The most important day of the year… Planning a Birthday Party

A child’s birthday should be the most exciting and magical day of their year. The anticipation and build up to the big event can become overwhelming – and not just for the kids! For most parents the thought of having to keep 30 excited children amused for a couple of hours fills them with absolute dread! Using a professional party entertainer has become the norm.

A professional party entertainer will use their expertise to engage the children, adding something really special to your celebration. This leaves you to sort out the refreshments for the guests and simply enjoy seeing the children having fun. It should be a wonderful day for you too and a chance to create some treasured memories for your family.

Usually children have a very good idea of what they would like for their party theme and may well have been planning it out for some time. The most popular themes tend to be Princesses, Pirates and Mermaids or Superheroes, as well as TV or film favourites that the child may be devoted to. Companies like Bish Bash Birthdays will cater for any theme the birthday child may want – no matter what!

A party theme can be a great source of inspiration for decorations, tableware, the birthday cake and many children will arrive in costume to match if the theme is announced in advance. You’ll find themed party supplies in the high street or online, and supermarkets tend to have a good selection too.

Top 10 party tips:

  1. Book a professional entertainer! Take the pressure off yourself by hiring an experienced pair of hands. Decide if they’ll be a party theme and let the entertainer guide you as to what’s appropriate for the age group. Ask to be pencilled in their diary for a few days whilst you secure your venue.
  2.  Hire a hall! Often a local community hall is the perfect setting and can be booked at a reasonable price. Ask your entertainer and other parents for any recommendations. Check out the venue directory at: If you’re brave enough to have the party at home be sure you have enough space and clear away toys, pets and clutter! Avoid using outside areas for the entertainment – the children will be too distracted to join in. Instead just move the food break outside  if you’re lucky enough to have the sun shine for your celebration.
  3.  Get the timings right! A two hour party is the standard length for children aged 4+ and works extremely well. Always have the refreshment break at the mid-way point – after an hour the kids will be ready for something to eat and drink.
  4. Use your invites wisely! Get your invites out in plenty of time to avoid clashes with other parties. Tell your guests when the entertainment is starting so that they come on time and let everyone know if its fancy dress. Always include the full post code of the venue or you’ll have endless calls on the day – just as you’re on a chair putting up the decorations!
  5. Balloons! Kids love balloons but it’s best to simply use them as colourful decorations. If there are loose balloons then these will be very distracting and they often pop or get wrapped around the children.
  6. Food glorious food! Don’t go overboard – simple finger foods or pizza slices go down best. Keep sweet treats out of sight until the break. If the children see crisps, biscuits and other goodies then they won’t be able to resist. This will become their focus and they’ll lose interest in the entertainment. Funnily enough there’s no such issue if you want to leave out sandwiches, carrots, raisins and similar more wholesome snacks!
  7. Talk talk! You want your grown up guests to enjoy the party but if they’re all chatting loudly then this can drown out the entertainer (even when using a microphone). Encourage the adults to be a little distance from the children’s activity area by setting chairs out for them. Or even better still – get them to join in! Mums and dads coming into some of the games help create a wonderful atmosphere and can particularly help the shyer or younger kids to settle.
  8. Happy Birthday! You can’t have a birthday party without a birthday cake and for something a bit different try a cake made of sweets. The start of the children’s refreshment break is the ideal moment to sing “Happy Birthday” – as everyone can come together easily. This also gives you time to cut the cake and give it out as dessert.
  9. Don’t have too much going on! If you book a professional entertainer then they will keep the kids fully engaged throughout. Additional things going on – face painters, bouncy castles, play equipment – will only serve to distract the children rather than be of any real extra value.
  10. Finally, have extra party bags at the ready! It’s always hard to predict how many children will actually turn up on the day and how many siblings will come along in tow (invited or not). Anything goes when it comes to party bags – be it lots of small things or one big gift. If you want something long lasting then try books (such as from a school book club) or craft sets. You’ll also find kids key rings, themed jewellery and other small items from some of the shops in the Alternative Shopping Guide.


Carrie Webb runs Bish Bash Birthdays in West Suffolk & North Essex offering fully trained and CRB (DBS) checked party entertainers throughout the region. Bish Bash Birthdays has twice been nominated for a What’s On 4 Kids award for Best Children’s Party Entertainment and includes an acclaimed assortment of age appropriate activities in any party theme. For more information contact [email protected] or telephone: 01440 845 023
If you fancy running your own party business then visit the Bish Bash Birthdays website to find out more. The South/Central Essex franchise is still available and would suit a local based mum looking for a fun opportunity.

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