Yep, you got it 14 ways to avoid a children’s birthday party disaster!

Each year, you only get one chance to get it right; to make that day a magical day of memories, laughter and fun and choosing your the right party entertainer could be the first tentative step to success or the first blundering nosedive into disaster!!

Party experts, the The Creation Station  have suggested 14 questions that you should consider before taking the party plunge, to ensure you don’t get ripped off and that you give a party your child and their friends will absolutely love!  Having shared over 10,000 special days and helped celebrate amazing children across the UK and in Southern Ireland since 2002, we think their advice is worth listening to!

1. What is the best time to have a birthday party?

Try to have the party around the usual time children eat, so around 11am to 1pm or 3pm – 5pm. This way all that lovely party food is more likely to be fully enjoyed and not wasted.

2. Is it better to have the party in the morning or afternoon?

If you have a young child an earlier party can work much better. Late afternoon parties can often mean your child has to have to wait all day for their big party. This can leave them feeling very tired and overwhelmed when the party does eventually start.

3. Should I hire a hall or have the party at home?

For under 5 years olds – The parents tend to stay for these parties, which is lovely as you can get to know them a bit better, but it can make it a bit of a tight squeeze in your house. So it might work better to hire a local hall.

4. What sort of venue/ hall is best?

Try to pick a venue that has parking so you can load and unload easily and so your guests can be safely dropped off and picked up. It is worth putting balloons outside your venue so that people know where the party is.  Your local entertainer will have suggestions of venues that have worked well for them in the past, so it’s always worth asking them.

5. How many helpers do I need?

With a party entertainer you won’t need to be there to entertain the children, but for an under 5 year old party, where the parents tend to stay, you will need to make all the parents cups of tea and coffee. It’s worth having some family members or friends to help with looking after the adults!

For parties for over 5 year olds, the parent tends to drop the child off. You may need to comfort any children who get upset or need extra attention.

Do ask for peoples contact details in case of an emergency, just so you are not left with a very distressed child that you don’t know and you can’t contact their parents. Also, if you are left with a child that isn’t yours at the end of the party you can contact the parent / carer to see if everything is ok and when they are coming to collect – They may have got delayed!
It’s a good idea to have a pre-printed sheet so that it’s easy for you to collect these contact details at the beginning of the party.

6. How many children should I book the party for as I don’t know who can attend?

If you have an ideas of the size of party i.e. 10 or the whole class, this is a good guide to go on. Check with your party entertainer how many you will be charged for. As you can never guarantee how many children will attend, The Creation Station has ‘bands of numbers’ so you know what the cost will be for example 1-10 children, 10-15 children etc. but your local party entertainer will be able to give you more details and may do things differently.

7. What about Safety?

Do check your party entertainer is DBS checked, this used to be called CRB checked. Do bring along a first aid box – you never know when an over excited child can slip and cut themselves. The Creation Station arty party entertainers are DBS checked, first aid trained and have their own first aid kit as well in a case of emergencies.

8. What information do I need from the parents?

It’s useful to check for any allergies and if it’s sunny bring some sun screen and ask the parents if they are happy for this to be used, or for older children you can ask them to bring their own.

9. How should the room be set up?

Most halls have trestle tables and chairs, so you can use these for the party food. Your party entertainer may need tables, and they will advise on the best layout for the room. If it’s nice weather and there is an outdoor space, you can move the party outdoors.

It’s a good idea to have a ‘presents’ table. If you are thinking of sending out thanks you cards, make a note of who the presents are from – it’s very hard to remember what everyone gave afterwards!

10. What about sharing photos of the party on facebook?

Before you post on Facebook, just ask the other parents is that OK- it’s important that every child is treated with respect at the party and not everyone wants photos on Facebook.

11. How do I know which party entertainer to book?

Professional party entertainers do this for a living and can take all the hassle and stress out of the day for you.

10. What should I put in the party bags?

Typically they are filled with small toys and sweets, and can take a lot of time beforehand, so try to keep it simple. Some party entertainers will supply goody bags so it’s worth checking before you make your own up. The Creation Station goody bags for example, are supplied and filled with the amazing artworks that each child creates, providing a long lasting treasured memory of your child’s special day.

13. What activities will your child enjoy and if you are having a mix of girls and boys and different ages, what will work best?

Have a think if the activities you are planning will suit the mixed group. A good ‘Top Tip’ is don’t overwhelm the children, if you book too many activities the children can just run around in a frenzy.

14. How far in advance should I book?

Your child’s birthday date isn’t going to change so if you know you want to provide a party for them, do book in advance, but do check reviews and ask for recommendations where possible.

Do remember, the most important thing about a child’s birthday is of course, them and your love for them.

If you’re interested in what a Creation Station party is all about, here are the details of how to find your local Creation Station for more information on parties in your area.