I am absolutely passionate about Kids parties and children’s entertainment. I also have a keen interest in business and making a living from doing something I love that fits in around my children and family life.
I usually just say I’m a face painter, but back in 2014, I started a company Providing children’s entertainment. I was immediately totally hooked on what an amazing creative outlet it is and how many fun ways there were to create a wildly successful Kids parties with a little know how.
After seeing the business grow from strength to strength and winning numerous awards along the way I decided to turn my talents to teaching, coaching and mentoring up and coming entertainers as well as parents on how to create spectacular events big and small.
So yeah, reading through this article will teach you the fundamentals of planning and executing your child’s party or event from the ground up. You will go into your child’s party feeling calm and confident knowing that you have the tools to pull off an event your child will treasure the memories of into adulthood.
Parties should have some sort of focus throughout the event so deciding on the activity you want to provide is the first thing to do as it will dictate the rest of your decisions throughout the planning process. There are numerous activities to chose from for a child’s party, outsourcing your entertainment takes the pressure off you as the party host so you can enjoy spending time with your loved ones. Popular choices include face painting, discos, bouncy castles, character visits, balloon modelling, magic, animal encounters or craft activities such as chocolate workshops or Tshirt designing. Think about what your child enjoys, do they want to be the centre of attention? are they into a particular animal or character? start looking online or asking for recommendations from friends. Check out a businesses reviews and see what their availability is.
What theme do you choose?! Before deciding on your theme decide what your entertainment will be. Then you can build in a theme that will suit that. Animal encounter, why don’t you go for jungle theme? Pamper party, pink and girly? magician, the greatest showman theme maybe?
Disco, you could disco diva or superhero. There are many different types of licensed party décor but I like to think about pairing it down to colours of you chosen theme. Personalised partyware can be bought online easily online from sites such as Etsy.
The number of children you invite will directly affect your budget so bare that in mind before you begin. Below i have listed manageable numbers in varying locations to give you a better idea of what is possible.
-Up to 8 children are easily accommodated at home and work for smaller craft based intricate parties, usually for older children,
-up to 15 works best for a committed group activity
-25 above is best for things like discos and entertainers.
Character visits, face painting work for all numbers.
The party invites are the very first taste of the event guests will receive so it is a good idea to theme these! choosing personalized printables from online stores such as Etsy are a cheap but effective way to send your invites. A good time to send out invites is 2 weeks prior to the party, although consider sending invites earlier if their party falls just after a school holiday. Be prepared to chase RSVPS so you can get a good idea of numbers on the day.
Hired venue- hiring a local hall, community centre or party venue is a great idea. You will access to a kitchen and equipment, space, parking etc.
All in venue- a soft play or adventure is great as they will provide most things for you, It can be pricey
Home/ garden- If you have the space, a home party is a great low cost option. Be mindful of space and things like toilet access and build a wet weather plan in if you have made arrangements for outside.
Balloons- In most cases you will not need to go to a specialist balloon artist for you event. You may want to pre buy some themed helium clusters
Floor balloons may look great initially but not only are they an entertainers nightmare, they are taken, popped and can cause fights. If you are set on having scattered floor balloons, it is best to remove these when any entertainment starts.
The Party Table
The party table is an easy way to fit in with your theme, you should look to purchase a coloured table cloth that fits your theme, cups or personalised drinks bottles, plates if you are not having party boxes and themed party hats. Avoid any breakable centre pieces and consider making up a special seat for the birthday child.
The cake table is a really fun focal point for pictures and themed fun at your party. consider purchasing a table skirt, table cloth. Display party bags, the cake, food boxes (if using them). Making a simple backdrop at home using a clothes rail and draped fabric is another way you can make it look even more magical
Unless you are putting on a particularly large event, most people choose to cater for a child’s party themselves. Whilst this can be a pain point for many, it can be made reasonably stress free.
Party boxes are a simple strategy when it comes to catering. Yes, there will be a little more preparation beforehand, but you will reap the rewards at the event. Be sure to keep a few spares aside. The party boxes we use at our events include half a sandwich, sweet snack, savoury snack and fruit snack. The party box is easily themed
Buffet– buffets are the traditional way to feed children at a party, the food can been easily themed, labelled and displayed in really fun ways. Most buffets are cold buffets and include children’s favorite sweet and savoury snacks, although some people choose to add items that need to be cooked in an oven such as pizza or chicken nuggets.
In the past I have been at events where the birthday parents have ordered in Pizza or happy meals from fast food chains.
Cones– a current alternative to party bags in party cones, whilst usually filled with sweets these little clear plastic sleeves can be personalised and a wonderful array of small party gifts added.
Alternative– things like kites, and other small unisex gifts probably work better at smaller parties.
Traditional– a small party bag with 2-3 small toys and some sweets and a piece of the birthday cake.
Personalised– personalized favours are usually in a themed box or bag with a message from the birthday child, and includes a usually themed small toy or more unique gifts and either sweets or cake.
Unless you are an expert, this is an area you will probably want to outsource! Whether that means getting the cake professionally made, or bought from the supermarket! Anything goes here and it really comes down to personal preference. On the day, don’t forget the candles and a lighter! If you are getting it made you will want to get in touch with your cake maker well in advance, do not leave this step to the last minute!
Running order of the day
There are 2 main running orders that run we see regularly at events:
0-30 mins guests arrive/ free play
30-90 mins led activity
90-120 mins food including cake / Happy Birthday
0-45 mins activities
45-75-mins food including cake/ Happy birthday
75-120 further activities
After the Party
After the party you will probably feel super tired out! Relax, rest and feel grateful for a good party! Don’t plan anything afterwards!
Thankyou notes – send out thank you notes to all your guests thanking them for their gift. You can buy easy printables online on shops such as Etsy or even get the birthday child to write them out!
Review your entertainer– Hopefully you loved your entertainer, If you can spend a bit of time to thank them personally and leave a review on their page it will be helpful not only to the entertainment company but to parents searching in future!
Make Photo album– spend some time getting your photos from the event printed and adding them to a special scrapbook so you can
remember your special day.
I hope reading through this guide has helped as much as possible in terms of setting up and planning your birthday party. Id welcome any of your own tips and tricks in the comments and maybe put together another posts with some extra ideas!