Sunday October 21, 2018

Planning your child's Party

1. Think of a theme

2. Where are you going to hold it

3. Who are you going to invite

4. Party Entertainment

5. What will you need

6. Food

Think of a theme

Not all parties have to have a theme, but I find once you have one it is easier to plan your party around it, games, decorations, food etc. It could be your child's favourite character or a generic theme such as pirates, dinosaurs, fairies etc. It could also be your child's favourite story, my daughter has asked for a Gruffalo party this year. You could ask the guests to come in fancy dress or ask the boys to come as pirates and the girls to come in their party dresses, the list is endless! Ask the birthday boy/girl first, they may have a definite idea as to what party theme they want. You can also mix themes, for my son's 3rd party we had Scooby Doo and pirates!!

Where are you going to hold It

Where you are going to hold your party sometimes depends on how many people you are going to invite. If your child is planning on inviting their whole class, you may decide to hold it in a hired hall. There are lots of companies and organisations out there willing to hire out rooms, hotels, church halls, scout huts.

Their hourly prices will vary wildly so I would ask around before you book.
If you having a handful of family/friends then home would be the ideal choice, no hire cost, less space to decorate etc. Just ensure you move all breakables out of the way!

There are more and more companies offering specialised children's parties now on their premises, dance clubs, swimming pools, children's play centres etc. These can be more costly and in many places you need to invite over a certain amount of people, but there's no clearing up to do at the end.

Who are you going to invite

Alternatively, how many people you invite could depend on where you are going to have your party. If you are having the party at home, numbers may be limited. As your child gets older they are going want to invite people themselves. Make the number of people they can invite clear to them. Try not to panic that nobody will turn up (easier said than done, I still have that feeling at every party I plan). Don't expect everyone to let you know if they are coming.

Party Entertainment

Your party entertainment can be as simple as putting on a children's music CD and playing the traditional party games such as Pass the Parcel, Musical Statues, Musical Chairs, Musical Bumps, depending off course on the age of the children.

Party Games and Activities for Young Children

Make a Party Hat
An idea for a young child's party (where the parents are invited as well) is to get all the children to make their own party hat. Young children (age 2-4) get bored of games quite easily and love making things. All you need is cheap craft items - pre-cut card strips to make the base and decorative items - (feathers/shiny paper/pipe cleaners/foam shapes), crayons and glue. The children (and parents) get stuck in straight away while you can finish off the food, mingle etc.

Guess The Animal
A good game for a young child's party is "Guess the Animal". Cut out pictures of animals before the party. The children sit in a circle and take in turns picking a card and making the sound of the animal, the other children have to guess what it is.

Party Games and Activities for Older Children

Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts always go well with children, especially if there is a promise of a prize at the end of it. Be as creative as you like, use pictures as clues for smaller children (ie. A Tree, Flower Pot etc) and quizzes for older children. The treasure hunt can also be themed to tie in with your party, a Pirate Treasure or the hunt in the Fairy Garden for instance.

Children's Entertainers
An alternative is to hire a Children's entertainer to keep the children amused at your party. These can range from your traditional clown to magicians, and people that will do "pamper" parties or "craft" parties. These will also largely range in price. We have hired a party entertainer for 50 pounds an hour before when we had a large party (and lots of children to entertain) and it was worth every penny! I am looking to create a party entertainer/company database searchable by postcode in the near future, so if you are a party entertainer yourself or you know of any good entertainers, please let me know by filling in the contact form here.

Bouncy Castles/Discos etc
There are lots of companies around now that supply a wide range of bouncy castles for your party. These are brilliant for any age and will keep children (and grownups) amused for hours. Again these will range in price so call around for the best offer.

Discos are another good idea, especially for older children. Some discos will also offer party games, again ask around for prices/referrals.

I am looking to create a database searchable by postcode in the near future, so if you do own a bouncy castle hiring company or are a disco DJ, please let me know by filling in the contact form here.

What will I Need

The first thing I do when planning my children's birthday party is make a big list of everything I will need, then I can tick the items off when I get them. The following is a general list of items I try and get...

- Invitations/Thank Yous

- Banners/Balloons

- Tablecloths / Plates / Cups / Napkins / Straws

- Food Trays

- Party Bag Items - bubbles / Blowouts etc

- Game Prizes


The 1st time I held a children's birthday party, I didn't even think about getting in food trays or extra plates. I've now found the food trays (silver foil type and decorative plastic ones) a godsend. They can be obtained very cheaply in most Pound Shops.

It is very difficult to know how much food you will need. We always seem to overdo it. Work out how many people are coming (including the parents if you are going to offer them food) and estimate how much each person will eat. Alternatively, just buy a lot and hope it will be enough.
If a child has allergies or other dietary needs their parent should tell you. It's impossible to cater for everyone if you don't know. I always try to have some dairy free foods and a mixture of meat and vegetarian items.

Party food such as sandwiches, crisps, mini sausages, sausage rolls, pizzas, jelly ice-cream etc are an absolute must, as most children will expect it. Also offer healthier options such as fruit, carrot sticks and dips, bread sticks. Unless you want a roomful of crazy children try not to offer too much junk food (I'll never forget a party my 4 year son went to where he had 2 fruit shoots, and a bag of sweets - he was so far up the wall it was impossible to get him down. Crazy to the point of chewing on a parent's expensive shoe (while she was still wearing it - I kid you not). Now I make a point of telling the host he is intolerant to excess sugars, for their safety as well as his own!

Think about healthier treats for the party games instead of sweets such as raisins.
And don't forget the birthday cake.

Above all, your child will just be excited it's their birthday, their special day. A tea party picnic on the living room floor can be just as much fun as a big fully decorated party with 10 of their friends!!