Cake, presents and surprises! Kids birthday parties are one of the most anticipated days of their whole year. Do you want to create a special day for them but usually find planning a party stressful and just plain hard work? Here are some tips to help you plan and execute a celebration for your child’s birthday which is bound to produce laughs, fun and lovely memories for all those involved.
Plan for a Party Your Child Will Never Forget
1. Date and Time
Pick the date and time for your birthday celebration. Perhaps check that your child’s best friends are available on your chosen date to avoid disappointment if there is an absence.
When selecting the time, keep in mind that if you hold a party during the middle of the morning or afternoon guests won’t expect a full meal. Approximately 2 to 3 hours in duration is usually ideal, especially for younger kids, allowing plenty of time for fun, without exhaustion at the end.
2. Consider a Theme
As the party is all about the birthday child, have a chat with them about a particular theme they would like, based on a favourite hobby or interest. Alternatively, give them some options to pick from regarding a certain activity or location (this can help prevent disappointment if you can’t meet their grand expectations!). Explain restrictions such as budget or number of guests.
3. Work out a Budget
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to produce a fun kids’ birthday party. Consider allocating a lump sum amount, or setting a ‘per person’ budget which will allow you to easily evaluate your birthday party possibilities. There are many cost-effective options available if you’re up for a bit of creativity and DIY when it comes to food and activities. Also, ask for help from others, for example assigning a family member or friend as a photographer will free up your time and cost nothing.
Where you have the party is an important decision – at home, at a venue or a park? Having the party at your home or a nearby park or playground gives you complete input into the day so it can be more personal, not to mention better on your bank account; however, there will be a lot of preparation and clean up. Also, you’ll be busy hosting so you may want someone to help with the food and activities if you choose this option.
Venues which cater for kids’ birthday parties are a fantastic option as most things are included in the party package. There are lots to choose from these days such as gaming centres, cinemas, an outdoor activity reserve or trampoline parks such as Flip Out – it’s great to have some physical activity to keep the kids entertained. Party packages vary on inclusions and prices but may cover at least the entertainment, a private party room, food and drinks. Also, an indoor centre means the party won’t be spoiled if the weather is awful.
5. Party Activities
Everyone loves a good party game! If you have the party at home, include some short games like pass the parcel, musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey or charades. For something a bit more intense, set up a scavenger hunt.
Simple science experiments always capture the attention of children, as well as being educational. There are many simple suggestions online, such as this great article.
Get crafty and see how creative the guests can be. Involve everyone in making playdough sculptures, decorating a cloth bag, or designing and creating jewellery from beads and ribbons. This gives the kids something to take home instead of a traditional lolly bag.
6. Guests & Invitations
When the details of your party have been decided, work out how many guests will be suitable, taking into consideration the location, activities and who your child wants to invite. Work out whether to send electronic or hard copy invitations, and whether to buy them ready made, or design your own. When you book a venue, digital party invitations are sometimes included in the package. Send your invitations out a minimum of two weeks prior to the party and request an RSVP so you know who is coming and can account for any special guest requirements.
7. Food and Drinks
Party food – yum! Aim to keep the food simple and in small portions – kids are active so something they can eat on the go will be best. There are tons of party food favourites such as pizza, small sandwiches, saveloys, meatballs, fairy bread and fruit. Remember to cater for guests with allergies or dietary requirements.
Fizzy soft drinks are quick, easy and often preferred by kids! Consider alternatives such as milkshakes or a bowl of fruit punch. Have plenty of water available – perhaps a large water dispenser containing ice and sliced fruit to add some fun.
The birthday cake is a focal point of a kid’s birthday party but don’t feel pressured to provide something outrageous if it stresses you or blows out the budget. Try making the cake yourself – there are many kids cake ideas online. Tie it in with the theme if you’re having one, or choose one of your child’s favourite characters, super heroes or sports.
Of course, an easier option is to buy a cake, either a store bought one which won’t break the bank, or a customised one from a professional cake baker and decorator.
8. Party Favours
A small thank you for each guest is common at kids’ birthday parties. Instead of the traditional lollies and balloon, you may like to give a small toy – make sure it is age appropriate and safe – perhaps a small book, a mini puzzle or a box of crayons. An activity centre such as Flip Out provides small gifts in some of their party packages.
Hopefully you are now buzzing with excitement and underway with ideas for planning a fabulous party for your child’s birthday.