My Intermix2 Disco formula for a Childrens Party Timings
When having a children’s party age 5-11 as an experienced DJ/entertainer, my focus was always on the music and games. I have realised however that the general timing of an event and what happens when can also impact the quality of the attendees and party hosts experience. So starting at the beginning
Most DJ’s like to arrive at least 1 hour before the start to set up and test equipment, they probably don’t need the full hour, but it leaves a little room for manoeuvre, so as a host when booking a venue, allow for this time. Note: If access is limited, restricted or has multiple stairs or lifts etc., let the DJ know as they may need more time.
For age 5-11, I gauge 2 hours is right for the party. I have done events longer than this, and find this age group can actually get tired, overheat or even lose interest if it goes on much longer. The time extends to 3 hours for older children/teens and has fewer or no games, and the focus is on the music.
I allow 10-15mins for all guest to arrive, and check with the host before performing some icebreaker games.
Party food and drink
Regardless of the weather, it is good to have a soft drinks station with water etc. available as and when the kids need it. Needs to be policed so that drinks/cups/bottles don’t end up on the dance floor. Don’t forget to offer one to the DJ/Entertainer too. More importantly, I recommend a slow down and pit stop for party food after the 1st hour. I play some softer or sing along music for 15-20 minutes while the kids sit, eat and drink party food at the tables or picnic style on the floor. This assures food and drink is not in circulation throughout the whole of the party, and the associated health and safety trips, slips and spills are contained.
If you are having a cake, at the end of this food break is where you bring it out. I also use this time to organise a photo shoot with multiple poses for fun. I carry my camera, but most parents use their phones. I find its good to take a couple of quality photos and share them back with the party host.The host also gets time to clear away the remnants of food and drink before, after or during.
The Final section
So we now have the final 30 or 40 mins of party dancing, singing and competitions. I personally will have scheduled the heavier dancing competitions before the food, but the kids will have had the photo shoot time to digest and are ready for anything.
The last 10mins and close
For the DJ this is where you look for games that have full interaction and give out the more substantial prizes. For the host of the party, its prep and check of party bags/cake etc. ready for the end. At the close, your DJ should make sure that all attendees know that they should not leave without the adult that is collecting them. I often play an extra soft song or 2 at the end for any late collections.
Clear away and clean
Several venues require the hall to be left clean and tidy, so the host needs to be prepared for this. The DJ will need appx 30 mins to 1hr to remove the disco equipment, and depending on the access, may require longer.
So this is my guide to planning for a successful 2hr children’s party. It comes with my generic health warning that all of the above is flexible based on the events on the day. A good DJ should be able to adjust to ensure the event runs smoothly.