Inside Tips for Hosting an At-Home Children’s Birthday Party (From Viewpoint of a Child Entertainer)

Have you ventured into the world of hosting your child’s birthday party in your home yet? There are those brave moms that would not have it any other way. Then, there are those moms that dread hearing these words come out of their child’s mouth, “I want my party at home this year.” Whether you are a seasoned at-home party giver or contemplating the idea for the first time, here are a few tidbits to help make this brave journey into at-home birthday party hosting a little easier.

First, having planned activities literally every minute is a must. Hiring a child entertainer will be a big help in this task and will allow you to relax for a bit. However, you will still have the time to kill while the children/parents are arriving, and the time at the end of the party while you are waiting for things to wrap up.

As a seasoned child entertainer, I have seen many different avenues of keeping the children busy and entertained in the lag times. While allowing the children to just play in your child’s room or playroom is the easiest, it is also the avenue that will create the most mess and possible fighting and tears. Depending on the age of the children, at the start of the party, I suggest a coloring activity or some sort of easy arts-n-crafts (stickers are always a great and easy arts-n-crafts). There are also easy games like Simon Says or Pin the Tail to keep them entertained (this will need to be someone other than you leading the games, though, as you will be meeting and greeting your guests).

Once all of your guests have arrived, my suggestion is to proceed with your child entertainer. Please keep in mind that most child entertainers will give you a set start time and will not have extra time to wait for your guests. With that being said, if you have friends/family that perpetually run 30 minutes late, it may be a good idea to 1) let them know that the entertainment will start at such-n-such time, and 2) set your entertainers start time approximately 20-30 minutes after your official start time that you sent out on your invitations.

To keep your party running smoothly, you will need to be on the watch out for a few things (please excuse some of my bluntness).

1) Keep any “wild-children” calm. This could mean asking one or both of the parents to sit with their children (especially if they are younger). You can also remind the children that the party is about the birthday child today and that you are requesting everyone to use their manners today to help make it a super special day. Your entertainer may or may not help out with the “discipline” part of your party, so do not be afraid to step in and help.
In addition, alerting your child entertainer to any “issues” ahead of time will help.

2) During your entertainers “show”, helping keep the adults’ voices down so that the children can hear the entertainer will help things running smoothly for your entertainer.

3) Keep tabs on the temperature in your room. Many people will create lots of heat. Ceiling fans and/or setting a cooler temperature than normal is a big help in keeping everyone comfortable.

Finally, organization is a key point in the success of an at-home party. Your entertainment area should be separate from your cake/eating area (especially if you do not want food/drink in other parts of your home). It is best to have your party table set up with decorations, plates, napkins, etc… ahead of time. Also, have your area where the entertainer will be “entertaining” all cleared and ready to go. Your entertainer will need their own time to get their stuff ready, so it will help if they can come in and get started without having to help move furniture and such.

Once the children are done with the entertainment part of the party, you will need to move them on to the table to prepare for the eating part of your party. As a reminder, children eat much faster than adults do and you will need to keep the eating time short and sweet. As a fellow mom, you may also wish to have handy wipes or sanitizer available for hands, as well, for both before and after eating. In addition, do not be afraid to ask your guests to keep all food and drink at the table. You are being a brave soul in hosting the party in your home, it is okay to have some house rules and set expectations.

Now, to open gifts or not? In all of my experience over the years, it is almost a perfect 50/50 split between opening gifts at the party and waiting to open them later. IF you do plan on opening the gifts at the party, it is best to open the presents at the entertainment area and to have the following ready: 1) pen/paper and a person to help you with writing the gift receiving list, and 2) a special area for the birthday child to sit while the other children sit a bit away from the birthday child. And it is okay to re-remind your guests to keep food and drink in the kitchen area.

