Planning a kid’s party can be exhausting, but all of your efforts are worth a smile on your little one’s face. In order to make your child and their guests smile, you will need to have ways to entertain them, and this is no easy feat, so we’re here to help. Here is a guide for entertainment at a kids’ party.
Kids Party Entertainment Ideas Every Parent Needs to Know
Depending on your child’s age, entertainment ideas will vary, but most of these ideas will generally work. Here is a list of ideas to try for your party:
Hire a Magician
A magician is a traditional yet effective option for entertainment. Kids enjoy surprises and tricks that keep their attention for more than a few minutes. There are several steps you should take if you are in the process of hiring a magician, but one of the most important steps is to consider the size of your guest list and the location of your venue. Here’s why:
Some magicians perform illusions that are better received when performed on a stage or in a backyard. It is important to consider the size of your guest list and whether your venue will accommodate a magician who has an entourage or brings large props. People usually book venues based on their guest list, but depending on the type of magician you choose, you should also consider the venue type and size to give your guests the best possible experience.
TheBash.com also shares advice on choosing a magician that has experience:
When hiring a magician, it’s important to check how long this performer has been a professional magician. It’s not hard to buy magic props online, but crafting routines and magic tricks that will make their events exciting and fun takes a lifetime of experience.
When you find a magician who has worked on hundreds of different types of events, you can be confident that they will be able to adapt to your needs and deal with any changes or issues. They also may offer a variety of services like magic acts, stage shows, or perform close-up magic.
Consider Clowns or Circus Performers
Clowns and circus performers are similar and are another excellent option for entertainers. Bring giggles to your party by hiring a clown – they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeves and are sure to put a smile on your guest’s faces!
Bring a Petting Zoo to the Party
Bringing animals to a kid’s party may sound expensive and out of reach, but it is actually doable if your child is an animal lover. A petting zoo is a great way to engage young and old guests! Several companies will bring a petting zoo to your home or party venue, and the children (and adults) will experience playing with select animals and learning more about them. Surprisingly, hiring a petting zoo company is not as expensive as one might think. According to Thumbtack.com, many petting zoos offer mobile party packages. Renting a petting zoo costs an average of $400-$500 for a two-hour party, depending on the number of animals; in general, traveling petting zoos bring between 10 and 25 animals. The costs vary significantly if you extend the party or add additional activities.
Princess Party & Costume Characters
Everyone loves a party theme! Planning a costume party is an excellent idea for children with a favorite character, movie, or show. You can inform guests about your theme in advance and ensure that your party decorations match the theme. We caution you to remember that some children may not already have the themed costumes at home, or it may be inconvenient to ask parents to find particular costumes. If you can afford it, try to provide additional costumes or pieces of outfits (like a themed headband), so everyone can be included if they forget to bring the costume or just do not have the means to get one.
Find a Balloon Artist
Balloons are a must at any party! We can’t explain why better than the experts from Balloons.Online.com. They share this:
Balloons create a fun, inviting atmosphere. Whether you are planning to put up wholesale foil balloons with custom text and designs or solid color latex balloons, there is no denying that the right balloons let everyone know a birthday party is underway. Just like a birthday cake and candles are an essential part of every birthday celebration, balloons help contribute to the overall atmosphere of fun. Furthermore, balloons make for excellent decorations, and party favors for your guests to take home with them!
Find Face Painters & Cartoonists
Face painting is a “two in one” win for guests. With face painting, your guests will have another activity during the party, and the artwork is almost like a party favor as well. Another bonus – the kids will have to (and will probably willingly) sit still. You can hire a professional face painter or ask a few of the parents or older siblings of the kids if they are artistic enough to help out.
Cartoonists, also known as caricaturists, are also an excellent option for all guests. A talented artist can create a caricature on your preferred canvas – yes, professional artists can make paintings on almost any type of surface! Knowing this, you can offer guests the opportunity to have their artwork created on a traditional canvas or put the artwork on coasters, t-shirts, and various other items. This will also allow you to add guests’ drawings to the party favor bag.
