SET A BUDGET:
Planning a children’s party doesn’t have to be stressful. Before you begin preparing and organising, set yourself a budget. You can then build your perfect party and ensure it’s affordable.
You will want the birthday child to be involved in the planning stages so we recommend you propose a list of activities / entertainment ideas within your budget.
Remember it’s YOUR party and you don’t have to compete with anyone. Try to relax and enjoy the planning in the build up to the big day!
SET A DATE:
We are all busy people right?! It can sometimes be difficult to find a date when all of your friends and family are available. We recommend you set a date a few months in advance. This will ensure a good turnout and prevent a clash with other events. Avoid public holidays as lots of families will be away or have other plans.
You will also be thinking about entertainment options at this point and will need to consider how far in advance you need to book them.
Have you considered a joint party with a friend who has a similar birthday? This is a good way to halve your budget and share the responsibility of party planning.
When deciding your party time, consider the ages of the children attending as some will still need naps.
Sunday parties give you more time to prepare but Saturday parties give you more time to recover!
GET FAMILY TO HELP:
Book up family members to help with the preparations. Many hands make light work! They can be tasked with food preparation, decorations, greeting people and clearing up.
CHOOSE A VENUE:
Choose a venue that is practical for your chosen entertainment / activity.
Consider parking, toilet facilities, space for buggies, whether you can prepare food and how long in advance you can gain entry. Remember to ask your chosen entertainer / activity how long they need to set up.
Try and book your venue early to ensure availability.
Remember that young children will have their parents stay with them and may also have younger siblings in attendance too.
BOOK YOUR ENTERTAINMENT:
Good entertainment is booked up early so be sure to secure your chosen entertainer early. You should expect to pay a deposit and complete a booking form to secure your chosen date.
We recommend seeking recommendations from other local parents / carers that have used the same one. If you can’t do this, check for references.
Ensure you know what they offer and what you are paying for. This will prevent you from having a room full of bored or disappointed children.
INVITE YOUR GUESTS:
Create a guest list for your party. This will ensure you don’t forget anyone when sending out invitations. Whether you are posting, hand delivering, texting or emailing your invitations, be sure to include the following information:
- Name of the birthday child. Be sure to include the child’s surname if there is more than one in the class!
- Day and date of the party
- Party start and finish time
- Where the party is being held
- An RSVP contact number or email address
- Any special instructions i.e. if specific footwear is needed / fancy dress etc.
THEME FOR THE PARTY:
Having a theme can help you decide what decorations you need, what activities you can adapt and what entertainment is needed. A theme is not a necessity. The birthday child will probably have their own ideas and this can be discussed in the early planning stage. They may have a favourite character, colour or just something that reflects their interests. The detail should be age appropriate for the majority of your guests.
The food required will depend on the time of your party. Our advice is to plan food that is quick and easy to prepare. You don’t want to spend the duration of the party in the kitchen of your chosen venue! Little people don’t eat a lot and they will probably see eating as an inconvenience due to the excitement of the day. Finger foods are simple and always go down well. Make sure you have a healthy option to go with it. Finger sandwiches, cocktail sausages, mini pizzas, sausage rolls and vegetables with dip are always a winner. Ensure you have enough food. It’s better to have some leftover than run out on the day. Some parents don’t approve of fizzy drinks so be sure to have a water and squash option.
Did you check with your guests if there are any dietary requirements / allergies?
Discuss the birthday cake with the birthday child. A cake is a good option but so are cupcakes, jelly and ice cream or even cookies. You can incorporate your chosen theme in to all of the above.
The big question is how much should you spend on a party bag and what should go in it?!
Remember, it’s your party so you choose!
Sweet cones are a popular choice but many companies offer pre filled party bags to suit your chosen theme and budget. A good tip is to buy items in bulk to divide between the party bags. Books are also an increasingly popular choice. Party bags are a “thank you for coming” and not a gift.