Claire White is a mother of two from London. With five years experience in the events and entertainment industry where she helped organise large-scale corporate parties, she turned her attention to children’s party planning after having children. She now offers regular advice to parents on how they can throw the best parties for their children.
It’s My Party......
Nowadays children’s parties can represent big business. From party planners, extortionately expensive entertainers and elaborate excursions to ‘gift experiences’, games and goody bags, organising a child’s birthday party probably won’t be a small affair.
Depending on the impending age of your toddler, chances are a longed-for theme is likely to change up to the eleventh hour, whereas older children are more likely to be more consistent with their party preferences. Whether princesses, pirates or a hoard of Harry Potters, it’s still possible to plan a party to please everyone within your particular budget.
The question of venue
Choose a venue that’s appropriate for the number of children you’re expecting. Summer garden parties are ideal in obliging weather conditions. You can eliminate stress-inducing mess by containing the children outside where spills and stains are unlikely to create any lasting damage. Colourful bunting or fairy lights offer an enchanting alternative to indoor decor. Similarly, a spooky theme works wonders with outdoor decorations at dusk.
Elaborate on a chosen theme with party food for kids that inspires imagination. Create ghoulish gourmet delights to satisfy blood-thirsty appetites or plan a princess party complete with pink cupcakes. Make your own centrepiece with a cake design which is firmly in-keeping with the chosen theme.
If the weather is likely to be less than reliable, why not consider hiring a village hall or community centre for a couple of hours? Often inexpensive, most amenities have space for a small bouncy castle or alternative toys and entertainment. It could be a simple and effective way to make sure everyone has a good time when the weather forecast lets you down.
The presence of an entertainer allows parents to concentrate on co-ordinating food preparation without the additional concern of keeping 20 toddlers entertained. From balloon modelling to magic shows, there is something to enthral and entertain everyone. If, however, this option is beyond your budget, you can always stick to traditional birthday party games, such as ‘pass the parcel’ and ‘musical statues’. Ensure that you enlist the help of grandparents or friends and other relatives to relieve a little of the party pressure.
A piñata makes a great contemporary alternative to traditional games. Similarly, simple, easy-to-apply face painting designs will add an element of interest to the proceedings. With music, food and a few friends, your pintsize party-goers are bound to have a ball.
Thank you to Claire for some handy tips there, there are certainly one or two I will be noting down for future reference.