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Party tips

A bit of planning goes a long way, increases the fun  and

reduces the stress on the day! The amount of planning

depends on the age of your child and the size of the party, so

not all these points may apply.

6-8 weeks before the party

Planning

Think about which room/s to use in the house and whether there is enough space - does furniture need to be moved? How many children can you accommodate? For younger children, parents may want to stay as well. Is it going to be a themed party?  Pick a theme that works with you, not against you. Your child may beg for an outlandishly complicated idea from their favourite film, but can be hard to carry it off convincingly. It’s useful to remember that timeless classics never go out of fashion. How about jungles and wild things - or pirates and princesses? If the party is in the garden, is there a covered area in case of rain?  Gazebos from B&Q or e-bay are quite cheap and can be used for several years and then sold on - they’re great for adult parties too. Are your pets OK with lots of noisy children or should they be be taken somewhere else?

Invitations

Confirm the names of guests to be invited and wherever possible find out surnames and dietary requirements, keeping a list of names and telephone numbers of parents. Include an RSVP on the invitation with a contact name, telephone no. and date by which you need a reply. Include directions to your house and parking instructions.

Birthday Cake

If you have decided to order a birthday cake from a supplier, contact them for samples or pictures of the cakes they have made to help you make your choice. Specify the date by which you need the cake and order early, as for some cakes the icing will need time to set. If the name is to be iced onto the cake, make sure they have the correct spelling! Sometimes even a simple chocolate cake can be made special with a few sprinkles and a careful bit of icing straight from the icing tube to personalise. Look at home baking isle at Tesco for inspiration. Food Decide on the timings of the party as well as your catering budget. If it is held at 12 noon or at 5pm, guests will assume you will be providing a meal. If your budget doesn’t allow for this, then hold the party in the middle of the afternoon when you can get away with serving a few nibbles or ice cream and cakes and make sure you say this on the invitation. Decide if you are going to use an outside caterer, and if so, contact them and check their availability. Will you provide a sit-down meal or is your house better suited to buffet style nibbles? Do you have space for everyone to sit and eat? If using a caterer...  Does the caterer hold a sufficient certificate in  hygiene standards?  Find out the type of food they provide and ask for  a price list or whether they charge a flat fee.  Will the caterer be present to ensure food is  stored correctly and uncovered at the right time?  Do they deliver?  Do they serve the food, do they tidy up after?  Do they provide table linen, napkins, crockery  and cutlery? Is a deposit required for this?  Do they serve specially requested food?  Will the caterer need access to the oven?

Party bags

The local pound shop is ideal for take-home bits - but remember, kids will remember what fun they had, not how much you spent!

General Tips

It depends on the age of the children, but if you don’t want adults to stay, sometimes you can just ask for mobile phone numbers and say “We’ll call you if there’s a problem and the party finishes at x.xx pm” If you’re having a show, it’s best to ask adults to be quiet or preferably be in a separate room. If adults are talking throughout, then the show has to get louder and louder, so that the children can hear and to keep them engaged. Balloons are best not put all over the floor before the party, as this is another distraction for the children. A couple on the gate or door are a useful guide to the arriving children - (and entertainer!) as to the location of the party. Have something to play music on at the end, if booking only 1 hr or 1 ½ hrs with the entertainer Take time to enjoy your own child’s party and to take photos – time flies by too quickly, and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it!!
Children’s Party Entertainer
Bertie Slippers Party tips