Even as adults, we love a good story! Libraries often host story time for children because storytelling is a great way to interact and use creativity to entertain. If you need a moment where the children need to settle down while you prepare the birthday cake or transition into another location within the venue, a storyteller is a great way to help with this transition. In this instance, you may not need to hire a storyteller; you can just nominate a parent with an animated voice to read a great book for the kids. If you do not want to use a book, the storyteller can create a plot and ask the children to jump in to finish the story.
Rent a Photo Booth
Photo booths are often reserved for weddings and other adult-focused events, but if you have the budget for a photo booth, the kids will enjoy it. The 360 photo booths are one of the hottest new entertainment trends and would make a great addition to your kid’s party. The 360 photo booth is actually a revolving video booth that spins and captures a complete video that can be converted into several still photos. Most DJs bring a speaker to play music while guests are filming their videos so guests will let loose. Moving and dancing make the photos that much better. Kids (and their parents) will have a blast creating a ton of fun videos and pictures to keep as souvenirs from the party.
Hire a Party DJ
Music is a must – especially for little guests who tend to be busybodies. Kids love music and love to dance when they are together. A party DJ will provide music and engage with the children by serving as an emcee – something an iTunes playlist cannot do during the party. We recommend hiring an experienced DJ with a track record of performing for kids – they will be equipped with “clean” versions of songs and usually have popular songs from kid’s movies and shows. Use a booking agent to help you navigate through how to find a good DJ of your choice.
Don’t Forget Adult Games and Entertainment
Kid parties should also be entertaining for the adults that are present as well. If you’ve ever attended a kid’s party, you know that the best hosts provide something for the parents to enjoy. It may be fun libations, parent games, or additional hands to help the kids so the parents can have a break from their own children. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that parents will attend tons of kid’s parties in their lifetime, and making your party parent-friendly is a nice gesture for the parents and will make your party stand out from the rest. Becoming an adult-friendly party doesn’t have to be complicated either – you can add a fun adult game like Scrabble or Monopoly or get creative and use Pinterest to help you gather ideas. The party DJ can also play a few parent-friendly songs like “The Wobble” and “The Electric Slide.”
Consider Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party Elements
Another type of kids’ party, a bar/bat mitzvah, is a celebration for Jewish children entering adulthood. These celebrations are well-known for being exciting, and the best bar/bat mitzvahs have great music, photo booths, and other entertainment to keep guests entertained and engaged.
Generally, most kid party plans and ideas can be used for a bar/bat mitzvah. However, one significant difference is that you must plan the candle lighting ceremony in addition to the other tasks on your list. You will need most of the same elements along with other kid parties. Here’s a tip on how to plan your candle lighting ceremony:
The candle lighting ceremony is very special and sacred. Some families opt to make the ceremony very simple; however, as time has progressed, Jewish families and bat/bar mitzvah planners have started to take the display and overall ceremony to a new level. Here are a few of our favorite displays, and you can visit Mitzvah Market to get ideas for your display.
If You’re Planning a Graduation Party
Technically a college graduate is no longer considered a “kid,” but we know your children will always be your babies, and if you have a high school student headed to college, you may be planning a graduation party. Some of the ideas mentioned earlier could work for a graduation party, but here are a few additional ideas:
Make time for “Good luck” speeches from family and friends
A graduation party is a time for loved ones to celebrate a young adult entering a new phase of their lives. Most often, elders, godparents, and other special guests are honored to be able to share memories of the graduate’s progression from childhood to young adulthood. Grandparents cherish the privilege of seeing their grandchildren grow from babies to young adults, and parents feel a level of accomplishment after successfully raising a child into a productive human being. Considering that it takes a village to raise children, allowing loved ones to speak at some point during the party is thoughtful. Make sure you make time in the timeline of the event.
For college graduates, allow guests to give the best “adulting” advice
Students heading off to college or into the post-college workforce will enter a new chapter in their lives. They may not understand how valuable advice from their elders can be, but it would be wise to make time for a select group of family and friends to offer their best “adulting” advice. If you have enough speeches lined up, you can also give guests a card or sheet of paper where they can write their advice down for the graduate to review later.