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Successful Birthday Party Tips

Your child's birthday is the one day of the year they look forward to the most. As a parent, if you follow a few basic rules you can make sure that every birthday party is truly special. Whether you decide to choose a magician to entertain at your party, or decide on a different party theme, these tips should help.

Scott has performed at hundreds of birthday parties, and has put this list of handy party tips and ideas:

How many guests should I invite?
There's no "magicial" number of children to invite to a party. You'll want to invite enough guests to make it a party atmosphere - just 5 or 6 children might seem more like a get-together than a party. If you can handle it, invite at least 12. With 12 to 17 kids it can seem like a much more special event. It also depends on the length of a party. If you are having a slumber party, or other event that will last for more than a few hours, think about inviting only 5-7 guests. For older children(10 and up) you may also want to just invite their close friends. Magic shows can be catered to groups of all sizes. Also, adding more kids to a party doesn't make the magic show price go up.

All boys, all girls, or both?
Here's a great subject to talk to your child about. They'll most likely have a preference. I've seen successful parties in all cases. For the younger age groups especially, more girls added to a boys party may cut down on some of the wildness that occurs when you get a bunch of boys in the room together.

Should I invite some other parents?
Absolutely! Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles can be a great help too. They'll be able to help you with any discipline problems that might arise, and can help with other tasks such as cutting the cake, pouring drinks, taking kids to the bathroom, etc. This will give you more time to enjoy yourself, and keep everything running in order. Plus it'll be more of a party atmosphere for you! Plus, they'll enjoy the show almost as much as the kids. If there are going to be a lot of adults at the party, Scott will slightly customize the show to include a few tricks that are fun for the kids but amazing to adults as well.

How long should the party be?
An important rule of magic is to "leave them wanting more" and this goes for parties too. For 4-12 year olds, 2 hours is perfect. Talk to Scott about how his magic show fits into this time frame perfectly, making it easy for you.

What time of day is ideal?
Most parents choose to start the party between 1:00 and 3:00 on the weekends. A nice bonus of using this timeframe is you will not have to serve everyone lunch or dinner. 11:00 is also a very popular time if you don't mind handing out a few snacks around lunchtime.

Name tags.
Name tags are great. Kids love them as stickers, and it helps the cousins and brothers and sisters get to know the kids from your child's class a little easier. Most importantly, it also helps you and other parents that are at the event know the kids names -- just in case you need to get their attention from across the room for another peice of cake or to tell them to wipe that dark purple icing off their hands before they touch..(hey! what's his name!).. your..(hey don't do that).... favorite..(use a napkin!)... oops!

What type of food to serve?
If you do want to serve the kids food, pizza works best. I've read that just about everyone likes cheese pizza(and you won't spend your time picking toppings off the pizza for the picky kids.) Most kids like hotdogs also, but it's not worth the risk of the mustard and ketchup spilling or squirting on your new flowered wallpaper. (You may want to have peanut butter and jelly on hand if you think there are going to be some really picky eaters amoung the bunch, but then you must consider peanut allegergies too!)

What type of drinks to serve?
Juiceboxes and small bottles of water. Makes it so easy for you. It's practically self-serve. Juiceboxes guarantee no spills.

Trick candles on the cake?
Maybe, but be carful! It's no fun to make a wish and then not get it because your parents got trick candles! If you really want to use these, do it as a stunt with a cupcake later in the day. Some children resort to spitting out the candles as the only way to put the fire out - no one wants spit splattered over the cake! Think your child would never spit on the cake to get the candles out? Well sometimes it is one of their friends who does the honor!

Cone-shaped party hats?
No. Save your money. The rubberband chin strap is easily snapped, and that's a bunch of sharp points wandering around the room. Instead, consider using plastic top hats and they can double as a container for any party favors.

Off-limit rooms?
One way to insure that the kids don't scatter around your house is to only turn on the lights in the rooms you want to contain the party in. You can increase the contrast by adding higher-wattage light bulbs, or putting in an extra lamp or two into the rooms you are keeping this kids in.

