Category Archives: Help with planning children’s parties

Tips on choosing a children’s entertainer

Tips on choosing a children’s entertainer

Nowadays there is so much choice for children’s parties. You are pulled in different directions for what to go for and how do you know who is any good and who is not?

If you can get a recommendation then that’s the best thing. Chat to some other parents about what they did in the past and see if they can give you any contact numbers.

If that’s not an option or you want something different you need to start your search form scratch. As a general rule look for testimonials on entertainer’s websites.

Start by asking your child what they’d actually like. e.g. a magician, clown, pirate party, princess party, disco, etc… then you can narrow your search.

The key to a successful party though is to keep things simple. Don’t feel you have to lavish the kids with loads of activities like bouncy castles, face painting, an entertainer, piñata, etc… Kids want to have fun, yes. But I have been too so many kids’ parties where there has been too much choice for the kids all in one go and they don’t know what to concentrate on. Parties for children should be simple and make sure, if you do have different activities, they are on at different times and not competing for the kid’s attention.

The great thing about a children’s entertainer is they should offer a diverse spectrum of activities in one show, without having to need anything else.

Different Options to consider:

Babies and toddlers:

A great combination of activities is parachute games, nursery rhymes and sing along songs, large props, puppets, bubbles, music and balloon modelling.

General Entertainer/ magician:

For ages from 3 up to about 8, entertainers should offer things like magic, games, dancing/ disco, balloon modelling, puppetry, prizes for the kids, comedy and gags, themes, bubbles and lots and lots of silliness, energy and fun. Some entertainers only offer a few of these things but you should really opt for someone that offers the whole package otherwise too much of the same activity can lead to the children getting bored and losing focus.

Themes:

It’s always fun to have a themed party but still keep it simple. Often parents want to create an elaborate story in the theme and pack it with tonnes of creative ideas. Young children can only concentrate on so much. Creative – yes but elaborate – no. Let the entertainer talk to you about what they can do to incorporate the theme. But it’s always good to still keep the same core elements you’d expect in a children’s party like magic, games, dancing, puppets, balloon modelling, prizes, etc…  More on theme later on in the blog.

Clowns:

It’s really nice to have a clown but it’s best to only do this for ages 4 and up or else they might get scared of the face paint and nose, etc…

Again though you should expect the activities included to involve much of what is described above.

Discos:

Great for older kids who have maybe seen enough of the magic and puppetry routines and want to be way more active, jumping around and dancing.

Snow and bubble machines are a great thing to have here. Kids go crazy over it.

Face Painting:

Always consider this as an optional extra. It’s never essential. And do remember if you get a face painter you need to have something else going on to entertain the kids whilst it’s happening. Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people we get asking us for someone to do balloons and magic and games, and still be able to face paint all the kids at the same time.

Drama Parties/ Acting Parties:

These are becoming more and more popular. If your kid goes to a drama club you’ll have some idea of what to expect. The party takes the form of mainly games and dancing, with the incorporation of a simple and fun story that progresses with each activity that is played in the party.

If you want some great ideas for parties for children  take a look at some of the choices here.


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Kids Party Food Ideas

Kids Party Food ideas

It really should be emphasised that this needn’t be an area to stress over. Don’t think you have to prepare a banquet, as often kids aren’t all that interested in the food anyway. It can be infuriating for parents after all the expense and work they put in, but after 10 minutes of refuelling, kids are often more eager to get back to having fun and playing games.

You do still want them to eat something though so try to keep all the food bite size. It’s so much easier and kids are far more likely to eat the food than if you give them a full meal. We see parents giving out whole plates of fish and chips or spaghetti at kids parties and they hardly touch it.

General ideas you might like are:

Savoury: Crisps, sausage rolls, pizza or sandwhiches

Veg: cherry tomatoes,  cucumber stick (maybe have some dips to go with it)

Fruit: strawberries, grapes, chopped up banana), kiwi slices, pineapple chunks, etc.

Sweets and sugar options: Cupcakes, chocolate buttons or chocolate M&Ms, skittles, maltesers, biscuits, etc…

Desserts: jelly, choc ices, lolly pops,

Birthday cake! – Kind of goes without saying doesn’t it.

Drinks: Any juice is fine – orange, apple, ribena – juice cartons make life a lot simpler for you.

Creative party Food ideas

If you want to get a bit more creative though here are some creative party food ideas I’ve put together.

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Step by step guide to organising your children’s party!


Step by step guide to organising your children’s party!

For many mums the task of organising a children’s party is a very daunting one, especially if this is the first kid’s party you are doing. Being a professional organiser of children’s parties myself, I see parents falling into a lot of the same pitfalls time and time again. These really can be easily avoided.

Below is a step by step guide on organising your little one’s big day:

The date

The first thing to do is obviously sort out the date. This sounds straight forward but make sure there isn’t another children’s party happening or likely to happen on that day otherwise you’ll be competing for guests. You also want to try to avoid school holidays and half terms as a lot of parents take their children away around then.

Venue

Once you’ve got your date set, you obviously need a venue. You can of course have it at home but children’s parties can get very messy in the house. If you have a good sized room it should be fine.  But if you want to avoid extra stress, a medium sized hall might be better. Obvious places to look are church halls. Other places to try though are schools with sports halls for hire. You might find your local council has a page on their website with venues to hire too. Some cafe’s and restaurants often have separate venue hire that are often used for children’s parties or even leisure centres.

Children’s entertainer

Once you’ve got your venue the next thing is to get yourself a children’s entertainer. You can do it yourself to save some money, but make sure you are confident at keeping kids happy for 2 hours and have lots of different activities under your belt. You need lots of diverse activities for a children’s party. Here are a great list of party games for you to check out.

However, an entertainer is becoming more and more the norm. Entertainers know what they’re doing (the good ones anyway) and it does take the stress off. For ideas and help with getting a children’s entertainer see my other blog ‘tips on choosing a children’s entertainer’ or you can take a look at some of these options for kids’ parties.

To get a good entertainer you need to book well in advance – about a month in advance is recommended so don’t leave it too late.

Invites

You’ve now got the main elements sorted. It just leaves for you to send the invites out. With all kids’ parties you should aim to do this at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Sadly RSVPS are always a headache. You will rarely manage to get rsvps back promptly so do be prepared for this. But feel free to give parents a gentle nudge if they’ve not replied about 2 weeks before the party.

 

The day of the party!

We see loads of parents wishing they’d been able to enjoy seeing their kids have fun and take photos of the day but they were too busy in the kitchen sorting all the food out. It’s a real shame if you can’t see your kids having all that fun. Try to get a few friends or mums of the other children to stay and help you with the food during the party. With more hands on deck you should have time to take photos too instead of stressing in the kitchen.


Food

Let’s face it. It’s a children’s party. Kids want sweets, crisps and cake!  But don’t just pile on the e numbers! A balanced mixture of junk food and healthy options are what you should aim for. The key is to keep the food bite size. For general ideas on party food see my other blog on‘kids party food ideas’.

Party bags

It seems to be the norm to have something for kids to go away with at the end of a party but it doesn’t have to be a party bag. You can easily get away with giving out a piece of cake and a toy. Some parents wrap up a small kids book. A good children’s entertainer will make sure they give out prizes to the kids and balloons. So you can get away with just letting the kids go home with that and they will be more than happy.

However if you do go for a party bag, keep it simple and don’t feel you have to spend the earth.  There are loads of shops you can go to for party bag goodies or go online for party bag shops.

That’s it. You’ve done it. Organising parties for children needn’t be stressful and we hope you even find it fun. Hope you’ve found this post useful and good luck with the organising!!



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