Planning the Perfect Birthday Party
Planning a party can be stressful, but if you follow my simple guidelines, you can make it all so much easier.
Firstly, let me introduce myself. The kids call me Tony Baloney, and I am one of the busiest magicians in Cork - in fact, all over Munster. I have been doing this for twenty years (initially in Limerick, then the last three years in Cork) and I have picked up a lot of party ideas over the years. Here are my top five tips.
1) PARTY FOOD
Kids love party food, but if you switch some of the sweets for plates of sliced apples or raisins, and perhaps a few plates of nuts, you will give kids the treats they like without all the E numbers. And replace fizzy drinks with fruit juices such as orange or apple. Kids love these as much as they love the Coke and Fanta, they are as bad for the teeth, but they will not make the kids hyper. And who needs twenty hyper kids running around the house?
2) BRING IN AN ENTERTAINER
Of course I would say that, being in the business I am in. But it really makes your child's day special. There are so many to choose from in Cork - from Pirates and fairies to magicians and puppeteers. If your child is into music and games, there are clowns who specialise in this. If you have a budding Einstein, you can get a crazy science party. And you will have some peace while the children are having the time of their lives.
3) PICK A DIFFERENT TIME FOR THE PARTY
Everyone seems to go for the same time - three to six on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Why not go for a different time? If you run a party on a Saturday morning, you will have everything over by mid-afternoon on Saturday, giving you the weekend to recover. And you might be doing a favour to all the other parents too, by letting them bring their child to your party without disrupting their weekend.
4) STRUCTURE YOUR PARTY
When do you feed them? When do you bring out the cake? In my experience (thousands of birthday parties throughout Cork and Limerick) the structure of a party is one of the keys to a great afternoon. If the children are young (pre-school and junior infants) then any entertainment you have should be early in the party, to get them mixing and playing well together. Then feed them, then let them alone to play among themselves. Finally, end with the cake. For older kids, the entertainment often works well near the end of the party - the last hour or hour and a half. So feed them first, let them play and burn off some energy, then have the entertainment, and end with the cake.
And NEVER NEVER feed them during the entertainment. It will make them hyper and ruin the value of the entertainement.
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