Buy spoons, not forks.
Both ice cream and cake can be eaten with a spoon. And you just eliminated the chance of someone being stuck with a fork in the eye! I've seen this happen - and it may just be an innocent little brother guarding his cake. (Can you blame him?)

Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream are favorites.
Since many kids are such picky eaters, what may sound like fun at the time: Superman Chocolate Peanut Fudge - no one may end up eating it.... well they might, just because it has the name Superman in it. Okay, a little off topic here, back to more tips...

No scooping ice-cream.
Buy the premade portions of ice cream, they come in small containers between 4-6 oz. Again, perfect for the kids self-serving themselves.

Grab Bags & Party Favors - Make sure they are all the same.
Take some time and make sure that if one person gets a red fish sticker, everyone gets a red fish sticker. Plan to spend $3-5 a child. If you include whistles and noisemakers, make sure the grabbags aren't handed out until the child is walking out the door! Parents often choose balloon animals (Scott can create them for you) as an added party favor.

What should the adults do during the magic show?
At least one adult should watch the magic show with the children. Parents can help lead the kids in cheering and clapping, and act as a deterrent to any problems that may arise. It's great fun to watch the childrens reactions to the magic, plus you're guaranteed to be amazed my many of the tricks too! You won't want to miss it! But if you have a younger sibling who has to go down for nap time, or need to run double duty to run your older child to a pivotal soccer game, that works too!

The show really will be focused on all guests of the party. Yes, the older kids will love it too. And yes, even all of you dads reading this will be amazed at some of the tricks. And you'll genuinely laugh at some of the funny jokes and situations that are created.

What else makes everything go smooth?
All of the parents I've worked with are fantastic, but there are a few little things that make a big difference in how everyone enjoys the show:

Adults sometimes can talk loudly in a connected room to the magic show - if you want to catch up with some of the other parents, please do so in another room so that the childrens' attention isn't interupted. Most parents choose to watch the show with their kids. That means both the birthday kids' parents as well as parents of the other kids. However, every once in awhile, birthday parties do bring people together that would like to catch up on things, so just make sure that you provide another area for that so it doesn't distract from the birthday child's special magic show.

Just a couple more things I get asked often about my magic shows:

How much room do you need to perform?
Not too much. If there's a coffee table, you might want to move it out of the way beforehand. The kids usually sit on the floor. I work off of a table and have a few extra larger props (like the levitation) but for the most part I can fit in your living room, no matter what size. (I'll also block off a small area with rope to use as the "stage" for when children volunteer to help with the magic).

What should I do with my pets?
Although it doesn't bother me, some kids sometimes do have allergies that can be avoided if the pets are put away. Unless your pets are absolutely use to tons of kids at your house, tuck them away in the bedroom and they'll never know they missed out on a great magic show! Most importantly, you don't have to worry about a kid or parent leaving the door open and the pet running outside.

When will you arrive/how should I start the party?
Ideally, I will arrive 25-30 minutes before the magic show. The magic show should ideally start 30 minutes into the party. For example if your party starts at 1:00, I'll arrive 1:00, and the show will start at 1:30. For the first 30 minutes usually an organized game works well, and gets all the kids used to eachother. Also, it builds the excitement as they see the magician arrive and start to set up. Also the kids will need to be in an other area than where the magician sets up for obvious reasons.

Having a magician at your birthday party can be a great addition to a great party. If you choose Magician Scott Henderson, you'll get a nice magician with a magical and magnetic personality, and he's done this plenty of times before, and who will guarantee a good time for all. It really is a lot of fun for everyone involved.

Easy for you!
Lots to think about? It's not! It's so easy for parents, Scott can guide you every step of the way to make your party a true success! Why not sit back, relax and chill out on your couch, while all the magic and fun happens right there. Serve some cupcakes, open some presents, and voila... your child gives you the biggest hug in the world for the "Best Birthday Party Ever, Mommy!"

Contact Scott Today...
Have you checked Scott's availability yet? Becuase of set-up time, driving time, and other factors, he can usually only squeeze two shows into a day. Be sure one of them is your child's party! Even if you don't have the exact date set, get in touch with Scott today!