Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Preparing your 3-year-old (or younger) for a birthday party

by Kien

Recently, we have been receiving a quite a few enquiries and bookings for 3-year-olds so I thought I should discuss a little on this subject: Preparing your 3-year-olds (and younger) for a birthday party. Before I continue, I must say that every child is different so the following advice applies to most kids but you do have to use your own discretion to do what is best for your kid! 

Plan early – Nothing is worse than a stressed out mummy. You should how your own emotions can affect your children. Get professionals to do up your décor, food and entertainment so you have more time to take care of guests and kids.
Spiderman theme decor - Source around for different decorations packages suitable for your parties!
Think of who you should invite – Sometimes, your young kid can be overwhelmed with the sudden increase number of people talking to him or her.  Keep the party manageable for the birthday child and yourself. You can even also stagger the arriving time of different groups of people to keep the crowd manageable for him.

Do In a school – This is after all in his familiar environment so he will generally be more comfortable with his friends, teachers and parents.

Teachers and kids enjoying the magic show together in school.
Avoid their naptimes – For obvious reasons.

Do something suitable for them – Can a 3-year-old understand a magic show? Yes! But not all magic shows are suitable so choose one that you think three-year-olds can enjoy. Children of this age may not understand magic fully yet, so Mr Bottle focuses a lot on comedy and fun bits which is more important for this age group.
Lots of comedy for younger kids! That's what matters most to them!
Because of their short attention span, you can also choose fringe activities like balloon sculpting and facepainting. Mr Bottle’s Kids Party’s mascot service also includes games, sing-a-longs so if your crowd consists mostly of 2-4 years old, this can be an option too. Some 2-year-olds do get scared of mascot but some love them. We have many interesting stories of our mascots with 2-year-olds, maybe we will tell you next time about it in our future blogs!
Mascot are great for younger kids from 2 to 4 years old!
Facepainting is great kids of all ages!
Magic Show? – If you have a magic show with kids of various age groups, the older kids will ‘teach’ the younger kids how to react. For a 3-year-old, this is probably the first time he or she is watching a magic show so he is not sure what to do. Should he go up on stage when the magician asks for volunteer? Is it all right to laugh? With older children, the younger kids simply imitate what is appropriate.
Do you see the kids imitating what Mr Bottle is doing?
I would also recommend the parents sit with their 3-year-old kids during a magic show, especially if the crowd consists of ONLY 3-year-olds. The parents can laugh and participate in the show together! Mr Bottle’s magic shows are just like Disney movies; fun for kids and great for adults too!

Magic show is probably not the best for 2-year-old because their attention span is too short. I have discussions with magicians around the world on this, and MOST says that they would only do a show for children 3 years old and above. (Some even restrict their shows to an older age group.) Although we have several instances in which 2-year-olds sat down and even participate in Mr Bottle’s show without any problems, in 95% of cases, they would probably stand up and walk around. So again, if you want magic show for your 2-year-old, sit down and watch the show with them.

Warm Up – The younger kids tend to need a little time to warm up to what is happening around him or her. If you are booking a show, you probably don’t want it too early in the party.
Mr Bottle warming the kids up before starting the magic show!
Practise makes perfect – Bring him or her to a friend’s birthday party first so he knows what to expect at a party. Most, if not all, children love birthday parties so if your kid is uncomfortable at a party, the reason is not they do not like it, but they are just unfamiliar with it. You can explain to them what happens at the party like they get presents, cut the cake, play with their friends, etc.
It's okay to laugh out loud at parties!
Do not over-excite them – A lot of parents tend to get the kids overly excited for their big day, by repeatedly asking them about their party. But do not over do that especially for the younger kids. You can to treat it like a ‘normal’ fun day with friends.   Even for the older kids, I have seen quite a few cases of kids losing sleep and even getting sick because they are too excited over their party.
In schools, sometimes the teachers will get 2 year old kids to join in. This is not a problem as long as the magician knows how to arrange them to enjoy the show the best!
Do not put too much pressure on them – Let them be. If they do not want to greet strangers, do not force them. If the magic show needs volunteers, but your child is not comfortable participating then, let other kids have the chance.
Most of the kid magic shows have lot of participation!

Involve them – I think it’s meaningful to let them to write their own invitation and thank you cards for their friends or do up their own drawings to paste on the wall. Treat this like another craft cum family bonding activity that everyone in the family can take part.
Let kids get involve in their parties!

Kien is a psychologist by training and decided to put what he has learnt to good use by performing magic, since graduating from NUS and NTU about 10 years ago.  He changes into Mr Bottle when he is with kids and has been specialising in children magic for the past 14 years.  Other than making sweets and presents appear in his show, he has also made 2 kids of his own appear in his life (and of course a wife). He can find out more about his magic shows at or email him for a chat at

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