Our party entertainer Maxi Rafferty, sits down for an interview and answers your questions about how to prep well to make the most of your party.
“Children’s birthday parties don’t have to be a stressful occasion for families. In fact the simple structures work out the best in my experience.”
Where do I start?
“The first step in planning for your birthday child’s party is to set a party date in good time, lots of venues and entertainers will be happy to save your date at least three months in advance.
We have online bookings made straight away for the following year but understand that not everyone is this organised and you don’t really need to be. Think in terms of booking for next season and you shouldn’t go wrong; In spring – plan for summer parties, in summer – plan for Autumn parties etc..
Most families choose to book a local venue rather than having a smaller party in their home, meaning more space, easy parking and no friends are left uninvited. Larger parties of over 20 children are fine for most entertainers to manage to control. Sometimes having so many children can leave a shy birthday child a little overwhelmed when a smaller party within the home may have been a more comfortable option for them.”
“Go for a three hour booking for your hall; 30 minutes either side of a two hour party.
It’s best to be able to enter your venue 30 minutes before the children arrive so that you can set up your hall, blow up balloons and hang decorations. Don’t be tempted to put the heating on full thinking that the children will be cold, they’ll soon be running around playing. Keeping the room cool can make a world of difference to children’s enthusiasm. Even if you have a magic show and the children are sitting down, the room will still warm up with all the body heat.
We generally see children sitting for food for a maximum of 30 minutes. If you’ve booked entertainment, will it run for the full two hours? Some magicians or puppet shows last an hour, leaving 30 minutes of free time.
Don’t worry about trying to provide extra ‘entertainment’ as children are wonderfully happy to play tag by themselves, bounce balloons or dance to some music.
If you did want something else you could try your hand at some simple face painting, glitter and temporary tattoos, provide an arts and craft table or some sports equipment set up for the first 30 minutes while the children all arrive.”
How to avoid party stresses?
“Simple wins every time, don’t aim for complicated perfection because children really can’t be perfect all the time but they can have simple fun. Traditional party games have stood the test of time and there’s nothing better than watching family and friends join in too! Their birthday party is going to create memories so let them remember being chased by you while playing ‘Duck, duck, goose’ or racing you to the floor in ‘musical bumps’. Please do join in the fun!”