Anna and Bob are experts when it comes to party entertainment.
With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Anna and Bob have developed this helpful guide to assist you in planning for your next event.
Their complete Party Tip Guide (below) includes a Party Time Line, how to handle the inevitable Party Day, as well as Miss Annie’s useful Stress Free Party Tips.
Anna and Bob believe that the time to celebrate life’s most memorable events is during childhood, because children won’t be children forever.
Party Time Line
6 to 4 weeks in advance
- Set your party date by checking VIP schedules
- Consider a time frame that your child will not be too tired to enjoy his/her party
- If your child is 3 or older get them as involved as possible with planning this party, even putting invites in the mailbox. Talk about themes.
- Book entertainment, location, caterer, flower or balloon centerpieces
3 to 2 weeks in advance
- Send out invitations
- Purchase themed paper supplies, decorations, and party favors
1 week in advance
- Confirm your guest list (calling those who did not RSVP is perfectly acceptable)
- Enlist help (A teenage neighbor or relative could always use some extra cash) to:
- Assemble any decorations, party supplies and party favors.
- If your party is at home, put away your child’s favorite toys.
- A sign for the child’s bedroom (and any other place) to keep this personal space off limits and to keep a good watch on the children.
- If you are not baking the cake, now is a good time to order it
- Walk through activities, or any planned crafts to make sure you have all supplies in a container near the planned activity location
- Set up a music station with themed or relaxing music for a light and fun atmosphere (This really helps to set a festive atmosphere)
2 Days in advance
- Confirm entertainment, location etc.
- Check batteries for camcorders, cameras, etc. have extra on hand for gifts that will need them. Have extra film if needed.
1 Day in advance
- Pick up the cake, party food, drinks and ice (don’t forget candles)
- Double check party areas for child safety
- Prepare any food platters
- Set up craft and/ or activity environments- identify trash receptacles
- Place cameras in a convenient location
- Provide a nourishing breakfast for your family
- Place balloons or sign to indicate Party location i.e. balloons on the mailbox
- Arrange decorations
- Have a carafe of coffee and/or hot tea water for any adults who stay
- Set food out
- Take a lot of pictures. enlist help with this
- Remember this is your child’s day…Enjoy!!
STRESS FREE PARTY TIPS
by Miss Annie
Download Printable Version
(Adobe Acrobat Reader required for this PDF file)
- Involve birthday child as much as possible. This is their day! Before all the hustle and bustle of the day, take a special time out to remind them how special they are to you and how much you love them. Talk about some host responsibilities i.e.: Greeting guests, showing guests where to place gifts and personal items, thanking guests for coming. Go over some polite responses for gifts even duplicate or “wrong” gifts (Thanks for thinking of me, that was so thoughtful etc.).
- Keep your party time short (1-3 yr olds 1- 1 ½ hrs / 4yrs-up 2 hrs.) and guest list limited. Don’t forget to put an ending time on the invitation. The younger the child the shorter the party time should be, and a limited guest list.
Mark the party location with signs and/or balloons this helps any invited entertainers as well.
- Offer party food and cake at a seated area to keep children from running around, where they could choke.
- Check out safe foods for toddlers. Keep in mind that certain foods could be hazardous i.e. Nuts, hard candies, popcorn, grapes, hot dog pieces.
- Any broken balloon pieces need to be discarded ASAP.
- If you are inviting entertainment, don’t surprise a very young child with the entertainer at the door. Talk about who is coming and make proper introductions, ask the entertainer if they can get eye level and a safe distance if the child is leery.
- Enlist teenagers or other parents to help with supervision.
- Put cake knife and lighters up after use
- Identify trash receptacles and bathrooms
- Party favor bags can cause stress (misplaced items etc)…Here are some other ideas… Large batons, Wands, Glittery crowns, Wings, Sheriff’s badges, Hand puppets, Cowboy hats, Cowboy scarves, Glow in the dark bracelets, Sunglasses, Puzzles, Coloring books, Specialty straw cups, Instruments i.e. Tambourines, Maracas, Cooking apron, Engineer’s cap, Party favor ideas are only limited by your imagination. If the party is coed have a few extra girl or boy options since some children prefer the “other” option but remind them that they only get one. Try to get a unisex item to prevent complaining. Hand these out right prior to guests leaving. Personalizing with glitter pens or black felt marker on a file label helps to eliminate confusion.
- Refrain from offering noise makers
- Plan some quiet activity at a table with items ready i.e. bookmarks with stickers and washable markers. Candy necklaces with licorice strings and colorful bowls of cereal with holes will keep little hands busy.
- When it is time to leave, unplug any blow up toys (jump castle etc.), turn music down, make it clear that the party is winding down. Children need these clues. Parents will have an easier time leaving with their children if the children understand that the party is coming to an end.