Think throwing a successful children’s birthday party simply means buying a cake, balloons, and letting the kids roam free? Hardly. That’s just the bare minimum.
If you want to make sure your kid and his/hers friends have a great time instead of staring into their smart phones for two hours, there are a few more things that you need to do. Throwing a party where everyone is entertained and happy is no easy feat, but get it right and I promise your kid will be eating out of your palm for at least a couple of months.
So, what does it take to make sure your pre-teen or teen’s birthday party will be the talk of the town and score you major cool mom/day points?
- Organization – Preparedness is the key to a great party. This means you will need to start planning and booking months in advance. How far in advance? Two to three months is a good number, but honestly it’s never too early to start thinking about what you will do, researching, sourcing, etc. This applies to every aspect of your party planning – from sending out invitations to booking the entertainment, venue, transportation (which we will cover later), and having the itinerary for the day. Also, planning ahead allows you to snag a day that more people are likely to be available (avoid major holidays).
- Guests – This relates to organization but a party sans guests isn’t really a party at all. No, you don’t have to invite every child your kid has ever come into contact with, but you do want the party to be well attended. Children have very busy schedules nowadays (think sports, tutoring, other parties, etc.) and your child will be crushed if he or she has a poorly attended party, so you may want to invite more guests knowing that its likely some won’t be able to make it rather than trying to keep the invitation list to a bare minimum.
- Venue – When thinking about where to host your party, the number one rule of real estate applies – location, location, location. If you don’t want people showing up an hour late, you have to pick a place that is convenient and close to transportation or arrange transportation for the group. In fact, having everyone meet up a before and all leaving together is a great idea – this way you give latecomers time to join the fold so that everyone can participate in the main festivities (probably the priciest portion of the day).
- Activities – If your children are older planned activities is a necessity. A great party involves kids actively doing something together (it’s the reason team building events meant to bond co-workers typically involve an activity). As a bubble ball soccer company, we think that arranging for an activity that the kids have not done before is the best way to go as novelty is what will raise the excitement level though the roof.
- Entertainment – If you are having a shorter party, just having an activity is enough – but if you want to go the extra mile consider entertainment afterwards. Sometimes the venue you choose will have entertainment included but other times you will be responsible for keeping the kids entertained. Passive entertainment – where the children sit down and watch something (e.g. a clown, movie, live show, etc.) can be paired with eating.
- Food – Birthday cake is probably a no-brainer at a birthday party (cupcakes make it easier to hand out portions and clean up), but food should not stop there; these are growing children after all. Provide water, juices light snacks like chips, pretzels, popcorn, and fruit – especially if the group will be doing a physical activity. If your party will last a few hours you also want to have food that is a little bit more substantial – It’s hard to find a kid who doesn’t love pizza (napoleon style lends itself to larger groups), and burgers and fries are always a hit. TIP: You may want to stay away from the super sugary sodas and stick to natural flavors, and also have gluten free, healthier options with all the different dietary needs you may be faced with. Additionally, make sure to ask parents of kids with allergies or special dietary needs to let you know in advance.
- Music – What’s a party without music? A boring gathering, is the answer. If you are not up on the latest hit songs all the kids are singing, then you could always task the birthday boy/girl with providing a playlist or turn to youtube to find a playlist that includes the most popular pop songs for the year. Just make sure you download the clean version!.
- Little Parental Involvement – Sorry, parents – don’t take it personal, but your child has reached an age where he/she just wants to hang out with his/her friends. Let them be the star of the show and give the other parents some much needed break time by loosening the reigns for a few hours.
- Pictures / Video – You are definitely going to want to document the party so your child can share all the fun pictures with his/her friends on social media. Kids love being in pictures, but by having someone dedicated to taking the photos, they can revel in the moment instead of worrying about capturing it themselves.
At Bubble Ball Soccer NYC we know a thing or two about throwing great children’s birthday parties. If you have a child over the age of 7, we have bubble ball suits to crush your activity/entertainment aspect! We also take care of the venue, music, photo/video so that all you have to do is show up and have as little parental involvement as possible 🙂 Reach out to us today to plan your private party by clicking the contact us page.