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Children’s Birthday party: Planning a party?

Planning a children’s birthday party:  isn’t always child’s play. Indeed, it can be pretty stressful. With most things we do, we usually have a bit of experience, and learn from it. With children’s parties, it’s often your first attempt at doing one, so you’re doing something new and maybe don’t know where to start. children’s birthday partyWe’ve been in the business for a long time now, and see stressed parents every week. We talk to parents on the phone who don’t have a clue where to start or what to do. So we’ve compiled the 10 Point Birthday plan. It’s a little help in organising such a special day, something that you want to get right.

Children’s Birthday Party: 10 steps to getting it right.

Children’s birthday party: Step one- Deciding when to hold your party. People generally don’t give this too much thought, but it’s worth knowing some key facts before setting out on your party journey. We do about 65% of our business on a Saturday, so it’s easily the most popular day for a kids party. Sunday is the next busiest day with about 25% of our parties on a Sunday, and then the rest are midweek. So think about this when trying to book a venue. Saturdays are going to be booked up much quicker than any other day of the week. And it’s a day that you’re more likely to clash with other birthday parties of friends, or nursery or school buddies. You can often get discounts from entertainers or venues if you book mid week, as this is when they are quiet. Saturdays are the busiest days, but you need to also consider the busiest times on the busiest days for children’s birthday parties. The most popular time by far is a party from 2pm to 4pm, this is always the slot that we get booked up first, and this has been the case since we started. The second most popular time slot of a kids party is 1pm to 2pm. So this is also a consideration. You’ll find it much easier to book a venue or entertainer out with these times. Children’s Birthday party.  A 10am to 12noon party is generally a lot easier to booked, although it may not be as popular with other parents who might want a long lie in the morning, but at least you then can do other things in the afteroon, so there are ups and downs with any time.

Children’s Birthday Party: On your way to a great kids party

Step two- Picking a venue or having a home children’s birthday party. There are two real choices when deciding on where to have your party. You can be brave and have it in your home, or splash out a bit and hire a venue. There are plenty of venues to consider and some that you may not have thought of. We visit church halls, community centers, sports halls, school sports halls, nurseries, scout halls, hotels, restaurants, boat clubs, bowling clubs, golf clubs, tennis clubs, and much more. Most venues will charge between 20-100 pounds for a two hour children’s birthday party, but you’re best to book 30 mins to 60 mins either side of your children’s birthday party for setup and cleaning afterwards. We probably do about 70% of our kids parties in a venue and the other 30% in peoples homes, and we find our parties work just as good in both, although having it in your home does limited the amount of guests you can invite, unless of course you have a large home. Obviously having a children’s birthday party in your home saves on the booking fee for a party venue, and can be just as good as a venue if you only have a small number of guests coming. It also means you don’t have to throw people out when the party ends. It give you more flexibility and allows for any hiccups regarding people/entertainment arriving late. children’s birthday party

Step three- Booking a children’s entertainer, for you children’s birthday party. Most children’s birthday parties have some form of entertainment or entertainer for their big day. There are loads of options to consider and you’ll have to decide if you’re going to do your own entertainment or hire someone or a company to provide this for you. In the past, you’d have a choice between a puppet show, clown, or magician. It’s all changed now, and you’ll need to consider what suits your children best. The age group of your party is always a major consideration when booking a birthday entertainer or entertainment. Some young children can get a little scared with specific types of entertainment, so be careful with your choice. If you have a variety of ages then try and pick something that will cater to everyone, or at least have something that will suit each age group. If you search in a search engine like google or similar for kids entertainer or similar, you’ll find a great selection of children’s entertainers. A couple of thing to consider when hiring for your entertainment for a children’s birthday party is to try and hire a company rather than a one man/woman outfit. Everyone’s human and in the course of a year there’s bound to be at least one or two weekends that you’re not going to make it out of bed due to illness or other family issues arise. So don’t be the one that has an entertainer cancel on you the night before or worse on the day, or even worse, doesn’t show up! At least if you book a company that specialises in children’s birthday party entertainment they’ll be in a better position to provide another entertainer or something similar. Here are a few suggestions for party entertainment; bouncy castles, DJs, childrens magician, football parties, princess parties, pamper parties, pirate parties, animal parties, mini zoo parties, reptile parties, zoo parties, games parties, character parties, hire a character, fairy tale parties, and much more. When booking a party entertainer for a children’s birthday party it’s advisable to look at some reviews of the entertainer or company, to get an idea of what other customers experience. It’s also good to have good communication with them and you should expect quick and helpful e-mails back if booking through e-mail. children’s birthday party.

