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How To Plan A Home Birthday Party

Aug 17, 2007
Having worked as a full-time entertainer for over 5 years and performed at hundred's of children's birthday parties in people's homes, I have seen just about almost everything. From small intimate events of just the family to large extravagant affairs, birthday parties can be lots of fun for all attending. However, if you have never planned one, were do you start?

Here are some party planning ideas that will help make your special day, fun and entertaining and it is usually within the cost of $800+.

If you follow a few of the suggestions, birthday party planning will be a piece of cake.

Date and Time:

The first thing you need to plan is the date and time of your party. Most people want to have their birthday party on a weekend afternoon. This is a good time for a party, but many times, it interferes with other weekend activities, such as sports, family outings, other entertainment events, etc. In addition, the best entertainers have weekend schedules filled first and early. If you want to have the party on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, plan it far in advance as you can.

Saturday mornings are becoming very popular, as it interferes with fewer weekend activities, and when the party is over it leaves the rest of the day free for you and your guest.

Weekday, after school parties are becoming more and more common, Weekday parties are a great way to break up the week, and leave weekends free for other events.

Pick a few dates that you would like to have your party, and then check your child's activity schedule. Check out their friends and other family members whether they can attend and what may work for them. Before you cast the date in stone, call the entertainer you want at the party, check their schedule, and decide on the best date and time (see Entertainment below.)

Party Length:
The typical birthday party will last about 2-3 hours. Depending on your requirements, the typical timing for a birthday party would be:
30 minutes for guests' arrival, 60 to 90 minutes for activities and entertainment and 45 minutes for cakes and food.

Decide On A Theme:
You do not need a theme, but it will often help make the planning easier. If your daughter's favorite thing is Barbie, theme the party around that. If your son's into Star Wars, you have a perfect theme.

Many people will theme their parties around the entertainment they have planned. For example, a magician will be performing so the theme is MAGIC, a clown is coming to the party so it will be CLOWN or CIRCUS theme.

As far as themes go, do not worry that absolutely everything at the party must fit the theme. A few decorations are fine, a theme cake is great, but there is no reason to get stressed-out because you cannot find an entertainer that does a Star Wars show to fit your theme. Remember that a party should be fun for everyone, including the party planner.

When it comes to decorating, all you need to find are a few items that represent the theme. You do not need to have everything fit the theme of the party. A few major items are fine; the rest of the items can match in colors such as black and red for a Star Wars party. There are several party stores around the area that carry many, many different themes for parties. Call or visit them to see if they have the theme you are looking for. Remember you do not need to go overboard. A few strategically placed decorations are often better than every square foot covered in color.

This is the place where your theme should begin; the invitation will let everyone know the theme of the party before they even get to the party. It is also a subtle suggestion of gift ideas for those that do not have any idea what to get for a gift. Make sure your deliver the invitations a minimum of 2 weeks in advance before the party to give parents time to plan.
It is also recommended that you will put the "Come By X:XXpm" timing in the invitation card so that the guests will not be late for the birthday party.

If the party is scheduled during or close to dinner or lunch, serving food is essential. During a party, the children are usually having a so much fun, that serving a normal meal is not necessary or wanted. The children want to get back to party activities as soon as possible. Finger food like hotdogs, sandwiches, popcorns and chips are perfect. We also recommend packet drinks to minimize spilling.

You will have many options. This is an area where your imagination rules. Over the years, I have seen amazing cakes and some simple ones. I once saw a "Magic" theme party with a Top Hat and Rabbit cake, and you can now get a cake with the birthday child's photo on the frosting. Have fun and be creative if you dare.

A popular idea is to have the main cake that the child blows out the candles on and then you put it aside for "just" the family to enjoy latter. Serve small cup cakes to the guest, Kids love them and everyone gets the same size so no one is upset that some one else got a bigger slice or a decoration on it, etc.

Goodie Bags/Party Bags:
Times have changed, there used to be a day when the birthday child was the only one to get gifts. These days goodie bags for each child is necessary, this can sometimes be the most difficult part of putting the party together. The bags may carry the party theme; however, they do not need to. Goodie bags are something the children take home to remind them how much fun they had at your party. So be sure the bags are filled with fun things too! You do not need to overdo it either. A few inexpensive and fun items are all you need, plan on spending not more then $2 per Goodie bag. Remember the party is for the birthday child, not the guest.

Games and Activities:
You will usually need to plan at least one activity for the party, even if you do not have an entertainer coming. Activities can range from simple games to pony rides and bouncy castle. Do not deluge the kids with activities, give them time to visit but do not let them just run around the house.

I hope these suggestions will help in planning your next home birthday party.
About the Author
Joseph Then is a Singapore based professional children's entertainer. He has over 6 years of birthday party experience and kids usually call him, Mr. Magic Puppet Man.Please visit Singapore Birthday Party Entertainers for more information.
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