R.T. Clown Inc. has been planning events throughout Southern California since 1985. In those 32 years, R.T. Clown Inc. has become the go-to source for professional event and party planning, providing expert help on conceptualizing, coordinating, and executing just about any kind of event imaginable.
In fact, since its founding, R.T. Clown Inc. has successfully coordinated more than 35,000 individual events ranging from formal holiday parties at the Jonathon Club to customized events for Westfield Shopping malls. However, the heart and soul of R.T. Clown continues to be coordinating elegant events and parties for children.
“We basically were the first real company in Los Angeles who specialized in children’s parties. I like to say that I am the Godmother of children birthday parties,” said Robin Charin, CEO of R.T. Clown Inc. “Back in the day, children’s parties were very straight forward, and fun. We know how to provide parents, children, and guests a great time and lots of laughs. We once did a party at Barbara Streisand’s house, and created the perfect party for her guests, including the most beautiful princess performer they had ever seen. It was very professional and lots of fun,” said Robin.
These days, however, Robin explains that some children’s parties have become too extravagant and too stressful for parents.
“Look, don’t get me wrong, we can do any size kids party imaginable, provided there is the budget. But I think these over-the-top parties are getting out of control,” said Robin.
Robin is not alone in this thinking. According to William Doherty, Ph.D., a social science professor at the University of Minnesota, over-the-top birthday parties have become a major social stress for many parents. In fact, he has launched a new website, birthdayswithoutpressure.org, in order to provide parents a platform to ratchet down the expectations surrounding children parties. He said it is just plain wrong for parents to spend more than $35,000 on a party for a seven year old.
R.T. Clown believes that children’s parties can be planned and executed within a reasonable budget, while still including unique games, costumed characters, and goodie bags full of fun. The key, according to Robin, is to follow some basic ground rules.
To help families plan for their next kid shindig, Robin encourages parents to follow these basic guidelines, before calling in a professional party planning firm as R.T. Clown.
Start with the Food:
Children’s parties are always enhanced with a small, simple meal. Think pizza or small sandwiches, anything that can be turned into special party food by cutting it into star-shaped or heart-shaped pieces. Also, make sure you are aware of any food allergies your guest might have, and typically avoid service nuts (including peanut butter) because many children have allergic reactions to this food.
Plan Weeks Ahead of Time
No doubt about it, planning is the key to success when it comes to hosting a children’s party. Plan what party food the kids are going to eat, what party games they will be playing, and what kind of goodie bags you want the guest to take home. A good way to being the planning process is to start collecting party stuff at least four weeks before the big day, and keep it in a plastic tub so you can access it when the party arrives.
Create a Good Guestlist
Remember, big parties for little ones are not always best. Some parents get caught up inviting every friend their child has ever known. This can be a big mistake because in many cases, children’s friends change repeatedly each year. However, experts advise that if the child has a really good friend (i.e. BFF), make sure to include their “partner in crime” to their party. Also, a good rule of thumb to follow is to include only guests that are the same age as your child plus one year, once your child is aged three and over.
If you are planning party games, a clever strategy is to make sure you invite an even number of children so no one is left out.
Let the Games Begin!
Remember, some of the best games for children’s parties are the old-fashioned ones, especially for young children. Think, pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs for four-year olds. Six-year-old kids love a good game of treasure hunt or even hitting a piñata. Also, this is a great age to include a simple magician for your party.
What’s the Best Time ?
The best time for a children’s party is during the weekend, so both children and parents can attend together. If you are planning a Sunday party, remember that some people attend church in the morning.
Depending on whether you are planning to serve food or just go directly to cake, picking the time of day can be important. If you will providing food, start the party between 11 – 12:30 or 5:00 and 6:30.