Planning a Birthday Party can be a complicated affair.
Here are a few things to think about.
First – decide on your budget.
Second – decide on a venue, considering how many children you would like to come, as it’s all very well deciding to hold a party at home – but not if there’s large numbers. Again, it might well be nice to have exclusive hire of that indoor playbarn, but not if it is £100s above your budget. But they may not charge extra for parents that wish to stay – so age of the children is a factor here.
When deciding on the venue other factors to consider are:
- Time of year – is it likely to rain? And therefore a party at home isn’t so appealing, especially with more than a handful of children.
- Age of the children. If you are strapped for cash, are they really going to know the difference between exclusive hire of the playbarn which involves a few friends, compared to a cheap hall where everyone in their class can come? Also if the children are very young, will their parents also be staying – the pros and cons of that being they will look after them, but also taking up more space, especially if the party is at home. Will siblings be coming along? And if the siblings are very young is the venue also suitable for them?
- If you pick a venue that will look after the children then will they charge entry for adults/siblings?
- Will food and entertainment be included in the venue?
- If you are having a party that you are hosting yourself (either at home or in a hall) will you have some helpers? Good friends and relatives are invaluable for helping to clear up, and looking after the children.
- Location – can the guests get there easily. Is there good parking if people have to travel?
- Does it need decorating? How will you do it?
- Who are you inviting? Are there any specific needs or considerations?
Third – feeding them can either be included in a party package; taking them somewhere such as McDonalds afterwards or maybe a picnic if it is very sunny; or save money by making your own finger food – sandwiches, party sausages, sausage rolls, grapes, strawberries, fairy cakes, pizza, etc. Another advantage to home-made food is that the birthday child can help make/prepare it. Are there any allergies/certain preferences for food?
If parents are staying I’m sure they’d appreciate some extra food for them to snack on too. And don’t forget the drinks. But if you are hiring a venue then can your budget stretch to feeding the parents?
Fourth – will your party have a theme? A theme gives children an excuse to dress up. A theme helps with decorations, invitations, food and the cake. Cake toppers can be ordered in the theme for fairy cakes too. The cake can either be home-made (there’s lots of help online – such as how to make a toy story cake), shop bought, or there’s some very nice cake makers out there.
Fifth – how are you going to entertain them? Is it part of the venue – play area, go-karting, laser-tag, swimming, football party etc; maybe hire a bouncy castle (these can go inside some halls as well as outside); hire an entertainer – magician, puppet show, balloon modeller, etc; a disco, party games (pass the parcel, musical statues, sleeping lions), cooking, craft or even just colouring in pictures to go with your theme. Balloons are a great favourite – they can kick them, hit them and then even take them home with them.
Six – the time of the party is going to depend on the age of the children and the venue availability. Children (especially young ones), do not like to wait too long after lunch/dinner time for food – so think about the time of day, and at what point in the party, when they will have food. Do you want it early in the day so they are not too tired, or late in the day so that they go straight to bed – or in the middle of the two.
Seven – invitations. Children can make their own invitations, or they can be bought in the theme, or you can buy them cheaply from the pound shop. Make sure you have invited everyone you want there and tick off on a list when you’ve had a reply. Make sure there’s plenty of time but not too much time the invitation gets lost and forgotten about.
Eight – party bags. Children love party bags. It’s an idea to put a balloon, a toy and some chocolate/sweets in them. You can spend a little or a lot on party bags – if you’re on a budget be careful not to get carried away. Again if there’s a theme you can carry this on to the bags. Recently one of my sons got a party bag which included some bubbles and a wrist band from Comic Relief – I thought this was a great idea.
How easy will it be to add the birthday cake? We sometimes put cupcakes in prior to the party – or buy two cakes (one to sing with and one already inserted in the bags).
Nine – remember your camera – there’s nothing nice than looking back at what a wonderful day your child had.
Ten – make a note of who bought what so you can send out thank yous.
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