Planning a kids birthday party… Oh the joy!

Parties

Planning a party can be a stressful time for a parent, especially if your little one is like mine and know exactly what they want!

Seriously… Shortly after her 4th birthday she was telling me exactly what she wanted for her 5th birthday and reminded me every week for the entire year! It may be safe to say she had me wrapped around her finger…. I just couldn’t say no to that sweet little face! Guys, you know what I mean?!

What she particularly wanted was a BIG party, she wanted Elsa to be there, she wanted ALL of her friends and family there… (she has a lot of family and a lot of school friends!) She wanted a BIG cake and lots of yummy food. She also wanted the rest of the Frozen gang to attend and infinity balloons but I had to explain that this was just not possible….. so she settled for just a few balloons (As long as there was an Elsa one) and Elsa.

When I began planning I first made a list of everything I needed…

Hall Hire
Elsa Entertainer
Guest List
Invitations
Balloons
Banners & Bunting
Table Covers
Party Bags
Party Bag Fillers
Paper Plates, Cups, Napkins
Party Food
Birthday Cake

To create this list, I used an Excel spreadsheet to list the names of the guests as well as everything else to calculate how much I was spending.

Hall Hire

We have a few decent halls in the area but for value for money we chose Chelsfield Community Centre which is a bright and spacious hall that’s easy to find with a kitchen… which was very important for this party 🙂
Be sure the venue has everything you need such as toilet facilities, heating, power sockets and tables and chairs. It’d be good to ask whether the venue will allow you to stick decorations on the walls as some places will take your deposit if you do so.

Party Entertainer

We went with a company called Party Whiz www.partywhiz.co.uk who provided us with a lovely Elsa entertainer. I was very happy with our chosen Elsa! She captivated the children and kept them very happy for the entire party! She arrived early at the party to set up and straight away introduced herself to my daughter. Highly recommend this company if you’re ever looking for an entertainer for your children’s party!

Guest List

By the time your little one starts nursery or school, they will have made a few friends. Or in my daughters case made friends with the entire class! At this age, you may want to invite the whole class so no child feels left out. When making your guest list it is important not to forget family unless you have a separate smaller party just for family. When planning my daughters birthday I almost forgot all 6 of her cousins! Bad mum move ha! Listing all the names you have invited is an easy way to keep track.

Invitations

Once you have created your guest list, then comes the invitations. Amazon.co.uk or Etsy.co.uk have a nice range of invitations you can buy in bulk. With family invites, I sent a Whatsapp message to them all to save a bit of money…. worked well! But each child in my daughters class got their own invitation. Be sure to add an RSVP to keep track of how many children you are expecting.

Decorations

Have you decided on a theme? My little lady wanted a Frozen theme and didn’t let me forget for an entire year!
When a theme has been decided, it’s time to go ahead and buy the decorations. We got pretty much everything from Amazon. From plates and cups to banners and balloons. You may want it to be quite simple, maybe a few balloons here and there (Totally less stressful) or you may want to go all out and dress the entire room! We decided with just a balloon arch for decoration which we didn’t even have time to complete in the hour we had to set up!

Party Bags

The joy on a kids face when they are handed their party bag… and the joy on yours knowing it’ll all be in the bin within minutes! My advice? Keep it simple! I let my excitement get the better of me and ended up spending nearly £120 on our party bags! This included 4 different sweet packets and 4 rubbish little toys for 30 bags….. unnecessary and a waste of money! In hindsight I would have limited it to half of that…. I mean, they get cake in there too right?
Party bags can often result in a lot of plastic waste and if you’re anything like me who’s trying to reduce the amount of plastic crap in our oceans then it helps to be mindful of what is going into our party bags. Our bags were paper and along with the sweets included a card bookmark, a colouring book and stickers for the children. The only bit of plastic was a mini slinky.

Party Food

Aaahhhhh foooood! This was the part I did not want to overdo as having experience of being at other kids parties, sooooooo much goes to waste! Iceland do an offer on party food. 3 for £5! Bargain! We calculated how many we would need for 30 children and went from there. Along with the 3 packs for £5, we wanted something healthy so it wasn’t just processed rubbish…. I spent the morning chopping up carrots, cucumber and bell peppers. They were actually more popular than the sausages and pizza which I loved to see! We had only bought 2 packs of cocktail sausages, 2 packs of mini pizzas and 2 packs of chicken goujons and we still had so much waste! The kids only really care about the games and running around and screaming and stuff! My point? Don’t buy too much food unless you’re prepared to eat what’s left 🙂

Birthday Cake

Now this is the part where I show off a little bit….. Yes, I made my own cake! Now, I am not a professional cake maker by a long shot but over the years, other than developing my photography I have developed a love for cake decorating. I have made my kids birthday cakes since their first birthdays and I love to say it fills me with a great sense of achievement!
If you are making your own cake then go mama! If not then finding a cake maker is a job in itself. Research bakers in your area, be sure they’re able to create your desired cake and don’t just go for the cheapest. You get what you pay for and any respectable cake maker will charge their worth because they know they can deliver only the best for their clients. Oh…. and when you choose someone, give them a cheeky follow on Instagram and Facebook. It’s so nice for small businesses to have that support.

So you’ve planned the majority of the party, the date is coming up! Chase up on your RSVP’s. We have a class WhatsApp group for the parents so I messaged everyone on there asking for responses to the invitations as well as any dietary requirements. Parents will most likely tell you if their child has any specific allergies but it’s always good to ask!

Now let the fun begin! A couple of hours of mayhem then once the hall is clear, sit back and relax with a very large glass of wine 🙂

Well done on a very successful party….yes I am saying this to myself too hehe!


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