If you are not going to have your child open presents at the party, then having one or two more games and/or activities for the children while your party is winding down is highly suggested. When you do not open presents at a party, it is hard for your guests to know that the party is over, therefore, you may want to say something like this, “And now, for the last event of the party, we will have one last game”. Remember, you are the host and your guests are looking to you for “direction”.

Finally, the ending to your party… you will have both the kids that need to leave early and the kids that will stay after the designated time as you wait for parents to pick up their children (if it was a drop off party). Therefore, it is best to have the goody bags already packed up and in a designated area close to the exit. If you are able to put your guests’ names on their goody bags, that will help alleviate any confusion. In the case of my clients, their goody bag is the take-home bag that I supply with their new stuffed animal friend that they made at the party. I personally place (as part of my service that I provide) all of the children’s names on the outside of their bags and have them all packed up and waiting near the exit. You can also discuss ahead of time with your child how to thank everyone for coming and how you plan to say your goodbyes (at the door or back in the entertainment area; handing guests their take home bags or having them grab their own; etc…)

In the end, remember to relax and enjoy the party. Your child will cherish their time with their friends and family. The more planning and preparation you can do ahead of time, the better the party will flow.

Regina Boyett, a professional flutist and mom of a super son, now operates a successful home-based business in a million-dollar industry through Noah’s Ark Animal Workshop. Regina’s traveling workshops are a hit at kids birthday parties, child care centers, and any place for stuffed animal lovers, young and old. Regina was also named “Miss Noah’s Ark 2008, 2009 and 2010” at her company’s yearly National Conventions.
Contact Regina at Animalstogo@aol.com or visit her website at:
http://www.MakeYourOwnStuffedAnimal.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Regina_Boyett/238141

 

Ten Top Tips on How to Choose the Right Kids Entertainer

Kids entertainers are very popular and you want to make sure that you pick the correct one, after all your son / daughter’s birthday is only once a year and you don’t want it to be a disaster. Here are ten of my top tips to guide you through the process.

1. Who are they?

Many entertainers work for large organisations and they all go under the same name such as “Magic Sam the Magic Man” for example. When you locate someone who you think is suitable, see that you will be getting that person and that you haven’t landed on a company based website.

2. Is their show suitable for your child’s age?

Just because someone advertises as a children’s entertainer doesn’t mean that they cater for children of all ages. Make sure that the little ones will not miss out on the fun because the entertainer only caters for the older children.

3. What exactly do they do?

It may look like a flashy website and they call themselves a children’s entertainer but you need to know what you are getting for your money. Is it just a magic show or will they be doing the games too. All this should be clearly shown on their website, usually where they tell you the prices of various packages that they offer. If it doesn’t clearly explain on the website then go elsewhere.

4. Do they give suitable prizes?

If they provide prizes what are they?. You don’t want and shouldn’t expect cheap plastic rubbish that will fall apart as soon as the child gets home. If unsure just ask, you want to know what you are going to get for your money.

5. How long do they stay?.

If they advertise a 2 hour show for example, does this include the setting up time and what do they do when the children are having their tea? A good entertainer will arrive early, set up and be ready to begin. This time, and the packing away time, will not be included in their 2 hour show. Also, a good children’s entertainer will keep the kids entertained whilst they are having their party food.

6. Are they CRB checked?

It is essential that you make sure that your children’s entertainer is CRB checked, if not keep well away!.

7. Are they insured?

All entertainers should have public liability insurance in case anything unexpected happens. Again, if they are not keep well away. Why take the risk?

8. Are they experienced?.

Find out how long have they been in the business as you want an entertainer who is experienced in entertaining children.

9. How will I know you will turn up?

A good entertainer will always phone you a couple of days before the show to make sure that everything is still fine. This will help you to know that they haven’t forgotten about you.

10. Ask!!!

Never be afraid to ask the entertainer about any concerns or questions you may have. It’s your money and you want to make sure that the person you are booking is the right one for your youngster.

