Silly Simon Show has been to a fair few children's parties, so he knows what's what! Here are his tips for organising a brilliant bash for your child.
A village or church hall is not too expensive and well worth the money especially if you are sharing i.e, having a joint party with a friend. Please have a look at our Venues list of ideas or the find a hall site on our links page. If you are in a hall with a stage, Probably best not to let children play on it. You don’t want any falls from any heights.
Children’s entertainer; The best way to ensure that your party is a success is to hire a professional, experienced, reputable, children's entertainer, preferably one that comes with a friends recommendation. Please check they have public Liability Cover and that their Electrical equipment is Patt Tested and that they are CRB checked. Most importantly check that they are liked and recommended by Children! The entertainment is for them after all.
Always remember to choose your date carefully, ask around to avoid clashing with other parties, school fetes, holidays, half term, major sporting events etc.
On average it takes about fifteen minutes or so for everyone to arrive and to settle, run around, burn off a bit of energy, and there are always one or two late comers. Usually it is good to let them run around and play with back ground music whilst everyone is coming in..
For six year old and younger morning parties are good. Say the 10.30am - 12.30pm slot works really well as the children are eating at lunchtime when they would normally and they don't have the over excitement of waiting all day for their party to start and the afternoon and evening are then yours to unwind!
A theme is great fun, and themed parties are easier in the long run. A pirate Party for instance will capture the children's imagination.
Invitations? – please print off here.
Keep it simple, and make it fun. Children don’t tend to eat very much at parties so don’t overdo the food. There is always left overs. Dietary Requirements - always check just in case of allergies and also make a note of an medical conditions (asthma etc)
How Many Children Should We Invite?
Most parties have around 15-30 children depending on the age of the child and the size of the venue. It is tempting for a child to want to invite their entire class to a party but its best to only do this if you have the room, or plan on hiring a hall or large venue. Please see VENUE page. There may be a well known class trouble maker who is disruptive. Go with known friends and family members.
Invite Parent to stay ?
Invite parents to stay and help, and if they do, ask them to be with the children and join in the show rather than just talking at the back. The difference between a good show/party and a great one is the role the parents play. In fact, the biggest problem that party entertainers complain about is not disruptive children, but adults talking. Most don't realise that what is being said at the back of the hall can be clearly heard the other end. This is obviously very distracting for the children and the performer and if you have ever thought the entertainers PA is too loud it may be that they are competing with the Adults not the children. Please ask parents to help and give them a job to do. It will ease your work load and makes them feel included. If providing refreshments for the adults ask a couple of helpers to be in charge of these to free you up. Ask them to sit with children and join in the show, food and games. During the show please have a couple of adults sitting with the children and keeping them sat down as a child that is constantly jumping up can distract the children from the performance.
How Long Should A Birthday Party Be?
The average birthday party lasts for two hours. This seems to be just the right length of time for the children and wouldn’t recommend going over that.
What About Party Blowers/Poppers & Balloons?
Avoid party blowers and Party Poppers. Most noise makers will give you a headache and not all children heed the party popper warning of pointing them away from other children's faces and eyes. Sadly Children have been hurt this way and you don’t want injured crying children at your party. If you want to put them in the party bags for when they go home then that’s another story! Balloons are great if they are attached to the wall or door frames along with banners to make the room look special. I would avoid just scattering them all over the floor. Boisterous children sometime decide to attack more timid children with them and run and jump on them to pop them. Not everyone likes this and they can sometimes bounce off or miss and fall over. Again very good for giving out afterwards. Tie balloons to the front door/fence/gate of the venue to guide guests to the party.
Parking (another big one and one of the most important things to remember!)
If possible Leave a space for the children's entertainer to park, as there may be lots of heavy equipment to unload. They may also need access to their vehicle during the food break of the two-hour party package. If there is no where near for the entertainer to park this could delay the start of the show.
Remember to leave a table spare to put the presents on, and extra bags so that you can carry the birthday gifts home.
Contact Numbers and Name Badges for Guests.
As you check off guests arriving at the party get a contact number from the parents who are not staying in case of emergencies - also suggest sticking name badges on each of the children, as your child may know everyone at the party but others may not.
And finally... don't forget...
Cake andmatches or lighter to light the candles.
Mobile Phone. In case of emergencies
Camera. Don't forget to charge batteries and camera film or spare memory card.
Kitchen roll and cloths. For any spillages.
Wet Wipes. For sticky hands and faces.
Party Bags. Plus a few extra party bags for siblings who may stay unexpectedly.
Bin bags . Plenty of bags for all the rubbish.