Let’s be honest, preparing for a children’s party at home can be overwhelming, particularly if it’s not just the children you have to entertain. With so much to remember, worries about the mess and chaos, it’s no wonder why some parents prefer to spend more money on a venue rather than a home party. However, it shouldn’t have to be a chore.
In the past Emmeline has had bbq parties with just the family and a few close friends. They’ve been a lot of fun but still quite stressful. Making sure Jude is ok, hosting guests and keeping on top of the mess is enough to exhaust anyone.
This was taken on her first birthday party. It was such a beautiful day but my god, I didn’t stop for a second.
So in collaboration with someone with better organisational skills than me, here are some tips to help ensure your party goes a smoothly as possible.
Keep the numbers low
Around the age of 9 or 10, most children prefer having more intimate parties with their close friends, rather than a whole class. Sit down with your child around a month before their big day, and begin writing the names of the people you wish to invite. The next step is to get their invitations sent out, which should be at least three weeks before the party, to allow enough time.
According to a Parents survey of nearly 1,500 parents, 73% said they’d sent paper invitations for their child’s last birthday party. We all know that invitations are an added expense that isn’t needed, why not save money (and paper!) by opting for a simple text or online invitation such as with Paperless Post. This also saves embarrassment if you are only inviting a small number.
What is the theme?
Whilst discussing with your child who they want to invite, ask what theme they would ideally like. Whether it be arts and crafts, a fun disco, an intimate tea party or dressing up.
Elsa’s 4th birthday party – can you guess the theme?!
With fancy dress, the choices are endless, but it’s good to try to think outside the box. Instead of asking the guests to wear kids fancy dress costumes, such as a princesses or superhero, perhaps ask them to dress up as their favourite game character, or as an historical event.
But remember, if they would like to opt for a fancy dress party, it is even more important to get the invitations out as soon as possible, to allow time for guests to find outfits – and as a host, you may want to dress up in adult costumes too.
Preparation is key
Once you and your child have decided on a theme for the party, it’s time to begin the preparation work. If the theme is fairly out-of-the-box, such as a specific film or a favourite character, finding decorations, fancy dress and props may be difficult to locate at a good price or be delivered in a reasonable time frame. Therefore, it’s never too early to begin planning.
To save on money, get your imaginative and creative hats on and make your own decorations for around the house. For example, bunting and a ‘happy birthday’ sign can easily be created by hand, and the same goes for the classic activities, such as the traditional ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Added extra, such as balloons, can be picked up from a local Pound store to keep costs down.
Instead of opting for a variety of food where the vast majority gets left untouched, it is worth putting out a couple of platters of food (maximum) for the children to help themselves whenever they are feeling peckish.
The food should be simple and hassle-free, such as classic ham and cheese sandwiches, ready salted crisps, fruit and vegetables, and perhaps even some meat, such as chicken drumsticks.
Keep it short and sweet
It’s hard to come to an agreement about how long a party should be – particularly when children want their party to last all day and parents typically want it to be over in half an hour! It is worth remembering that most children’s parties tend to be around 1 and a half, to 2 hours long, so try to stick to this.
*this is a sponsored post but I’m totally taking all these tips on board for next weekend!