Forget the fancy food. Keep it simple with fun things kids like to eat

Tip #5 - To bounce or not to bounce?

There's a lot of discussion amongst entertainers about having bouncy castles at events with entertainers. Now full disclaimer - I like bouncy castles. I've even had them at my own children's parties. But like with all entertainment there's a time and place for them.

A bouncy castle at my own child's party...

Personally if you book an entertainer for a full party package, I don't think having a castle is a good idea. It can then become a competition between the entertainer and the bouncy castle and it's a bit too much for children in a single party. It can make children too overstimulated with so many options.

However if you do have a bouncy castle at your party and a magic show I always ask that the bouncy castle is turned off during the show. That way your little ones can focus on the show without the added distraction of the castle. Plus the noise of the fans can be off-putting to children trying to concentrate on a show.

#6 - Get the parents involved.

Your children are only young once. It isn't long before children are "too cool" to do things with their parents. It's times like parties where you can really get involved with things your children like dancing with them or playing games. These are the kind of memories you'll cherish, so do everything you can to get parents involved with the party.  A good entertainer will not only entertain your children but also the adults as well. They'll encourage the adults to have fun and join in with their children, and a good entertainer will encourage this throughout the party.

#7 - Entertainers entertain, not babysit

Following on from the last tip it's important to add that an entertainer is there to entertain your children but they aren't actually responsible for them. We've all been to parties and found a couple of parents we know and before you know it you have no idea where your little ones are. It's easy to think that your kids are being entertained so you can switch off but that is far from true.

Entertainers can't be responsible for children and perform at the same time. An entertainer will do their best to ensure the safety and comfort of all children but they still need the parents support and attention. The best way to ensure this is by laying out the room to subtly encourage parents to engage with the children and what is going on around them. I've drawn an example out below (apologies for the poor quality - I'm a magician not a graphic designer)

The key thing is to make sure that you have a suitable area for the performer, plus space for the children to sit/play games. Behind them you can place the adult seats in a horseshoe facing the stage. That way it subtly encourages the adults to engage in the party, You can even put the food tables behind the adult seats so that they aren't seen as a place for adults to congregate but instead encourages them to watch and take part in the party.

#8 - Sing Happy Birthday in the middle of the party

Let's get back to the kids for a bit here. A question I'm always asked is when is best to do the cake and sing happy birthday to the birthday child. In my parties I do this to start the second half of the party, after the food break. That way the children are settled, and more importantly it gives you time to cut the cake up and put it in party bags

#9 - Send out party invites at least two weeks before

It's really important to have an idea of how many people are attending your party. Some activities, such as Nerf Wars or circus skills workshops have hard limits on the numbers of attendees allowed. The best way to ensure this is to make sure you send out party invites with plenty of time for parents to reply. Also you're more likely to have more people attend the earlier you send out the invites. So sending them out at least 2 weeks before the party will ensure your guests have plenty of time to get ready for your party.

If you do book any of my services you will receive complimentary party invites - please message me for more information

# 10 - Book an entertainer!

Every parent wants their child to have the best time at their party. And as a parent it is so stressful trying to plan party games, manage attendance, decorate, get party food and cake. So let a professional help with that. A good entertainer will be able to take the majority of the stress away with the planning of your event. They are able to use tried and tested way to ensure the party runs as smoothly as possible so that during the party you'll actually have time to enjoy the party with your child.

Make your party memorable

So that's it! If you want to have the best party ever follow the above tips and above all; if you want a fantastic party for your child then take a look at some of the great party packages that I offer. We can really take the stress away from your next party and make it memorable for your little ones!

Parties | Magic Dave | Essex -

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