Regular readers of mine may know that I love planning a party; up until this year, Jacob has had one every year since his first birthday. The only reason neither of them had one this year was because we were going on holiday at the end of their birthday month, so we didn’t have the budget for it; that was their birthday treat really, a week long one!
Once I’ve got my planning head on there’s no stopping me, so I like to think of myself as a bit of a pro. I like to do the majority of stuff myself; making invites, theming the food, making items for party bags and so on. If anyone would like to request my services in the future, I’m down for that 😉 If you are looking to plan your own party though, I have some top tips for you.
Decide on a theme
My preference is to have a themed party, usually on the basis of what the boys are into at that point. We’ve had a few themes from In The Night Garden to Peppa Pig, minions, dinosaurs; and most recently, my favourite to plan which was Paw Patrol.
Find a venue
I’ve always held J’s birthday parties at home to save pennies; up until the most recent one which was held in the village hall. It’s easier to have one at home, but I get stressed out by a lot of mess and so many people in a small space. I do love to do the organising myself though, so the village hall at a good rate was the next best thing. It means transporting things back & forth, but hey, it saves sanity!
Set up a Pinterest board
The next thing I do when I have my party planning head on and have found a theme, is to set up a board on Pinterest. Before searching Pinterest I have a Google search for the theme, and start pinning straight from any sites I find that give me inspiration. Then Pinterest will start suggesting pins to me which I may not have discovered myself – soon I’ll have a board full of ideas!
I’ve always made my own invitations using Photoshop or PicMonkey and printed them out, as I’m very particular and have a head full of ideas! But, it’s really easy to find themed invitations these days that you write out yourself. You could even check out Etsy sellers as they often work with you to your ideas.
Decide on a cake
We’re lucky in that my mum makes all of our celebration cakes so that’s one thing we don’t have to pay for. There’s no need to stretch your budget though; you could have a go at making one yourself. Even using a couple of packet mixes, chucking on some ready made butter icing, and putting a load of sweets or chocolate on top along with some themed character toys.
Organise the food
I love to organise my own food for the simple reason that I can plan it to coordinate with the party theme. For example at Jacob’s Paw Patrol party we had – amongst others – Chickaletta dippers, rice krispie bones, Farmer Yumi’s veg, and pawty rings… get the gist? 😉 Of course you don’t need to stick to the theme for everything; just a simple sandwich platter and party nibbles would do the job.
Arrange party bags
I know some people detest party bags, but I’m in the camp of the kids enjoy them, so what’s the harm? I try to theme these as well; for instance the Paw Patrol party bags had bouncy balls and puppy kibble (actually golden nugget cereal) in them.
Book some entertainment
Of course if you’re on a budget you could rope family & friends in; you might know someone who is super at face painting for example. Once again, I like to play along with the theme and I love the kids to have a memorable time. I’ve found that they especially love to meet character mascots, so Chase made an appearance at Jacob’s 5th birthday!
Captain Fantastic have a whole range of party entertainment packages for you to choose from too; including pirate parties, science parties, and even street dance parties!
Once you have all of your plans in place, all you need to do is make sure the kids enjoy themselves, and voila, you have a successful party under your belt! What are your top tips for planning a kids party?