So it is your child's birthday party – they have waited all year for this special event and you want it to be a BIG HIT! Here are some ways you can make it happen.
Tip 1. Plan a Theme for Your Child's Birthday Party
A theme pulls together all the aspects of the party from children's entertainment, birthday invitations, decorations, activities, food and party games.
Possible Party Themes:
2. Plan the Time Two and a half or three hours in the morning or afternoon works really well, and plan the birthday party accordingly.
Here is a good party plan:
A two and a half hour party agenda might look like this: 15-20 minutes - greet arrivals, free play and unstructured activities (see welcoming activities below) 60 minutes - entertainment 30 minutes - refreshments + face painting (for fabulous face painting, keep in mind that it takes 1 hour to paint 20 children) 5-10 minutes – birthday cake, singing happy birthday 10-15 minutes – free play and unstructured activities
A three hour party agenda would allow more time for games & activities, free play.
Tip 3: Enlist help from friends and family.
You are not an octopus. In birthday party terms, you can't organize the pinata, serve the birthday cake, and show guests to the bathroom all at the same time. Ask one or more adults or responsible older children to help you at the birthday party. Parents of your guests can help with games, pour the drinks, and hand out the slices of birthday cake. If you don't expect any parents to stay, and you can't talk your best friend into helping, hire your regular baby-sitters to help you. It is well worth the investment in terms of stress reduction. Another stress-relieving option is to hire a caterer, which can give you time to relax and enjoy the day!
Tip 4: Welcoming Activities:
A good welcoming activity helps to unify the group of children and for them to have a focus while settling themselves into your home. Ideas:
- String brightly coloured beads to make take-home necklaces.
- Decorate party hats cut out of poster board.
- Decorate boxes with glitter, stickers, mini pompoms and coloured felt tips from the local art and craft store
Activities for after the entertainment:
- Bubble blowing, have bowls of bubble mixture with lots of little bubble wands.
- Have a piñata that goes with the theme of the party (eg, a castle for a princess party, a treasure box for a pirate party). You can speak to Zing Kidz about us organizing a piñata for you full of allergy-free lollies.
- Treasure hunt – hide lots of wrapped lollies or chocolates in the garden for the children to find
Tip 5: How many children to invite?
The Invitation Equation: Before you begin to plan your party think about your limits, as well as the party area available to you. Keeping your party on the small side will make your party more manageable. It will actually be more fun, because you'll feel more relaxed. From all that we have heard from parents and experienced ourselves, parties up to 15 children work best.
Not wanting to leave anyone out? This is a common dilemma. Try to be discreet by mailing the invitations. Speak with the teacher about coming in for a brief class party with a birthday cake/cupcakes.
Tip 6: Plan the Party with Your Birthday Star
For your child - helping plan the birthday party, can be almost as fun as the party itself. By being actively involved in the creation of the birthday party, from the guest list to the decorations, the birthday celebration lasts longer and actually helps your child manage the excitement and anticipation. Have your child help make/write the invitations, make decorations for the party room, organize the welcoming activities, and prepare the party foods.
Tip 7: Plan Your Child's Birthday Party Decorations to Suit the Theme
Be sure you have enough room for your birthday party guests to play games by moving furniture and toys to the side. Decorate the party room to suit the theme. Get creative to set the mood of your child's birthday party by using coloured cardboard board, construction paper, crepe paper, balloons, and themed music. Let your child help out with creating the birthday party decorations. On the one hand creating your own birthday decorations makes the party more personal (I have a big soft spot for DIY!), on the other hand professional decorations can give the party a huge wow factor. Close off rooms that are off limits to children, and make sure there is nothing in the party area that is valuable, dangerous or breakable.
Tip 8: Plan Your Child's Birthday Menu
So much creativity can be put into the child's birthday party menu. Create a menu to go with the theme (see the Zing Kidz party blog for more themed menu ideas). If there are children who have food allergies, let the parents know which foods are off-limits for their child. You may wish to provide some healthy snacks so your guests won't overload on sugar. Options include cheese and crackers, cocktail sandwiches, pieces of fruit, raisins, or cut-up veggies. Be aware of dietary restrictions especially relating to allergies. If you prefer to serve a more nutritious birthday cake than the usual variety, try banana or carrot cake topped with fruit. Birthday cake is one of the highlights of a child's party. Get creative and make one yourself, or call Zing Kidz for a spectacular professional birthday cake.
