Small child

Birthdays for children - by the animator

How to organize a birthday for a child, that would be it an unforgettable party? What to look for in preparation, where to invite guests - home, garage, "balls", or maybe a rented gym? When is it worth to hire an animator and when it doesn't pay off? What fun always works and what to do to avoid the most common problems during active time spent with a dozen or so children? Julia Piwowarczyk, the founder of Art-Animator, an animator working with children on a daily basis, talks about all her daughters in private.

A recipe for a successful birthday?

Julia Piwowarczyk: First of all, guests, those whom the jubilee wants, and not those imposed by their parents. Often I watch how jubilants are reluctant to greet some of their guests. It happens that they confide in me, that they had to invite, for example, Jasia / Kasia, although they do not like them, because my mother / father ordered me or because my parents told me to invite the whole class. Also, in the first place, for a successful birthday, there must be a good team. This principle also guides us in adult life.

The second issue conditioning a successful birthday is play in line with the child's preferences. If he is energetic and likes physical activity, then painting pictures will get boring him. And vice versa. It happens to me at my job that parents decide about the theme of the event because of their preferences or preferences, and do not look at the child's taste. Fortunately, this is rare ...

In the playroom or at home?

julia: I'm not a fan of the playroom, because of its architecture strongly limit the possibilities. In addition, today's children from a small age go to the "balls" "go crazy". After some time, seeing the playroom, a kind of Pavlov's reflex starts in them - even if the parent buys an option with an animator in the playroom, he has a very difficult task to become more interesting for the child than the construction.

I am successful, but it is a difficult art (laughs - dop.

So I recommend: house, garage, meadow, garden, park, firehouse, gym, spotted. Everything that gives you the potential to create a magical birthday land there.

In addition, I add, because I often come across such an argument: "I know that animations are better, but balls are cheaper". Nothing could be more wrong: in an average room in Mazovia, the cost of birth is PLN 400. This includes fun in balls and construction and refreshments for e.g. 10 children.

For each subsequent one you have to pay extra, e.g. PLN 15, the animator costs about PLN 50-100, and the themed event is plus PLN 100-150. So with 15 children in the subject and with the animator we will pay not 400, but about 625-825 zlotys. And at this price the object is not exclusive to us.

Therefore, it is worth counting all the items during the selection and decide: whether to invite the animator to the house or send children to the playroom.

How many guests to invite?

Julia: It is worth making a list of guests with a child. See how many people are close to him. There is no bad number of guests for me. If it's supposed to be a pajama party, then fewer children are better. But then it is not profitable to hire animators.

If we want the event to be organized and carried out with an animator, it would be good if the group had more than 10 children and was not more than 25 children. It is worth remembering that with 20-25 children, an animator working alone does not have a chance to lead the animation well.

He is only a human being and embracing a large group of people in a safe manner should be undertaken by two people. It is irresponsible for it to be one person.

Organizing a dozen to several dozen events a month, I see what children can do, what their possibilities are. I don't have eyes everywhere, that's why with such a large group the help of a second animator is necessary.

Birthday confirmation is also popular. This helps eliminate the situation when we expect, for example, 15 children, and 5 ...

Two years ago I had this situation. A four-year-old was to celebrate her birthday. Mom invited the whole preschool group. A dozen people. We rented a kindergarten to organize a birthday. Risky date in my opinion, because Saturday, the first day of winter holidays. My fears were confirmed.
Start time beats out. No one is. Several minutes pass and the first guest appears. The birthday girl is crying, no wonder ...
After an hour we have a total of 5 people. Why did this happen? There was no confirmation of presence and a risky date was chosen. Fortunately, birthdays were organized in kindergarten, so I reached for toys and aids there, because I had things prepared for animation with a group of a dozen or so people. I went out, but the birthday girl was desperate anyway.

Other risky dates?

julia: It's always risky holidays, holidays, long weekend or holiday. December is also difficult, because it is exceedingly straining home budgets and parents often do not send a child for such a birthday, because they cannot afford a gift for the anniversary. During the week, especially if we are talking about the agglomeration of large cities, there is a risk that the parent will not have time to transport the child from school / kindergarten to the place of birth. So I suggest a weekend.

