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The Secret to Organizing the Perfect Birthday Party for Your Child... Planning

Shawn Chua AKA Captain Amazing
Jan 11, 2008
Planning is the secret to organizing the perfect birthday party for your child. Here are a number of key points that you should cover when planning your party.

Choosing the Party Date & Time

Needless to say, the date of the party should be as close to the birthday child's actual birthday as possible. If your kid's actual birthday falls on a weekday and you can't have a party on that day, do not fret. You can throw the party on the weekend closest to the actual day. For example if your kid's birthday is on a Monday, you can choose to have the party on the day before, which is a Sunday. If your kid's birthday is on a Thursday, then consider throwing the party on the coming Saturday.

However, if your child's birthday falls during the school holidays, it may be prudent to have the party earlier as many of his/her friends and classmates may be out of town on vacation. Have your child inform all friends and classmates at school about their upcoming party and make sure that they know who can and cannot make it. Alternatively, you can contact the parents of your child's friends directly to inform them about the party.

Next, choose a party time that would suit most kids. It is seldom possible to choose a date and time that would suit everyone perfectly. Late mornings or mid-afternoons on weekends are a great time for a party. As some children may have other extracurricular activities (e.g. swimming lessons) in the late afternoon, it is best to have the party earlier in the day, leaving the rest of the day free for your guests to enjoy other activities. Simply choose the time that would fit most guests and your entertainer, if you are hiring one.

As a general rule, set two possible dates for the party and determine the actual party day based on which day most people are able to make it.

Now that you know what you're going to have at the party, where you're going to have it and when it's going to be, you can now start sending out party invitations! Send your invites out early to make sure you get as many RSVPs as possible so that you can adequately prepare for all of your guests.

To ensure a smooth program, don't forget to indicate the expected time for the guests to arrive in your invitation cards. You can also include the program in your invites so that your guests know what to expect and will be eager to arrive on time! You can also indicate if the party is just for the kids. This means parents will drop off their kids at the party and be back at a designated time to pick them up.

Budget

The second step in planning a great birthday party is to plan your budget. You should allocate how much you can or are willing to spend on things such as food, decorations, renting a venue, hiring an entertainer and so on.

You can consult the birthday child to help you along with some of your choices, it's their special day after all! Find out what your child wants or would like to have for their party and provide certain options so that they understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option before deciding. However, do note that you do not have to give in to every one of your kid's demands. Consulting the birthday kid is meant to make it easier for you to decide who (guests, entertainer, etc) and what (decorations, type of food, etc) to have at the party, which can then help you plan your budget better.

Venue

Choosing the right venue for the party can play make or break a party. The choice of your venue can affect the number of guests you can comfortably hold, the party activities you want to have or whether you have to deal with the weather (for outdoor venues).

You also have to consider if the venue is easily accessible to most of your invited guests. While your child may enjoy having the party at the zoo for example, it might not necessarily be the most convenient location for some of his friends to get to.

From our experience, we have found indoor venues to be better suited for party activities or venues with both indoor and outdoor facilities. Naturally, if you are looking for a specific venue like the Zoo, Birdpark or amusement attractions, a large portion of the party will be outdoors. However, many of these venues also have indoor function rooms or restaurants that can cater for an indoor program.

If you choose to have an outdoor venue, try to secure the use of a sheltered pavilion or tentage for food and various party activities. This will also be shelter should the weather turn wet.

Here are some common and recommended party venues:

Multi-Purpose/ Function Rooms
If you are able to book your condominium's function room or hall, it would be a perfect party venue. If you do not live in a condominium, you can try asking relatives who do to help assist you with the bookings accordingly.

You can also consider function rooms available for rent at affordable prices at your nearby community club. A typical function room has enough space, tables and chairs prepared for guests to enjoy the food and any entertainment you have planned.

Restaurants
Many restaurants have private rooms which you can use. Similar to a function room, it meets all the requirements needed in throwing a great party. In such cases, you get a 2-in-1 as you don't have to worry about catering separately, since food would be provided by the restaurant.

A popular restaurant venue for a party in Singapore is the Lion's Den at The Hard Rock Café. Not only is it easily accessible, this private room is big enough to comfortably hold about 80-100 kids and adults.

At Home
Why go out when you can stay in? If you've got the space to throw a party then having the party at home has many advantages. You won't have to source for a venue. You can comfortably prepare the food for the party if you want. Plus, when it's party time, there's no chance that you will forget or leave anything behind. Doesn't that sound sweet?