Tip 9: Photographs
It is best to assign someone the role of photographer for the party to record the beautiful moments that have been created. If someone is on the job they can record the spontaneous moments that can be the most precious, not just the staged pictures. Even better, talk to Zing Kidz about hiring a professional photographer to capture all the special moments before and during the party. What a great chance to get family portraits!
Tip 10: Siblings.
Involve siblings in the party planning so they can feel an important part of the fun. Give them a special role for the party to make them feel important, like helping with the games. You could even give them a thank-you gift before the birthday party to let them know you appreciate their help.
Tip 11: When to Start the Planning
I suggest to begin the planning 6 weeks prior to the party. This will enable you to pull the party together at a relaxed pace. Instead of a mad rush at the last minute, you can purchase party supplies as part of your regular shopping trips. The biggest risk with waiting until the last minute is that the entertainer may not be able to attend due to other commitments. Definitely make sure you secure the time with the entertainer of your choice before you send out invitations, Zing Kidz entertainers book up very quickly! Also check the proposed date and time with close friends before sending out invitations. It's better to choose another date than to have your child be disappointed because his/her best friend can't attend.
Tip 12: Where to have the party?
Advantages of having a party at home include having plenty of time to set-up, having supplies close at hand, and having the party in a place your child is very comfortable in, which is especially important for younger children.
Some disadvantages to having a party at home include having to clean your house twice, and space limitations (unless you have a big house). Nearby parks are nice because there is a big space for the children to play and run around. However, there are several downsides to park parties. First is that it can be a pain to bring all the party supplies to the park. Second is that the weather in Melbourne is notoriously unpredictable. Third is that parks can be crowded and you may have trouble finding a space for your party. If you have decided to have a park party send someone early to lay out picnic mats to claim to the spot you want.
Also, aways have a back-up plan in case of poor weather. Try to reserve an area with a shelter. Be sure to get the guests' phone numbers in case you need to reach them with a last minute location change. There are many community halls around Melbourne available for hire. These can be a great option as they have the space needed, plus the convenience of a kitchen, bathrooms without anything breakable around.
Tip 13: Send Thank-you Notes
Sit down with your child a week or two after the party to write thank-you notes to all the guests who brought a present. Find or create some lovely stationary and for a special treat, include a photo from the party as a keepsake.
Tip 14: Spoil Yourself!
Since you're planning everything from the cake to the entertainment, treat yourself to a pedicure, a massage, or some other indulgence before and after the birthday party to help you enjoy the festivities. Reward yourself for a well-planned, creative, and highly successful birthday party that your child and all your guests will remember for years to come
A great party depends on successful planning. Use this handy guide to help you get ready for the best party ever!
6 weeks before the party
- Decide on a theme
- Decide on the day, time and location of party
- Book in entertainment (look at our character page for reference)
- Write a guest list (remember to keep the number manageable)
1 month before the party
- Buy (or make) and send out invitations. Include an RSVP, that has parents stipulate any food restrictions
- Make a list of decorations, food and supplies for the activities
- Make or buy party decorations (crepe paper, poster paper, streamers, party hats,
- Buy and collect props needed for games and craft activities (piñata, pass the parcel, pin the wand on the fairy)
- Buy party table items (that match the theme)
- Buy foods that do not need to be refrigerated.
- Select and make play list for background music
- Buy party favours (remembering that Zing Kidz actually gives gorgeous organza party bags to all your little guests)
Week of the party
- Check batteries and film in camera and video camera
- Call any guests who have not responded
- Prepare foods that can be made ahead of time
- Make cake or order one
- Prepare all games and craft activities
Day of the Party
- Set up party tables
- Pick up cake (if ordered or we can bring one to you, please enquire within)
- Put on playlist for background music
- Complete last minute foods and drinks
- Make sure your child is dressed and ready to greet guests
- Have paper and pen ready to write down telephone numbers where parents who are not staying can be reached if needed.
Apart from enthralling interactive comedy magic and puppet shows, talk to Zing Kidz if you would like:
- Original and iconic characters to create a live theatre for your birthday star and guests
- Professional Photography
- Themed Pinata full of allergy-free treats
- Amazing Balloon decorations
- Professional Cakes
Zing Kidz' Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter filled with fantastic activities, recipes, riddles and much more!