When planning a child's birthday party, factoring in entertainment is key.  Of all the elements that go into planning, deciding on how to keep your birthday child and her guests busy for 2-3 hours is often the most challenging.

In a survey that Peppers and Pollywogs conducted of parents planning their children’s parties, it was reported that, on average, people spend 20 hours of their time determining their party entertainment – from games to crafts to entertainers that are perfect for the party theme.

When you are in the process of choosing the entertainment for your upcoming party, keep these top 5 questions in mind to save you time so you can  make this decision hassle-free:

What is the length of your party? If your party is relatively brief - 90 minutes or less - the amount of entertainment you will need will be limited compared to a 2-3 hour party where multiple entertainment resources may be needed.

How many children will attend your party? This is key because if you have a small number of children at your party, the entertainment can easily revolve around one dedicated activity.  With a large number of guests, as an example, if the whole class has been invited, you may need multiple games, crafts, and an entertainer to keep the party flowing with fun.

How much time do you have to plan your child’s upcoming party? As noted earlier, often it can take up to 20 hours to plan games and crafts for your party and so you need to be honest with yourself as to the actual time you have to plan. If it is limited, then an outside venue may be the right place for your party or hiring an entertainer to take on this part of the party would be helpful.  However, if you have a great deal of time, researching games and crafts that match your party theme may be just the ticket.

What is your budget for your upcoming party? Of course, it is essential to know your party budget, and particularly the amount you have allocated toward entertainment.  This year you may have decided that the party décor is where you want to splurge and the entertainment will be simple, classic games. During another year, it’s the entertainer who is key to pulling your party theme together.  Knowing the budget for your party will help guide you to the proper entertainment. To help you plan, Clowns, Magicians, Face Painters, Balloon Twisters, Costumed Characters and DJs all top the list for children's parties. And, the average prices range from $100 to $500.

Determining the right entertainment for your upcoming child’s party is largely based on these top questions related to your budget, time, venue, length of party, and the number of guests attending. By using these questions as a guideline to determine your entertainment needs, you will be able to quickly and efficiently discern the right entertainment for your upcoming party.

Happy planning!