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How to Become a Children's Party Planner

Becoming a children's party planner can be a profitable, fulfilling job. You may want to start this type of work as a part-time way to supplement your income. If you're successful and enjoy the job, you could turn it into a full-time career. Planning carefully, being patient and working diligently all pay off in the end when beginning your party-planning endeavors.

Make connections with local party supply stores. Compare availability and prices of popular items such as balloons, hats, streamers, noisemakers, plates, napkins, cups and tablecloths. Inquire whether discounts will be provided if you are a frequent customer or buy in bulk.

Network with party equipment rental businesses. Locate businesses that provide rentals of jump castles, inflatable waterslides, Velcro walls, ponies, dunking booths and sumo wrestling gear. Again, look for businesses that offer good prices and perks for loyal customers or new customers.

Plan on kid-friendly food such as hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers, chips, cookies, Kool-Aid and soda. Buy and prepare the supplies yourself if the crowd is relatively small. You could hire a caterer, but that will add to your expenses. If you prepare the food, plan on spending about $5 to $10 per child (for children ages 3 to 12).

Consider food quantities. A large pizza will feed about three to five children. Assume each child may eat two hot dogs or hamburgers and three or four cookies. A 3-liter soda will be enough for about four to six children, depending on age. A large bag of chips will feed about five to seven kids.

Plan for the birthday cake. A typical sheet cake from most grocery stores feeds up to 96 people. If your crowd is smaller, opt for a half sheet (about 36 to 40 people) or a quarter sheet (12 to 18 people).

Consult with entertainers such as clowns, magicians and storytellers. Find out their charges per hour or perhaps per child. View their work at another party first, if possible, before you hire them.

Seek permission to advertise in kid-friendly locations, such as schools, libraries, carnivals and festivals. Advertise your services with fliers, handouts, business cards (for parents), and a piece of candy or a balloon (for kids).


Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.