Birthdays with or without parents?

Julia: Children who do not have parents watching them side by side are more task-oriented, disciplined, focused and action-oriented. That is why my answer is obvious - WITHOUT (smile - dop.

Exception: if the games are to be combined. I love this form of birthday, although it is rare. But I like to see parents discover their own children while having fun, how they have a great time. At the end they come to the conclusion that playing with your own child is interesting, fun and they have a great time themselves. Apparently so obvious, but often parents forget about it. Of course, this form of birth is attractive for a child to reach a certain age.

How much time is it worth planning for a child's birthday party?

julia: The party should not last too long, because the children are starting to argue and be simply tired. Their focus cannot last half a day.

I prefer the system of 120 minutes of active play, then about 20-30 minutes of refreshments and up to 30-40 minutes of free play. It's enough for the children to go crazy in their company, but not to get bored and start to conflict. (laughs - dop.

In which age group is the hardest? Or in other words - from what age is it worth organizing birthdays for peers?

Julia: The younger the child, the shorter the focus. Therefore, to make interesting animations and for children to have fun, you often have to change the type of activity. This is obviously followed by increased costs.

My youngest jubilee was 3 years old, the oldest was 12. I wouldn't classify any group as the most difficult. Each is great! Everyone needs to be approached differently.

I can't imagine having a birthday on one template. It just can't be done!

We will delight 3-5 year olds with "charms" - simple experiences, balloons, bubbles, etc., 5-10 years is a move, but also other, 7-9 year olds love maps, searching, combining, competing. I would not compete with 5-6 year olds, because if they lose they will be disappointed and will give up further games.

Above 12 years of age it is worth giving them freedom - send them to bowling, to the cinema, etc. This is the age that begins to be governed by other laws (laughs).

The most common birthday themes?

julia: Themes? Recently, "Ice Land" definitely reigns!

There is more diversity among boys - fire trucks, Angry Birds, Sponge Bob, cars in various forms (depending on age): Cars, Top Gear, etc.

There are unique topics such as medieval, Egyptian and chemical birthdays.

However, the topic doesn't really matter. The idea of ​​the animator is important. Everything can be put into any topic.

Recently, I was organizing an 11-year birthday. My mother did not know what "any movement". That would not be trivial, we organized a colorful sock tournament (smile). Everyone was supposed to come in colorful socks. The tasks that were waiting for them referred to the theme of the event. And the simple competition turned into a completely original event.

Fun that always works?

Julia: A 4-5 year old is a great age to play with music and knowledge of his own body. So all kinds of games like "we walk like ...", "we behave like ...", "we touch the ground only with foot / bottom / hip etc."

Personally, I also love the madness of making tiny pieces of paper (by the way, a manual exercise developing small phalanx muscles, needed for writing, among others), and then blowing and pouring. Effect like confetti or falling snow. Snowball fights with paper balls on time is another favorite of mine.

And precise games, like a bean relay with clothespins or bare feet.

I can't fail to mention team games and games that require sticking. I mean, for example, a match in a "wrap ball" using a Klanz wrap. And at home, e.g. pouring rice from the first to the last person from cup to cup. The same fun can be done using water instead of rice.

How do you meet a good animator?

Julia: A good animator is above all a man with charisma. A person who has passion and this passion can be seen. I do not believe in an independent super animator whose level of life energy is similar to vegetative parsley.

A good animator is a child in an adult body, he has a distance to himself, he likes children, he likes to fool and fool around. This is a person who is ready to constantly learn, seek, combine. Such a positive madman. Sometimes it is hard to work with such people, because they are also often chaotic. But in fun they are usually great.

Today, Animator is usually associated with modeling balloons and painting faces. Meanwhile, for several years I have been working on a completely different image of the Animator. I would like everyone to associate them with an active, committed person playing with children. Proposing lots of fun. We work with my team to make birthday parties fun, teach, a bit of a workshop character, but with lots of crazy games. I hope that more and more people will work this way and the Animator will be associated with a person whose work is about great fun.

It's great to have a job where you can have fun. Thank you for the conversation.