- Plan ahead. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to organize your party. If you wait too long, here’s what could happen: a) Guests can’t make it on too short of a notice, b) The Entertainment you wish to book may not be available, c) The venue you want to hold the party at may not be available. Start planning at least 3 to 4 weeks ahead.
- Keep it manageable. You’re the host and you call the shots. Don’t let your child invite his/her entire class of 32 kids, plus all of their cousins. Keep it to a size you feel comfortable with. Also feel free to ask a few parents to help out. A good rule of thumb for your number of children at the party is the age of your child plus 1. (e.g.: 7 kids for a 6 year old’s party). Also, keep it short and sweet. 2-3 hours is plenty of time for your party.
- Don’t neglect the Entertainment. A room full of excited kids without something to occupy them is a recipe for disaster. Kids will find creative (and potentially messy or destructive) ways to have fun. Plan for games, or better yet, hire a professional children’s entertainer. If you do, don’t settle for your neighbour’s kid offering to do it for $20. You get what you pay for. Professional entertainers are trained and have experience managing parties and keeping the kids amused. They are worth the price. For entertainment ideas, visit www.birthdaypartymagic.ca (shameless plug!). Side note: Keep the entertainment age appropriate. Toddlers won’t appreciate something more cerebral like magic, and older kids (10+) might not relate to a puppet show!
- Menu planning is a must. Plan your menu before sending out invitations. You can keep it simple with things like pizza or hot dogs, but also have a healthy alternative available, such as fruits & veggies or even gourmet sandwiches. Once planned, send out the invitations and keep the parents informed of your food plans. Some kids may have allergies or special dietary restrictions. Let the parents know you can provide an alternative if required. They will appreciate it greatly.
- Keep the cake and presents for last. Serving cake before the entertainment means asking sugar crazed kids to pay attention and follow instructions. Good luck! As for presents, opening them early means everyone tries to play with everything. You can wind up with lost or broken pieces before the birthday child even gets to play with his/her toys.
- Have fun! Things can get a little crazy sometimes, but that’s OK. Just enjoy it and go with the flow. Kids can sense your mood. A stressed parent makes for a stressful party. A parent enjoying themselves makes for a fun event.
Your child is about to turn one year older and you want to make it the best birthday ever! There are lots of things to think about. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Here’s a few tips to help you out:
So...what's a guy supposed to write about?
My wife, being a genius (she'll like that I said that) suggested I blog about my expertise: Birthday Parties!... or more specifically all things birthday entertainment related. It made sense. You'd be surprised how many folks out there wind up ill prepared for a home invasion of children all looking to PARTY. Others are simply unaware of all the wonderful options available out there, from entertainment to menu options, from theme decorating to trendy new games.
I'm here to help you make sense of it all. Who am I? I'm Ian Quick, professional magician with over 21 years experience, and owner of www.BirthdayPartyMagic.ca, your one stop shop for birthday entertainment.
Since 1992, I've done a lot of parties... a LOT of parties. It's probably time I start sharing some of my hard earned wisdom with the rest of the world. My first bit of wisdom? Book www.BirthdayPartyMagic.ca for your next event! Ok, that's more of a shameless plug than actual wisdom, but it's still good advice. The next one will be more profound, I promise :)
Ian Quick is a professional magician and balloon twister in the Ottawa region with over 21 years performing experience. He's also published an entertainment business book and was a columnist for several magic publications internationally.