When it’s birthday time, kids absolutely love birthday parties! It can be a highlight of their whole year, so how can you create a special and memorable day they’’ love? Planning a party can exciting and a little daunting. By following some practical ideas and with a plan in place, you’ll help celebrate their birthday in a way that ensures plenty of smiles and fantastic memories.
Get your kids involved with the planning – perhaps they can help with choosing balloons, invitations or even assisting with the food. This not only gives them a sense of responsibility, but it’ll help with that exciting feeling of anticipation as the day nears.
- Work Out Your Budget
A fun birthday party doesn’t need to cost a large sum of money. Look at allocating a ‘per person’ budget so you can evaluate the different party options. There are a range of budget conscious options and getting help from others, doing some DIY and being creative will help ensure the kids will have a blast.
- Decide on a Theme
Ask the birthday girl or boy if they’d like the party to be based on a particular theme, based on an activity or in a particular location. Explain any restrictions such as budget or number of guests.
- Pick a Date and Time
Choose a date and time for the party and try to ensure your child’s best friend can come on the day to avoid any disappointment.
When selecting a time, if the party is held mid-afternoon, guests won’t expect a full meal. As a suggestion, aim for 2 to 3 hours in duration, especially for younger kids.
It is best to have the party at home or at a venue or even a park? A party at home or in a nearby park can be easier on your bank account and more personal as it allows you to have full input into the day. This option does however include a lot of preparation and clean up afterwards. It will also mean you’ll be busy hosting, so just ensure you have another pair of hands to help. Assign someone as a photographer as this will free-up some of your time.
If you have the party at a venue that caters for kids’ birthday parties, it can be a good option as many things are taken care of for you. There are plenty of options including cinemas, public pools, bowling alleys or trampoline parks. They help ensure the kids are entertained, and party packages often include a room, food, drinks and a cake. Another plus is that anything indoors helps ensure bad weather won’t ruin the day. Keep your kids gumboots and kids umbrella handy if needed!
- Guest List
Compile a guest list and decide on paper or electronic invitations. Many venues offer digital party invitations which you can print and send at home. Ensure invitations are sent at least 2 weeks prior to the party. Ask for an RSVP so you know who is coming and check for any dietary requirements.
If you have the party at home or in a nearby park, consider including short games such as charades, musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, a soccer game or even a scavenger hunt.
A craft activity can also be a great way for guests to participate, such as decorating a cloth bag or making a paper hat. This gives the kids something to take home instead of a traditional goodie bag.
- Food and Drinks
We all love party food! Keep the food simple and fun and in small portions that they can grab in one hand. Kids rarely sit still for long! Food options include favourites such as pizza, fairy bread, chicken nuggets and chips as well as other options including mini quiches, meatballs, small sandwiches, and fruit. Remember to cater for any guests with allergies or specific dietary requirements.
In terms of drinks, soft drinks are easy as well as fruit punch or milkshakes. Have plenty of water on hand – you can add in sliced fruit to make it fun.
- The Cake
With the cake, you can have a go at making a cake yourself. There are many ideas online that are simple yet impressive.
Alternatively, consider providing plain cupcakes, bowls of icing and lollies and let the guests decorate their own cupcake. Then pop a candle in each and sing happy birthday! If you have a catered party, the cake will most likely be provided!
- Thank You Gifts
To thank everyone for coming, you can send them home with lollies, a small toy or a game – just make sure it is age appropriate and safe. This could be crayons, a book or a gift card.
There are endless options! It’s time to plan a day they’ll remember.