Stuart Brown http://www.stuartmagic.co.uk provides first class children’s party organisation and entertainment for children of all ages. Good children’s entertainers are essential for stress free parties giving the mums and dads freedom to relax. You can obtain the services of a good children’s entertainer here http://www.stuartmagic.co.uk.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stuart_M_Brown/878593

 

Children Entertainers – Booking Kids Party Entertainment

Whenbooking your children entertainers, pay careful attention to what services the entertainer offer, and make sure you know what you are paying for, here we look at a few simple ideas and questions to ask before you hand over your money.

Will the entertainer provide the entertainment throughout the party?
This may seem like a simple question to ask, but if you’re planning a 3 hour party, that is a long time for entertainers to keep the children occupied. If you are planning to feed the children during the party, perhaps the entertainer may take a break during this time.

Can they provide a show for your child’s age?
Some children entertainers specialise in younger ages, things like puppet shows and fancy dress may not be the perfect idea for older children. Different entertainers will provide different acts for children of varying ages. A good act will be able to adjust their show depending on the age of the children at your party, but ask first to ensure what they intend to cover will be suitable for your children.

Will the entertainer have prizes?
Prize giving is all part of the fun for children, so ask what sort of prize is given, and what the child would have to do to earn the prize. There is nothing worse then some children getting upset because others won a prize when they didn’t, so ask what the plan is before hand. A simple token of a gift from the entertainer can make all the difference, a balloon model is always popular for kids at any party.

How long is the performance?
Children entertainers will have set performances that they run through at each party, varying slightly depending on the children’s reaction. Some will have a set of an hour or two, so ask first to ensure you know what you are getting for your money. You’ll want to know there is a set start and finish to the party.

Will they need help, or do they have a helper with them?
If the entertainer is expecting you to help out, then make sure you know this before the event. There is nothing worse then planning to get on with something else while the children are entertained, only to find out that the Mums and Dads are expected to help out with the show.

Most importantly for peace of mind, ask the children entertainers for proof of a CRB check, and whether they have full public liability insurance. Without either of these, the children entertainers cannot be taken seriously.

The author runs a directory of professional Children Entertainers [http://www.childrenentertainers.net/] to help people find the right party entertainment for kids in your local area.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_Thurston/76349

 

10 Tips for Hiring Children Entertainers

1. The single most important tip we can offer is to check that the entertainer is CRB checked, and that they can prove that it’s up to date. Although a CRB check is not currently a compulsory requirement for any self-employed entertainer, most local authorities and schools now insist that all entertainers they hire must supply the relevant documentation beforehand.

2. Do they have public liability insurance? Accidents can happen at anytime, and a room full of excited children bouncing around can be one of the biggest accidents waiting to happen. Regardless of whether you are holding a party in a hall, outdoors or in your home, you should check if the children entertainer holds public liability insurance.

3. Check if the entertainer is a member of any magic societies or Equity. (Equity is the Union of Performers and Artists) Being a member of a society does not mean that you are guaranteed a high quality performance, but it may prove their dedication to their job, and it means you can book the entertainer with peace of mind.

4. What games do you play? All children want to be involved as much as possible with the entertainment, check if the games played require children to remain out for a long time, you want to avoid bored or upset children stood watching whilst others still compete.

5. How varied is the entertainment? If you’re planning on booking someone who is predominantly a magician, then a full hour’s performance is quite hard to keep a small child’s attention. However, if the entertainer breaks it up with use of balloon modelling, some party music or some puppets then even a two-hour show will fly by for the kids.

6. Speak to the entertainer, don’t just rely on emails. If you speak to them first, you’ll be able to judge their communication skills and they should install confidence in you that their performance will be great.
If the entertainer sounds hesitant on the phone, imagine what they’ll be like in front of a room of children.

7. Find out if they have a website. If they do, then you should find plenty of photos online, hopefully with the children entertainer looking well presented and fun, and even some actual photos from some other kids parties they have performed at.

