There are many complexities that come with parenthood. And of the many important decisions that get suddenly thrust on us with little or no experience, is the children’s birthday party. And you don’t want just any party. You want a successful children’s birthday party!
Suddenly as your child turns 4 you realise the importance of them having a magical and memorable birthday party with their friends that celebrates this important milestone – whilst at the same time not going crazy with the organisation of such an event yourself!
So your choices generally consist of a play centre or similar event venue where generally you are shepherded in and out factory style – yes low maintenance for parents and yes fun for kids to a point, but there is not much in terms of creativity, inspiration or a unique experience for your child and their friends (and parents!)
There are swimming birthday parties, cinema trips, sleepovers or you can hire your own entertainer of themed children’s birthday party and this last option will generally mean you get a more individual and unique experience for your child. If you choose a good entertainment company then they will deliver a personalised party for your child and their friends.
There is always the concern that as a parent you will have much more work doing this option – hiring the venue, organising the timings, the food, the party bags. Some parents love doing this but a lot of parents are totally daunted by this prospects. Many entertainers now will offer full party packages coming to a venue of your choice (or will even have partnerships with venues so can help you organise that)
Whether you are using experts to provide the detail or you are wanting to hire the entertainment and provide the rest yourself, here are our 5 tips for the best children’s parties.
Carefully plan the party timetable, right through from arrival, to each activity. Consider the amount of time the entertainment takes. But also the food, the cake, the piñata, and any other activities that are taking place. One mistake that often happens is that the entertainment happens, followed by the food and then there is a lull following the food before the children are picked up by parents – this is a recipe for mayhem! A far better way is to have 45 – 60 minutes of entertainment, followed by a calm down activity / game for 5 minutes. Then have food. Following the food return to your entertainment for a final 15 minutes to avoid this unstructured chaos. It means children will be engaged right to the end and when parents arrive to pick up they will be faced by a scene of happy, engaged children rather than crazy mayhem!
Ensure the entertainment is age appropriate. I was recently at a children’s party with a group of 7-year-olds. And the entertainer booked to deliver a music session was clearly more used to delivering to much younger children. The children quickly disengaged, and the whole thing was rather chaotic and unsuccessful!
Talk to potential entertainment providers and ask for their advice and experience. The best entertainment options will be able to talk to you with confidence and experience because they are delivering kids entertainment successfully and have happy customers to prove it! And judge how happy and helpful they are when in contact with you. I would suggest the jollier your connection points, the more likely they will deliver joy to your children!
3. Don’t always rely on the big brands!
Just because ‘Frozen’ or ‘Star Wars’ is everywhere you look, it doesn’t necessarily mean the children want yet another ‘Frozen’ party. Yes, they might say they love it. But that is only because they are being exposed to very little out there! If they are given the option to experience some different characters, stories and entertainment options then it will not only widen their own experiences and taste but be far more unique for their friends too! As my own little girl said recently “I am so bored of Frozen!”
4. Remember why you are holding a party
Not to impress other parents. Or ‘keep up with the Jones’. But to be special for your birthday child. So keep in perspective that they don’t notice detail, expense or gold tipped candles! All they notice is whether they are laughing, having fun, have their friends around them and everyone is happy. And you create that with a combination of the right people, the right atmosphere and the right organization.
5. Create party bags that have something for keeps.
Party bags have become one of those elements of a party that parents do because it’s the ‘done thing’. But how many of them actually make it further than the kitchen bin as soon as they are home? Rather than waste money on tat, include something thoughtful or with longevity for your children’s friends. Our party bags include a book that the children love . And when they read it, it reminds them of this party experience. It stands out and is more worthwhile as a take-home gift, making it more memorable!
To find out more about our parties and entertainment options contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Helen on 07870 796741.