Derek's Party Planning Tips

Planning the Party

Choose your date carefully - avoid clashes with other events (school fairs, other parties, holidays, etc) it would be awful to organize your party and no-one can make it.

Choose a reputable, full time entertainer who is insured, but more importantly enthusiastic and knowledgeable of children. There are many 'entertainers' who see it as a way to top up the wages of their regular job and they may do it very badly!  Ask your friends who they would recommend. Be aware that many magicians developed their act 30 years ago and are still performing the same routines, therefore they may not be in touch with the children of today.


Once you have booked your entertainer, choose your venue - book both as early as you can because the best ones often  get reserved very early.


Send out invitations early, remembering to ask for details of any allergies or special diet requirements to be included on the RSVP section. I have worked at many parties where some children cannot eat the food due to allergies or religious reasons.


Make a list of who has replied and use it to check off the guests when they arrive at the party.


Aim to keep party food as simple as possible, children are not impressed by huge buffets. It is much easier to wrap up a plate of food or a party box and give one to each child during the food break. 

Children love this, as they are less dependant on the adults and feel grown up. It is quicker than queuing for food, easier to clean up and cheaper. Anyone with special diet requirements are not made to feel different as the children all appear to have the same.

At The Party


Tie some balloons to the front door to guide guest to the party.


As you check off guests arriving at the party get a contact telephone number from the parents who are not staying at the party in case of emergencies.


Stick name badges on each guest - your child will know everyone but you may not.


Leave a table spare to put the presents on to be enjoyed at the end of the party, bring extra bags to the party so that you can carry the birthday gifts home easily.


Try and persuade parents to leave, the ones who stay tend to chat loudly at the back of the room spoiling the show for the children. Don't be surprised if your entertainer diplomatically asks the parents to be quiet 

(first rule of children's entertaining - keep control of the situation at all times!)


Do ensure that a responsible adult remains in the room at all times; your entertainer is not a child minder. Ensure that all exit doors are well observed to ensure children cannot and do not leave the party


Save party horns, squeakers and balloons until after the Magic and Punch and Judy show as even the loudest microphones may not compete with this combination of noises, it is also distracting to other children who are concentrating on the show.


If you are doing your own games, plan well in advance and have more than you think you will need, try to avoid elimination games for younger children - they all want to be winners and may cry when they are 'out'. Stock up on  small gifts and prizes for the games.


Children expect party bags at the end of the party, however they are not necessary. Many parents simply provide

 a piece of birthday cake.


And Finally… !


Don’t Forget!