If you’re just starting to think about your child’s next birthday party – whether it’s next month or in 6 months time – and, really don’t know where to start, then don’t despair! We’ve spoken to the experts at Captain Fantastic – who recently won a Junior Design Award for Best Party Brand too – for their top planning tips on how to throw the party of your kids dreams without it becoming a nightmare for you.
Captain Fantastic provide up to 50 children’s parties a week, as well as termly holiday camps, afterschool clubs, corporate events and even the odd celebrity kid’s birthday bash to! Founded by Tommy Balaam in 2010, after graduating from East15 acting school, Tommy worked in children’s theatre and entertainment. To create additional income alongside his acting, and with a natural flair and rapport that he could build with children, Tommy decided to create Captain Fantastic – a superhero to “save the day from bad children’s parties”.
By 2013, Captain Fantastic parties were in such high demand, best friend and fellow East15 graduate Ricky Foxbecame Tommy’s full-time business partner. Noticing a gap in the market, Ricky set about creating a range of toddler parties for the little ones and interactive disco parties for older children.
So, who else would we call upon to give us their 5 GOLDEN PARTY PLANNING TIPS than Captain Fantastic?
1. Choosing a Date & time
Before you book anything, check that the people you want to be there can definitely make it – you might want to check to see if there are any national, local or religious events happening that may stop people attending.Does it clash with children’s nap or feeding times? Are there any football or tennis matches on that parents don’t want to miss? If so, would you consider screening them?Choosing a venue –
2. Choosing a Venue
When choosing a venue for your child’s party, here are some important things to consider – What is the capacity of the venue? How flexible is the layout? How child-friendly is it? Are there lots of steps which might be an issue for very young children? Is it easy to keep all the children in the designated party area or is it opento the rest of the venue/there are lots of doors? What’s included in the hire price – Tables and chairs, Catering facilities? Can you hang decorations?
3. Choosing a Theme
Girls and boys have different preferences when it comes to party time, as do varying age groups. Themed Superhero, Princess, Pirate and Science parties are best suited to 3-7s; whereas classic and UV discos are better suited to the 7-11 year age group. Princess Parties bring to life every little girl’s dream of being the Princesson her special day, whereas the Superhero theme or disco parties are less gender-biased and will appeal to a mixed audience.
4. Choosing an Entertainer
Before considering a company for your child’s party, it’s important to ensure that the following basic butessential criteria are met – Are they CBR/DBS certified? Do they hold public liability insurance? Is their equipment PAT tested? These attributes are imperative and should be carried out by any children’s entertainerto ensure safety requirements are met. Some additional questions you might want to ask are – what exactlyis included in the price, how much space do you need, can the party be tailored to my child’s needs, and what back up do you have if your entertainer is unwell?
5. Plan Ahead
Do as much of your party preparation beforehand. Most food, especially cold buffets, can be prepared in advance. Blow up balloons, make up the party bags, wrap the pass-the-parcel the day before too. The more you can prepare before the party, the better, as it means you get to mingle with the other parents and enjoythe party with your child. Don’t forget to arrive in plenty of time to set up for your party before guests arrive!