8. How much do they cost? Don’t focus on price too much, you get what you pay for in this world, and a saving of a few quid may end up to be the worst decision you make. Professional children entertainers have costs to pay, insurance and high quality equipment doesn’t come cheap, so shop around and get a good idea of what people are charging.

9. Ask for recommendations. A professional children entertainer will have acquired a thank you letter or two if they have been working for a while, testimonials can say an awful lot about the quality of performance.

10. Pay a deposit and ask for a booking confirmation, always check with the children entertainers what would happen if they are taken ill. Maybe they have a few friends in the industry who could stand in for them at short notice.

If you found this article useful, please find further information available at Children Entertainers [http://www.childrenentertainers.net/].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_Thurston/76349

 

Why You Should Consider a Close-Up Magician As Your Wedding Entertainer

Did you know that according to a USA Today study, more than 90% of brides said they would have spent more of their budget on the wedding entertainment?

It’s true. Wedding entertainment is one of the most important elements of making your wedding reception a complete success, yet many couples don’t pay enough attention to it while making their plans.

It’s all too easy to think that simply hiring a good band is enough. Of course it’s important to have the right music, but that shouldn’t be the end of the entertainment. There will be lulls in the music, some people would rather talk to each other anyway, and not everyone is going to dance all the time.

What should you do for those times, or the times when your guests have nothing to do while they are waiting for you to take your pictures, or while you are with other guests?

How are people who don’t know each other going to break the ice? What about those shy ones who want to have a good time, but don’t know how to “join the crowd?”

There will be cliques at tables and some guests may be left out. Maybe some age groups won’t mix.

We’ve all been to weddings or other functions where there could have been much better communication and entertainment in the crowd.

Sometimes a DJ will get people on their feet, but no matter how good the band or DJ is, every wedding could use some personal interaction among the guests.

Fortunately there is exactly the right kind of wedding entertainer for just such circumstances – and that is a Close-up Magician. Such a magician is an expert at entertaining people in an intimate setting and bringing people together with a sense of wonder.

Also known as “walk-around” magicians, these artists can perform for small to large groups, with small apparatus in an impromptu atmosphere. Such casual and intriguing performances are perfect for any group, of any age. Even language is no barrier, because most magic is visual.

What other kind of performer can entertain your wedding guests with their own possessions, by say doing a small miracle with a borrowed watch or coin, than a close-up magician?

When you engage a the right close-up performer, you are guaranteeing that your wedding party will be completely enthralled and will remember your wedding as a truly magical affair. Imagine the compliments you will get when every single one of your guests has been personally entertained. Imagine the memories you will be creating to go along with your perfect day.

How can you ensure that you engage the right close-up wedding entertainer to make your day a magical success? Make sure that:

  • You hire a professional, and not “your friend’s cousin who can do tricks.” (That cannot be stressed enough! Don’t take a chance with an amateur.)
  • Your professional has experience doing weddings, and isn’t just a kid-show performer.
  • Do a Google search for them to see if there have been any complaints. Most do a fine job, but you can never be too careful, especially about your big day.
  • Your close-up entertainer has a professional website, where you can read testimonials and view at least one video.
  • You meet with the performer beforehand, if possible, to assess his or her professionalism and decorum. Make sure you at least talk on the phone, or have a very good reference.

From your meeting, see if you feel this performer “gets” you. If you click, you will find that a good magician can do more than just “magic.” He can troubleshoot if there is a need for it. Good magicians are like street psychologists, they really understand group dynamics. For instance, if he perceives that a guest looks bored, he’ll be right on the spot to brighten things up.

So if you want your wedding reception to sparkle, find a good close-up wedding entertainer to give it the magic that will be remembered.

Duane Douglas explores magic and entertainment for weddings and other occasions. If you are looking for a Wedding Entertainer [http://www.wedding-entertainer.com], he recommends The Orlando Wedding Entertainer [http://www.wedding-entertainer.com] (not just for Orlando).

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Duane_Douglas/800465