Perfect Parties - Made Easy is the Ultimate Guide to Organising the Perfect Children's Party!
At Sublime Science we take great pleasure in entertaining thousands of children each and every year with our unique Sublime Science Party and have brought together that experience to create “Perfect Parties – Made Easy”. The ultimate guide to make sure your next birthday party is a roaring success!
We know (firsthand!) just how busy things are when you are looking after children so we’ve put this guide into simple, quick fire sections. We’ve based it both on our years of experience and common sense and have included practical checklists too.
Let’s get started!
A. Choosing an Entertainer
Book the children’s entertainer first! I know this may seem self serving as we are a children’s entertainment company but it’s founded on common sense.
It’s simply easier to get a venue than a great birthday party! The best birthday parties (ours included) are totally self-contained so all that will be needed from a venue is a reasonable amount of space and access to electricity. This means that just about any of the local village or church halls will do the job.
Finding a great children’s entertainer is a little trickier!
So, how to find a great children’s entertainer?
The good news is there are loads to choose from! The bad news is that the quality varies enormously. A great place to begin your search is, of course, asking friends, family and colleagues – the only problem with that is it can lead to the same children’s entertainer doing all the parties for your child’s friendship group and we all know how much children love “something different”.
A quick search on the internet will reveal so many options;
Here are our top tips of what to look for:
Great testimonials from customers, not just one or two!
An established company, not just a flash in the pan.
All entertainers should be CRB checked (that’s a suitability to work with children check done by the Criminal Records Bureau).
Full insurance – although we’ve never used ours (and never plan to!) a professional company will have several millions pounds of Public Liability Insurance for your peace of mind.
A clear description of what happens at the birthday party!
Pictures, Videos, Media links are all indicators that can be used to see if it’s a credible company and that it seems right for your child’s special day!
How far in advance should I book?
In short, as far as you can. The most popular children’s parties tend to become booked up to a couple of month in advance. If you have left it to the last minute, the best thing to do is to call (as opposed to email) and try to be as flexible as possible on the date and time.
Is a company or an individual entertainer best?
The honest answer is...it depends! There are some great one man band children’s entertainers out there if you’re lucky enough to find one! The single major downside is that you are relying on just one person – things happen in life that may cause them to be unavailable and there won’t be any backup.
As an entertainment company we never book to absolute full capacity, that way if a car breaks down or someone is ill or any other problem comes up another of our trained presenters can step in.
What about price?
Of course this is a very important factor! It’s also really important to compare like for like prices. Unfortunately there are many children’s entertainers out there that have so many hidden extras it is almost unbelievable. What you need (and what we always provide!) is a complete, total, final price, including VAT, travel allowances, for the number of children you’re looking for in your area!
How do I pay? Is there a deposit?
Professional companies will accept major credit and debit cards in order to make your payment. Most will require a deposit to secure you booking (we do, it’s £50) as this confirms your booking slot. You should also receive a written confirmation (we send ours by email) so you have a simple double check of all the details so you can be sure they are correct. We also send invitations, thank you notes and further information as a free service to you.
B. Party Planning?
There’s so much more to the perfect party than just booking a children’s entertainer and we’ve got some top tips for you right here.
How many children should I invite?
Should I invite the whole class? Particularly when the children are younger (around 5 years old) and have just started school there is a pressure to invite the whole class.
Many of the parties that we run do have the whole class in attendance and are a great success.
TOP TIP: If possible we’d advise having a slightly smaller group of children, that way the group is a more manageable size and everyone can get more involved.
How long should the party be?
Two hours is the perfect total length of a children’s birthday party! For the children how much fun they have at the party is all about what they do not how long they are there for! Beyond two hours you can find that children’s attention spans really start to go – 2 hours is just about right!
What are the best times for parties?
At children’s birthday parties it’s so important to make sure that the children don’t get hungry and there are two main times that work well.
The earlier option is “going into lunchtime” (entertainment first then lunch after), with the whole party being from 11:00-13:00.
The later option being having a party from about 2:00-4:00 often with the food first and the children’s entertainment afterwards.
Sample party itinerary: (for the earlier start time)
11:00 Official arrival time – just have some music playing 11:15 -12:30 Start of entertainment – (the 15 minutes allows for the fact that children are always late for birthday parties) 12:30-13:00 – Blow out candles, food time, party bags handed out to finish.
TOP TIP: Blow out the candles first before sitting down to eat so that cake can be cut up and put into party bags ready to take away at the end.
Where should I have my party?
Home or hall? That’s the age old question of where to host your children’s party. Some people absolutely know they don’t want it at home – in that case go with your instincts and choose a local village hall, community centre or local venue. If you’re not sure, as a rough guide if you are having 15 children or fewer then home works well. More than about 20 definitely go for a hall.
Should I encourage the parents to stay at the party?
Based on entertaining thousands of children every year the general rule is that the fewer parents staying at the party the better! We know this seems odd but all professional children’s entertainers will insist on some adults being present at all times but having all of the adults in the same room chatting can detract from the children’s experience.
What about Invitations and Thank You Notes?
It’s great to have invitation and thank you notes based around the theme of the party. It helps to let everyone know what’s going on and sets things up nicely for the special day. (We provide free invitations and thank you notes that are sent to you electronically upon booking that are science themed - bubbles, smoke and slime feature heavily!)
TOP TIP: Having a “birthday certificate” that all the children sign on the day is a great memento to keep hold of and know who was there for years to come! (We provide these with all of our parties but you can, of course, make your own.)
Many entertainers recommend using name stickers to help identify the children. This is a great idea as everyone can use the children’s names straight away. (At Sublime Science we actually bring our own science themed labels with us, which we give out when we introduce ourselves and then we use the label to stick onto each children’s slime at the end.)
What about the children getting into a mess at the party?
At children’s parties the children want to look their best and so often wear their best clothes. This isn’t normally a problem as the vast majority of parents realise that at a children’s party a small amount of mess is to be expected. Eating the food is almost always the messiest part of a party!!
C. Final Bits and Pieces
Once you’ve booked your children’s entertainer and have your venue sorted you’re nearly set. There are just a few final checks to look through to make sure everything goes to plan. We’ve put together a party checklist (at the end) to make sure you have everything ready.
Night before tips:
Check that your camera or video camera is fully charged up and has plenty of space. All good children’s entertainers will have no problem at all with you capturing those special memories.
On the day tips:
Get the parents to jot down their name and contact number on a piece of paper as they drop their children off.
Tie balloons around a bush/ wall at the edge of the road so that everyone (the entertainer too) can easily find where the party is!
Hang the balloons out of reach of the children! (They still look great but can’t be popped or tripped over!)
Remove all toys from the room when it’s time to start
Don’t give the children party poppers, air horns or anything that they can make a really loud noise with. It’s fun for about 30 seconds but then you’ll have 20 children making a hideous noise for the next hour.
The food bit!
At a party the children are always excited about getting some lovely party food. It’s really important to know what time the entertainment is going to finish so the food and drink can be ready on time.
TOP TIP: Make sure the food table is as far away as possible from the children’s entertainment, otherwise the children will be tempted to grab the food and this just disrupts the party and means they won’t be hungry come tea time.
Here's to an awesome party!
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