PARTY LIKE A PRO
Planning a children’s party can leave you breaking out in a cold sweat, so here are some of Blossom & Bow’s top tips for a smooth-running party…
Pick your date
Think about how this date ties in with school holidays, and public holidays or festivals that might affect attendance to your party. If your child has a BFF (Best Friend Forever!), it might be wise to get in touch with their adult to confirm they are free, before finalising your date to avoid a potential meltdown when BFF can’t come. Think about which day of the week you want your party. Saturday mornings can often be filled with clubs, so afternoons can work better at the weekend, especially for older children.
Write a guest list
You may opt for a small party of just best friends, or it may be the trend in your area to invite the whole class! Either way, you might want to make allowances for extras such as younger siblings, or a friend who decides to visit that day. If your child is under 5, it is likely you will have parents in attendance as well, so think of this when you are deciding on your venue…
Decide on your venue
Do you plan on having your party at home or at a venue? Parties at home are great as they save money on venue charges, but having 8 or more sugar-loaded children running riot in your living room might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you are opting for an ‘At home’ party, consider enlisting the help of older siblings or cousins, or a friendly local teenager. Child-proof your house by moving precious objects out of reach, and by storing away your child’s most favourite toys in case of damage. If you are planning on finding a venue, you should probably book at least 6 weeks in advance to avoid disappointment. Visit the space to get an idea of how it would work for you. Find out what their policies are on food, and entertainment (such as bouncy castles). Try to allow half an hour either side of your party time for setting up and packing up. Church and community halls are great if you plan on doing the food and entertainment yourself, otherwise soft play venues, gym venues, swimming pools etc have various packages to choose from where they do this for you. Blossom & Bow boxes are perfect for at home parties and venue parties alike, so you know you can always bring your child’s desired theme with you!
Make a party itinerary
What time will your party be? Morning parties are great for little ones as they are up so early anyway, and your party can incorporate lunch as the birthday tea. Older children often have clubs on Saturday mornings, so afternoons can work better. Be mindful of having your party too late in the day, as sending children home at 7pm full of sugar isn’t the most conducive for bedtime! If your party is at a swimming pool or other venue where the organisation and entertainment is done for you, then they will lead on what time things take place, when children will eat etc so just leave it to them – that’s what you’re paying for after all! If your party is at home or a venue that doesn’t have organised activities as part of the package, then you will need a rough plan of action. Generally, guests will turn up and have a mad 20 minutes or so of excitedly meeting and greeting until everyone has arrived. You will then need to fill about an hour with some kind of entertainment, whether that be bought in or your own party games, before having birthday tea and sending everyone off with their cake and party bag like good little party-goers.
Decide on entertainment
You may have the budget for a bouncy castle, face painter, magician or a petting zoo, or you may opt for good old-fashioned party games. Either way, you will generally need to fill an hour before the children will be sitting down having their tea. Consider how your entertainment can be tailored to fit in with your chosen theme. Don’t worry if your party isn’t planned with military precision, children will be happy just hanging out with their friends, but some structure to the party will help it flow better.
Decide on food
If you are having your party at a specialised party venue then they will have birthday tea packages that you can choose from. If you are providing the food yourself then you will either want to order it in or make it yourself. Try and bring out sandwiches, crisps, carrot sticks etc before putting the sweet treats out. Consider something a bit more out of the norm such as sushi to make your party memorable, or having pizza delivered. Think of the adults and any younger siblings that might come along when planning your quantities and don’t forget your birthday cake! You will find plenty of party food inspiration on our Blossom & Bow Pinterest account. A Blossom & Bow cake topper is a simple way of tying your cake in with your chosen theme, and our selection of cupcake kits are perfect for those taking on the baking themselves. You might want to provide alcohol for your adult guests, which is fine at home, but check with any venues about their policy on this, as some church venues won’t allow it.
A slice of cake and a balloon doesn’t always cut it these days as children have come to expect a bag of goodies on departure, but this doesn’t mean they have to be super-expensive. Stickers, bubbles, temporary tattoos, something crafty and sweets are all crowd pleasers and can be found at reasonable prices.
Thank you cards
It’s only polite to thank your guests for coming to your party and for the gift they bring for your child. If you can use a thank you card that ties in with your theme, then all the better!