Children’s Birthday Party: Step four – Food and drinks. Once the venue has been picked and you’ve got the party entertainment sorted, then it’s probably best to think about what to feed the party children. Try and keep it simple. You don’t have long to prepare food for your children’s birthday party, and you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen preparing a big spread and not seeing any of your guests, and missing out on the party. Pick something that can be put in the oven, or prepare sandwiches before hand. A few bowls of crisps, fruit, and some nibbles will keep the children going. Remember and not give the children loads of sweets or sugary food, unless at the end of the show, as it’s likely to get get all hyper, so you’ll have a room full of cranky kids. For juice, we’d recommend getting some cartoons of fruit juice or similar. It’s less likely to spill, and it’s also a lot less fuss when serving and when clearing up at the end. It’s also good to pick food which you can eat later in the day, as often children don’t eat too much at party, so a lot is left. Children’s birthday party planning takes thought and time.

CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTY: Step five – Music and Games for a great children’s birthday party. Most children’s birthday parties will last the duration of 2 hours. So usually it’s split with an hour of kids entertainment, 15-20 mins food, then you have another 40 mins to fill. You’ll need about 10 mins for the birthday cake, but that still leaves 30 mins. So if you’re up for it, you can bring your own music and play some party games. Some old favourites are still popular today like pass the parcel and musical chairs, and musical statues. However as always there are so many more options out there, just spend 10 mins on the internet and you’ll find something to suit your age group for the party. Some party entertainers will offer extra time or have other options to make the party longer, so you can ask them what they offer. Always be prepared for your children’s birthday party.

Step six – Prizes. It’s always great to bring some prizes for the children. Sometimes prizes come in useful as a bartering tool. You can offer a prize for example for the best dancer, or the best behaved child, and this gives the children and incentive to follow some kind of plan and can keep the party a little more under control. Prizes for example are great with parties like Animal parties or petting zoo parties where a prize can be offered to the person that holds the scariest animal, or who is the quietest, as sometimes at animal parties the animal handler will require the party kids to be quiet for a certain animal.

Step seven – Presents. When putting on a children’s birthday party for your little one, you’ll be sure to expect loads of presents. This is great fun for the children, but can be a little more problamatic for the parents who then have to house all these new presents, which can often be a fair size. A lot of parents are now specifying on their invites that they would like a gift voucher from a particular shop, that meaning they can go later and buy some of greater value and a “proper good toy!”. Some parents are letting their guests know that they would prefer not to have a toy because they already have loads, although this options doesn’t always go down well with the birthday child. A general rule for people buying toys for presents is to buy something small, an something that can easily be taken back or exchanges. Always leave the receipt in the bag, as parents can then exchange for something that is of actual use. A lot of toys get “recycled” and passed from one party child to the next. This is fine, but some toys can be passed that much that they begin to look tired, so don’t be the parent to look like the cheap-scape. children’s birthday party .Remember always to bring bin bags to your children’s birthday party. It’s amazing how many toys you’ll have and if you don’t have something to take them home in then your job will be so much harder.

Step eight – Birthday cake for your children’s birthday party.Remember that it’s a special birthday celebration and every child loves birthday cake, especially the birth child. It’s a wee 5-10 minutes of celebration for the special birthday boy/girl, and it makes them the star. They get to blow out all the candles, and no one else does. Remember not to just buy the cake, but also the candles, and if your having your party in a hired venue then bring matches or a lighter to light the candles.

Step nine – Back up plan for your children’s birthday party.If you’re hiring an entertainer for your  children’s birthday party, or having a party that is weather dependent, then it’s probably wise to have a backup plan, in the event that the weather is rotten or the entertainer has car problems or is ill( that’s why it’s better to hire a company rather than a one person business). Backup plans can be simple solutions like having five or six games that can be played with a bit of music. Children don’t need a lot to have fun, and often the best parts of a children’s birthday party can be the running about at the beginning before it really gets started. Bring some kids music, a few prizes, a list of games, and some balloons, and even if you have a mishap then you’ll be armed with some tools to make the party loads of fun. children’s birthday party

Step ten – Relax and enjoy. Remember you’ll not have many opportunities to host a children’s birthday party, unless you have loads of children. They can be costly, so if you’re having a kids party you want to make it special and memorable. You want to enjoy it and take part and even get to see it. You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen or running about shouting at energetic children, so do your homework, hire an entertainer, and sit back and enjoy it with your friends and family. And if you want any help and advice e-mail animalman@minizoo.org.uk for some great childrens animal parties and pirate parties. We cover Central Scotland and beyond. Children’s Birthday party