A must for a birthday:
Tie a balloon or a bouquet of balloons around your mailbox or on a stake in front of your house. This makes it easier for parents trying to find your house to see it and makes it easy for me too!
Consider putting balloons at the turns into and through your neighborhood. Tie them the direction your guests should turn and it works miracles. No need to tape up signs and it’s easy to cut them down after the party. Let the birthday child select the colors for the balloons. Kids really want to help out.
Another birthday must:
Keep dogs and cats separate from the party area. You can put them in the garage or kennel, as exciting high energy magic birthday party can be too much for your pets. You don’t want to set off allergies, risk a nip or stress out a child afraid of dogs. Just because you love animals, don’t assume everyone else does.
Birthday party planning should be a family event. Brothers and Sisters sometimes feel left out when it’s not their birthday, so why not get them in the loop. Put an older child in charge photos. Maybe one of the siblings can introduce the entertainer when it’s time for the show. Another might hang up coats or collect all the presents as children arrive. Another could help prepare refreshments, invitations etc. Be creative with your kid party ideas!
If you hold your party over lunch or dinner you should serve “real food”. Your best bet is pizza since almost every kid loves it. You can also avoid possible food allergies (except dairy) and cater to vegetarians if you order at least one cheese pizza. Hot dogs are also a good idea and they even make fake ones for vegetarians, they are quick and easy. Serve juice boxes or pouches, and always have water. If you serve diet drinks, they don’t get sticky if spilled. Domino’s pizza offer a gluten free pizza.
Prepare your child
This may seem weird, but try practicing how you would like your child to answer the door and greet the guests. Know where to put presents, hang up coats and put shoes. Remind them to have good manners and be on good behavior for the party. It’s also important to give your other children a little extra love on the day of the party, remembering the limelight is on the birthday child.
Entertaining the kids
I sure hope you hire me but you can also search Google and find great leads there. The best kids entertainers will have a web site containing info about themselves and their entertainment.
If you’re not sure, ask for testimonials and references for the age group of your child. Separate the pros from the amateurs because even the part timers may have a cool website. The difference between a full time and a part time hobby magician or clown will make a huge difference. For us full time performers it’s our livelihood and our business. Ask how long their show is and if they have different packages or extras. Most shows run 30 to 60 minutes. You want this part of your birthday to be stress free. If you hire a magician who performs less than 100 shows a year, you are risking a disappointing show.
Always have all the children ready to watch the performance at the time you agreed on. Most professional magicians, clowns and entertainers are doing more than one birthday party that day and need to stay on schedule. Also make sure the children have nothing in their hands. toys, noisemakers, and party gifts can be a big distraction in your birthday party planning.
It’s very important, not to mention common courtesy to send thank you notes or cards to all the guests. Have the thank you notes ready while opening presents and write the items on the note right then. Preparing in advance for each child makes it really easy. Later, take a digital picture with the birthday child and the friend. Order prints or print them out and include a snapshot of the birthday child and each guest with the thank you note. You can even have the birthday child help make the thank you notes. Your child will learn from an early age the importance of thank you notes and the parents of all your guests will love them.
If you’re having an outdoor party, have a back up plan in case of inclement weather. I have been to one too many parties where the house was not ready for rain, wind or even just really chilly weather. Here in Colorado you just never know!
Set up a present area. It can be a large box or a table, but make sure it’s for presents only. Remember that some presents can be large so make room underneath.
Almost every time I book a show I am asked “what order should I do the party?” I tell them it doesn’t matter. However, I think it’s a good idea to have the entertainer first. Then after the entertainment you can serve the food, play games and open presents. Never feed the kids before the magic show, the slow eating children will feel rushed and may not eat. Never open presents before the show, your birthday child will want to play, not watch a show! Finally, have the cake and ice cream last. Why not infuse the sugar rush when it’s time for all the children leave to go home?
This is your kids day, in all the rush, don’t forget to give them a huge hug and thank them for being such a great helper with the party and tell them how much you love them.
If your performer has done a great job and the children really loved him/her, then tipping is appropriate and appreciated.