The thought of hosting a children’s party can either fill you with excitement or panic but no matter how you feel we’re here to help! Learn how to have a stress-free children’s party with these helpful tips and tricks from our entertainment experts at The Giggle Company.
Two hours sounds like it could be too short for a party, but we think it keeps it short and sweet and people often will be there for the full duration. When it’s longer than two hours people often arrive later and leave earlier. Make it short, sweet and of quality!
This is an important decision. If possible, stay away from echoey venues! With an echo, the party will feel double the chaos… particularly with lovely low voices from the men! Good acoustics will give you a fighting chance of it feeling calm and controlled. And if you have entertainers, they won’t need to raise mics or music too loud.
Parties at home
If you have space, parties at home can feel much more intimate. With entertainers, we love parties in houses for under 5’s because we can host a magical adventure in an active way that is more up and down and jumpy rather than running around. For 5+ (very rough guideline), we often provide more running around games so more space is ideal. If you have no entertainers in the house, you could have a movie and popcorn room for the kiddies so grown-ups can have some catch up time.
Like us, I’m sure many entertainers feel their purpose is to take all the stress away from a party. We create the atmosphere and make the venue look bright with our set up and most importantly, keep most (if not all) the children engaged in activities so the parents can have a conversation! As we all know, having an adult conversation with kids (particularly if they are young) feels near impossible most of the time. If you would like tips on party activities without entertainers, please scroll down.
Minimal added extras
As entertainers, the emptier the room, the easier it is to keep all the children involved. No food out until food time (adult nibbles kept on a high table and nothing too tempting for the kids)/no toys out/no bouncy castle etc. If the entertainers are good, you won’t need anything more.
Sometimes a face painter can work if you have 30+ kids. But to avoid the kids queuing it’s best if the face painter is at the back of the room or in a separate part to the entertainment space.
Try to avoid loose balloons on the floor. They can be a big distraction. Helium balloons look great and are always a hit! (And also make great giveaways for the end of a party). Table cloths always make tables look nice too – buy more than you think you’ll need.
Top tip: always check what the entertainers bring. We bring a colourful set up and disco lights, so people often don’t need anything more than the above.
In the two-hour party time frame, we suggest offering food an hour in. This is naturally when the children get peckishand need a break. To avoid minimal food wastage, food boxes are great. Pizza is always a nice easy option and good for the grown-ups too.
Books wrapped up as a present are a lovely gift – plus a balloon and a bit of cake… happy children!
It’s good to have a cake cutter and a cake giver delegated for when the time comes. Within a two-hour entertainment slot, we suggest singing happy birthday as the children are finishing their main food. It brings everyone back to the table to sing along with the entertainer’s music. Make sure to get a family photo at this point! (So easily forgotten). Small cupcakes are great to hand out at this time, so the children have something sweet. The main cake can then go back to the kitchen and be cut up and handed round to the parents whilst the kids dance off their sugar high!
Entertainers will ensure the party feels like there is an end – party bags or party bag alternatives will also help everyone clear out quickly – allowing clear up to be nice and easy…
Delegate and bring a BIG laundry bag for presents!
Whether you pay for a photographer or you delegate this role to a family member or a friend, make sure someone is in charge of getting some nice photos to remember it all by. Again,this is such an easy task to forget in amidst hosting and chatting.
If you choose not to go for entertainment, setting the room up with different stations could work. A bouncy castle, soft play, cookie decorating, mask making, face painter … and maybe a chosen adult to have bubbles and host a few typical party games would help keep the children entertained. Maybe stay away from singular toys like a little tyke’s car to avoid toddler arguments.
The only downside of these stations opposed to entertainers is that parents will need to keep an eye out all the time. But this could be a less expensive option… and we know it all creeps up very quickly!
Here’s some ideas of games you could host at your party instead of entertainers:
Bring a big sound system. The small speakers won’t carry in a hall.
A tin of skittles is a great addition to this game. The adult is grandma every time and after a few rounds of having one or two winners each time, everyone gets a skittle.
Pass the parcel
Children love this game, but it can sometimes be quite traumatic for little ones. We suggest wrapping two presents (boy and girl prize in different coloured paper). Then use another colour for the layers. There are no prizes in the layers – just small sweets like a starburst. Seven layers usually works really well and pass both parcels round at the same time. Make sure to explain two rules: don’t miss anyone out and if someone has already had a turn, they pass to the person next to them who hasn’t. Keep the passing bit short so the game doesn’t drag. And most importantly, to avoid any tears- have a handful of Starburst in your pocket at the ready for when the final layer lands on the lucky children. As the prize is being revealed, say ‘who hasn’t had a sweetie’ and whip round to give them out to avoid any tears .
We feel very opinionated about this subject! We have had some terrible piñata mishaps in our ten years of running parties. A broken chandelier, a swollen hand… top tip is to stay away from the hitting piñata’s unless the children are much older. The pull string piñatas are great. Get everyone to come and gently hold a string whilst a tall adult holds the piñata – after 3/2/1… everyone pulls and it’s a nice finale. Again… have a bag of extra toys on you to hand to tearful children than didn’t get any!
Whatever happens just make sure you have bubbles (in both senses of the word!)
To learn more about The Giggle Company visit www.thegigglecompany.com
Feature Image: Annelie Popovic https://anneliepop.com