The only disadvantage to having a party at home is that you have to personally clean up after everyone has left. It's a small bummer but at least you'll have all the convenience of home!

Food

You can hire a venue that can cater your food at the same time, or have the party at home which would save cost. Once you have decided on the number of guests, you can allocate the budget for food.

You may want to cater separately for kids and adults or simply just cater for everyone. Choose a reputable caterer for your party or you can choose to prepare your own food. Whatever you decide to do, always remember that the food at a party is one of the main things that guests will remember, so do not spare any expense in getting the best.

Decorations

Decorate your venue so it truly looks like the place for a really cool party. Get a "Happy Birthday" banner or even a customized banner with your kid's name on it for that special touch! A great way to add color to the event is to add some balloons. Balloons are always a hit with kids and a hundred colorful helium balloons to decorate your venue should do the trick. You can get them yourself if you have the time and resources or you get them at an affordable price from professionals like Mighty Magic Factory.

You can also use decorations to highlight a specific theme for the party. For example, some kids have specific preferences and likes such as Superman. You can then theme the party by having Superman decorations (i.e. balloons, coasters, banner, paper plates, etc) or just have a generic superhero theme. However in this case, having a generic superhero concept might be a lot more cost effective as you would not need to source for specific decorations and can instead find more economical alternatives.

Party Host/ Entertainer

A professional party host or entertainer can make a great difference to the success of a party. If you intend to book on, consult your birthday child to help you along with some of your choices, it's their special day after all!

Find out if your child wants a magician, juggler, clown, ventriloquist or multi-variety entertainer. Search the Internet or get recommendations from friends for potential candidates. If you have a theme for your party (i.e. Superhero), then it would be a good idea to find a suitable entertainer who can fit into the theme as well.

If sourcing the entertainer from the Internet, ensure the entertainer or entertainment company boasts a good track record and this will be reflected on their website, party rate sheet and whatever promotional material they can provide. Professional entertainers and birthday party companies will have professional websites. Avoid websites that do not have good credentials, little or vague photographs and dubious copywriting. If you smell a rat, trust your instinct.

Good quality professionals will also have a promotional video with live performance highlights of their shows or talents. This is the best way to judge the quality and appropriateness of the act.

Take heed of entertainers whose marketing material contains bad English such as multiple typos, grammatical mistakes or poor sentence structure, this is usually a reflection on the quality of the entertainer.

An entertainer plays a HUGE influence on the kids as s/he will be the one who directly interacts with them at the party. While a good entertainer is one who can keep the kids entertained, s/he should also be a good role model. Choose a professional entertainer who speaks well as they are very strong influences on the kids. For example, a company like Singapore Birthday Party Company - Mighty Magic Factory has a stringent requirement that all party hosts and entertainers speak and communicate in good English as they know what a strong influence the entertainers are to the impressionable young ones.

A big consideration will also be your budget. You would likely have a pre-determined budget on what to spend on things such as food, decorations, renting a venue, hiring an entertainer and so on.

However, remember, you do get what you pay for! If you really do not have a budget for a quality entertainer, use the money to get better food, more gifts, a more elaborate cake or get creative and see what you can come up with yourself in terms of party games and activities that you can conduct.

Timeline

While a kid's party is a relatively simple event to organize, you still need to allocate enough time to ensure all elements will be in place on the big day.

Purchase all party items such as prizes, gifts and party treats early. This is so that you have ample time to make sure that you've stocked up on everything you need and that there's time to get more if necessary.

Book your professional party host or entertainer as early as you can! Popular ones will require at least one month's notice to ensure an available timeslot.

Prepare your party program in advance. Decide on the time you want your invited guests to arrive, the time for the food to be served, the games to start, the time for the birthday cake cutting and so on. When planning your program, the key thing is to keep everything as organized as possible, so that the party flows smoothly.

Finally and most importantly, involve the special birthday kid in the preparations as much as possible. It is after all their birthday party!
About the Author
Shawn Chua AKA Captain Amazing is a professional birthday party host with Singapore Birthday Party entertainment provider Mighty Magic Factory. He is a Master Ventriloquist and award-winning magician. As Captain Amazing, Shawn heads a team of dynamic performers and has 6 years of live performing experience. Find out more about him at Singapore Birthday Party Entertainer Company
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