With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge currently in India, and hobnobbing with the elite of Bollywood – it’s never been a better time to host a Bollywood-themed birthday party for your child.
Bollywood-themed parties generally work best for girls – although I’ve done a couple for boys too – but as they’re not so popular I’m going to focus on parties for girls aged 7+.
What better excuse is there to let your little princess dress up with lots of glitz and bling, dance and perform to uplifting music and be treated like a Bollywood star on her birthday? It’s perfect!
Ok – so let’s do this…let’s Jhoom!*
Who are you going to invite?
This is really important. It’s best not to invite the whole of your daughter’s class! Try and keep it to 12-15 guests – that way all the children feel special and you aren’t overwhelmed by the number of youngsters you have to look after on the day. When sending out invites, tell parents that children need to wear comfortable clothes they can move around freely in – although do encourage them to come dressed in any Indian outfits they may have – it adds to the fun!
Who will you hire to help you on the day? You can’t do it all yourself – and the most obvious element to outsource is the entertainment. Find a Bollywood dance teacher in your local area who can teach some dances to the children and keep them engaged and having fun. Find out what other activities they may provide – nail painting, bindis, stick-on skin tattoos.
Will they provide a gift bag for the birthday girl and goody bags for the guests?
When hiring a Bollywood dance teacher for your daughter’s party, it’s important they provide all necessary materials including sound system, music and props – such as scarves ribbons and bindis. Ensure they’re fully trained, DBS/CRB checked, first aiders and insured.
We have Just Jhoom! Instructors who have specifically done Junior Jhoom! for events such as these. To see if you have one in your area check out http://www.justjhoom.co.uk
Who will help you on the day? You know you’ll need help – that goes without saying! Something to bear in mind that if you are hiring a reputable, trained Bollywood dance teacher to do the dance aspect – they will expect there to be another adult in the room where the children are being taught the dancing.
When is the best time to hold your party? The best time is normally a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, as close to your child’s birthday as possible. But bear in mind holiday periods and long bank holiday weekends where many people tend to go away. Plan well in advance so that you can get your invites out at least 3 weeks before the party date.
Where are you going to have the party? A large village or community hall is ideal. There needs to be enough space for the children to run around and dance, and a separate area for you to set-up tables and chairs for the birthday tea. The floor needs to be clean and ideally wooden for dance activities. If you’re going to heat food make sure there’s a suitably-equipped kitchen.
What activities are you going to have? I highly recommend you get the services of a Bollywood dance teacher – or someone who is used to teaching dance to children – and will be able to guide the party-goers through some Bollywood dance games and routines.
What food will you provide? As you know, children can be fussy eaters. So, although you may want to theme the party with Indian food like bhajis and samosas – do also provide traditional party fare like sandwiches and crisps. Ensure you don’t include any food containing nuts and don’t forget tha the more sugar you give children, the more hyped up they’ll be! We know many of you will be wondering what Indian foods will be suitable for children – and that’s definitely a topic for another blogpost!
What are you going to do at this party? So, I recommend that a party is normally 2 hours long (including 30 mins for the birthday tea) and this is how I suggest you break it down:
Set up table and chairs
Get goody bags ready on separate table and leave another table clear for birthday gifts and cards
Set food out – ready to put on plates or to heat
Put out drinks the children can grab during the party – it might get quite hot!
15 mins Children arrive and are given bindis and allowed to try on bangles and scarves.
45 mins The Bollywood dance teacher guides them through a series of dance games and routines – perhaps using props like scarves and ribbons. This is when you can get food ready – and if anything needs heating this is the time to do it.
30 mins Birthday tea – The children sit down for a birthday tea. Bear in mind children eat at different speeds so if anyone finishes early, allow them to go back to the Bollywood dance teacher and perhaps play with ribbons to music. If you’re doing nail painting and stick-on tattoos this is the time to do it.
Cut the birthday cake – whilst everyone sings “Happy Birthday”.
20 mins The children recap the dances with the Bollywood dance teacher (whilst you cut the cake in pieces, tidy away the food and clear the table)
10 mins Ask parents to come in slightly early to watch their children perform the dances they’ve learnt. Congratulate all the children on their performance and thank friends and family for watching. Give the children their goody bags and piece of cake to take home.
Clear away tables/chairs
Clean surfaces used – including kitchen
How long is the party going to be? I’ve shown you a breakdown of a party, above, which takes 2 hours, and this is definitely long enough!
How much money do you want to spend?
Take into account the following costs:
- Venue hire
- Food and drinks
- Room decorations
- Goody bags
- Services of a Bollywood dance teacher
How do you want to decorate the venue? Keep it simple – balloons, birthday banner – and maybe some old saris (you can get these from charity shops or online). If you want to achieve a funtastic Bollywood style use bright colours – red, purple and gold are popular – and for extra bling and glitz why not try tinsel (lots of it), glitter, stick-on gem stones, tassles and incense. For added Bollywood ambience place some battery-powered tea-lights around the room and on the table,
Bollywood parties are jhoomtastic fun! I’ve done so many over the last 10 years – and have enjoyed doing every one of them. If you have any questions about running a party, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jhoom means dance in Hindi.