As well as everything you’ve been reading on this website about the magic I perform for adults, I also absolutely love performing The Magic Matt Show for children which I do hundreds of times each year.
Kid’s parties can be an absolute nightmare to run if you don’t know what you’re doing so in between gigs yesterday I decided to make a short video outlining some of my top tips for running a successful children’s party including ways to make the most of any entertainment you’ve booked. The video is right here and I’ve summed it up for you below, if you have any tips or suggestions of your own, feel free to let me know in the comments box.
Children’s Party Balloons:
These are best kept out of the way whilst any entertainment you have is taking place, I always try and do the show before the break for food so ideally I keep the balloons out of the way until after the food. I don’t think balloons are really a necessity for a successful party as I find they often lead to tears from children that don’t have one or are scared when they pop, if you do really want balloons, try and get them stuck up on the wall or have helium balloons that can be given out at the end of the party.
Keeping the attention of 30 kids is quite a task on it’s own so if you do have an entertainer, help them out by getting the balloons out of the way during their show, if one of the kids collects a balloon to play with during the show, it’s best to get it back out of the way as the distraction to the rest of the children, especially if they’re chucking it about or if it pops, means the entertainer is massively hindered in delivering the best show they can.
Don’t let any late comers get in the way of your child’s enjoyment of their own party. If I’m running the full 2 hour party package, I don’t start the games properly until about 10 minutes in to allow time for the birthday child to welcome anyone who arrives a little bit late but after that 10 minute window I want them to be able to get the most out of their own party, not having to run off and miss parts of the show or games to greet guests who didn’t arrive on time. It may seem a little rude (but so is being late) but it’s best just to look out for late arrivals, quietly welcome them and encourage them to join the rest of the kids without distracting them from whatever they’re on with enjoying.
Kids Don’t Know They Want Something Until Someone Else Has It:
By now, you’ve probably realised that managing distractions is massively important. One common nightmare as an entertainer is when someone brings a drink or snack over for 1 particular child, all the kids that were perfectly fine without having a drink, now want one too. It’s the same as a kid going to the toilet, if one goes, all of the others realise they now need to go to the toilet too. Give a 5 minute warning before the show or any activities where the kids are going to be engaged for a while (if you’ve got an entertainer running the party they should be doing this themselves), telling the children to have a drink and go to the toilet now if they need to.
Don’t Do A Line Up Buffet:
If there are any more than about 10 children, getting them to queue up for a buffet and collect their own food then go and sit down takes absolutely ages. If you’re paying an entertainer (like me) they should only need about 10 minuses to turn the show around into whatever they’re doing next so ideally, the food break should only take about 10-15 minutes whilst they do it. This won’t work with a buffet but if you just put a few trays of sandwiches down the middle of the tables and whatever other party nibbles, the kids can just sit around, go at the food and they’re done a whole lot quicker.
I Don’t Play Pass The Parcel But You Should:
I don’t run a pass the parcel in my 2 hour party because it takes ages and I believe I’m being paid to put more effort into my entertaining than just pressing play and pause. For that reason though, if you’re just booking me or another entertainer for a 45-60 minute show and running the rest of the party yourself, do it. It kills an absolute acre of time, painfully boring for you and the other adults to watch but the kids do still love it.
Don’t Spend A Fortune On Party Bags:
I’ve tried for years to put together a value for money party bag and failed miserably, I often chatted to parents at parties and found out they’ve spent upwards of £3/£4 on little bags full of junk that mostly just gets chucked away or clutters up people’s houses. They always have too many as well so have just wasted a bunch of cash. If you are going to do party bags check out Amazon and eBay for deals on bulks of stuff then chuck in a mini bag of Haribo and a lolly and you’re laughing. I recently started providing a party bag alternative at £1/child and you just take as many as you need on the day, check with your entertainer to see if they do anything similar as it can save you a lot of money. Mine is a magic wand pack where they get a wand, instructions on how to do 6 tricks with it and a link to get a free box of magic tricks from www.letterboxmagic.com
Finally, yes I was genuinely interrupted by a 7 foot inflatable dinosaur. Any questions or comments, please post them below and I’ll be happy to help.
PS. You can find out more about my kids show HERE or follow The Magic Matt Show on Facebook HERE.