You may be feeling pressure when your child has been invited to friends’ parties and they’ve not only been taken to the cinema but they also had a slap-up meal in pizza hut afterwards.
Some mothers may have money to burn but, for the rest of us, a child’s birthday in general can really break the bank before the party planning even begins!
Before you start adding up the costs of film tickets and pizza dinners, why not consider having a party at home. You can have an absolutely fabulous party at your own home so why hire a place when you have a venue already?
All you need is a great theme for the party and it will be loads of fun. The theme is a key decision to make so once you’ve cracked this you will be able to flow with ideas about what else you will do.
The easy party planning guide
1. First think of some theme ideas; here’s some to help:
- Grand prix,
- Kings and queens,
- Rock stars,
2. Choose a definite theme.
3. Do a brainstorm on ideas about the theme and what it will involve.
Theme ideas example
- Chequered flags
4. Decide: What is the party dress code?
- Fancy dress
- Themed fancy dress
5. Make sure you have everything on the checklist of party must-haves.
(Try to keep in line with your chosen theme when getting these items)
- Table cover
- Birthday banner
- Paper cups
- Party bags and fillers
- Birthday cake and candles
6. Food checklist
You may find it useful to write a food checklist and try your best to keep the food in line with the theme.
It’s easy to do, just use your imagination, and the brainstorm you did on the theme may also give you some ideas.
How to give a ‘theme’ to the party food:
- Sandwiches cut into shapes to go with the theme.
- Pizzas cut into shapes e.g. cars
- Juice with themed sticky labels stuck onto the cups or cartons such as ‘Pirates rum’ at pirate parties or ‘winners champagne’ at a grand prix party.
- Crisps in a bowl that is shaped with the theme e.g. petrol cans or trophies at grand prix party.
- Biscuits with themed decoration.
- Cakes with themed icing
7. Setting the scene
- Themed bunting
- You could make some props with papier-mâché
- Toy area where you can put a lot of your children’s toys and this can entertain a lot of the kids
- Food area where all the food is (try to keep the food in line with the theme.)
- A theme birthday cake
- Themed music.
Always handy to have is a box of random fancy dress props to for all to enjoy at a party. This could be wigs, feather boas, fairy wings, funny glasses, funny hats, moustaches, masks and whatever else you want to put in there!
This really keeps conversation flowing and is a great bit of entertainment!
You could even have a photo corner where people go and have their pictures taken (maybe with a chair and some props to go with the theme.)
It would be nice to get these copied twice and send the spare one to the person who is in it with a thank you card! Keeping party memories alive.
Can I be a lion please?
Face painting can be ace if you buy some face paints and know someone who can draw quite averagely well.
Go on give it a go because they’re children after all so they don’t really care if it’s not perfect they just love face paints!
Get some cheap little prizes and keep the kiddies entertained with a few party games;
- Pin the tail on the donkey (renamed to go with the theme)
E.g. pin the wheel on the racecar (Grand prix)
- Pass the parcel (renamed to go with the theme)
E.g. pass the treasure. (Pirates party)
- Musical bumps/statues (renamed to go with the theme)
E.g. musical toadstools. (Fairy party)
- Treasure hunt
- Competitions e.g. colouring competition and the best wins a prize. Just photocopy an outline that goes with your theme and give out loads of coloured pencils.
Bouncy castles and trampolines go down really well but to avoid any injury it’s always best to have different time periods where infants and bigger kids go on separately!
9. Party bags
These are a MUST for parties as kids really do look forward to getting one. Pack them with cheap small things like key-rings, yoyos, bouncy balls, bubbles, erasers, lip balm, friendship bracelets, and toys, some of the birthday cake, balloons, and lollipops. Just go wild!
Many places sell party-bag specific goodies and if you plan ahead there’s some great online party stores that supply some great items.
Check out one of these great party bag supply stores here
10. Your child’s presents
Try to get all presents in one safe place and many children often open them later on (after their party.) Remember to send thank-you notes for everyone.