“Wahoo it is party time! We are all together in this big loud hall, with lots of space to run around and no school uniform! We can make loads of noise because the hall echoes and look there is my best friend. I am going to catch them before they catch me. Who left these over inflated balloons all over the floor? I am going to stomp on that big one and see what happens. BANG! Woah! That made everyone in the room jump. How wonderful, I am going to do it again!”
There is a very thin line between a magical and a chaotic birthday party. The children are soooooooooo excited! They have been talking about it at school, the birthday star has been the top of social ranking in the playground all week. They are ready to explode! Of course there is also the flip side, birthday parties are overwhelming particularly for our introverted and sensory sensitive children. Parents host on average 1.5 whole class parties per child before the age of 7. That isn’t a lot of time to become an expert. When your weekends are booked back-to-back with children’s parties, you pick up a thing or two. So here are our pearls of wisdom on the subject.
Children thrive on structure when in a large group. It is overwhelming when you are a tiny human and you are placed in a big crowd. Having a structure, setting boundaries and having clear communication, helps children to feel safe and clearly placed.
How do the CraZy BeanZ strategize against this?
Structure! We have a plan folks. We rehearse tirelessly, train continuously. We observe children’s response to our material. The children are given a purpose and a plan. They are given the power of choice.
Behaviour management and engagement tactics. Often people interpret behaviour management as managing bad behaviour after it has happened. Good behaviour management means managing the children so there is only room for positive behaviour. Often parents are impressed on how engaged children are at our parties. This is because of the all the strategies we put in place, it’s not just the colourful hair!
Bonding! This is one of the most important strategies for ensuring a smooth structure. The children have got to have trust and feel safe with the people leading them. Once that bond is established, the relax and give you their full attention and respect. We implement particular games and techniques that allow the children to relax and feel bonded with us, from the minute they walk in the door. The wonders that a bubble can do!
Stemming on from unstructured environment, having too much going on and not enough focus can be very overwhelming for tiny ears and tiny minds. Our children are so much more receptive to their senses than we are, and less capable of logical reasoning. This comes with development, but in the meantime what can we do to support them on their journey to happy fun?
What is appropriate for the space you are using? The difference between a bouncy castle in a hall and in an outdoor space is significant.
What season are you in? Check out your space before you book and make sure it complements the climate. Temperature and physical comfort have a substantial influence on children’s behaviour.
Is there room? This seems so obvious, but it is a frequent problem. You need space for the party to happen, space for the children to eat and space for the adults! Always plan for everyone on your guest list arriving. It is always better to have too much than not enough.
Layout. Scope your space and make clear choices on where you are going to place everything. It will make yours and all the guest's lives so much easier. Think about where the parents will be, where the coats should go (for winter parties), the presents and the food. Word of advice avoid having food out before the allotted time slot. The children will get distracted by it, make a mess with it, potentially choke on it if running around and become detached from the group. Access to water is essential, especially on those hot days. Your entertainer will add in more water breaks during these times and organise the children to do so.
Sound and noise pollution. Listening is an essential and challenging skill for children to learn. Did you know that on average, children only start to filter out distractions between the age of 5-6? Research suggests that children can pay full attention for one minute per year of their life. If there is a lot of noise happening outside of a child’s activity, they can find it difficult to focus. https://www.theschoolrun.com/improving-childrens-listening-skills have more information on how you can help your child to develop their listening skills.
What do we do to help manage the sound at an event?
We provide and operate the music.
We get the adults involved! Don’t worry, it isn’t for the entire party, we won’t have you chasing Naughty BeanZ around the arena. With careful planning, we have inserted interactions with adults throughout the event, to help elevate boredom and keep you engaged. Did you know that the most memorable activities for the children are the ones that the grown-ups are involved in? Straight for the children’s mouths. They love having you there!
We make sure there are no balloons on the floor as the children love popping them. The noise of an over-inflated balloon exploding in a large hall is enough to give any child a balloon phobia for life. We are also considering your sanity!
Is the bouncy castle indoors? We have it switched off when structured activities are running. Otherwise it is like trying to have a party in the cargo hold of jet plane!
Parties are all about letting your hair down and having a good time and sugar is a bit part of our letting go culture. The affect sugar has on children is a key player in the wedge between adults and children. Tantrums, emotions, dips in energy and that’s just Granny! Think about the children.
It is up to you how much sugar you want to provide at your party, but we will give you some tips on how to maintain a happy environment during the event itself.
Save it for the end! Having sugary treats available at the beginning of the party is dangerous! The children will most certainly lose control of their attention, emotion and reasoning.
Serve fun fruits instead. What do we mean by that? You know those fruits that they don’t get at school on a regular basis. The really special ones like strawberries, mangos, pineapples. Fruit kebabs or faces are also popular with kids. Really you don’t need to have pudding at all at a party as the children usually take long enough having their party dinner and drinks. By the time the treats come out, they’re ready for a run around again.
Drink water. We are 75% water after all, so let’s keep it that way. Sorry fruit shoot manufacturers!
And there you have it! Our pouring of tips and tricks from the entertainers chalice of experience. Got any more tips for the chalice? Fill it up!
Fun and Sparkles!