Got a special little birthday coming up and feeling a bit overwhelmed? We get it! Whether you’re throwing a party for the first time, or trying to keep up with the trends as your kids get older, planning birthday parties can be daunting.
The good news is, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we’ll cover all the important basics for planning an awesome party with minimal stress on your part.
Here at Hooray Day, we are all about sharing tips, tricks and hacks so that you can say ‘Hooray’ to that special day!
First things first – when is your party going to take place? Choose a date! If you have any ‘must have’ guests, check in with them first before locking in your date to avoid disappointment.
When it comes to the time of the party, there are a couple of things to consider:
When is nap time (if applicable)?
What time of year is it? Sometimes it’s best to avoid the middle of the day during the summer months, or the end of day during winter when it’s likely to be cold and gloomy
How much food are you planning to put on? If you’d like to keep the spread light, avoid meal times and consider a morning celebration.
Location, location, location! Are you going to host your party at home, in a public space or hire a venue? If you’re someone who feels faint at the thought of your house being overrun by a dozen or so hyperactive children, a hired venue or park can seem pretty tempting. And indeed, if you can snag somewhere with play equipment, it could make life a lot easier! But remember that you may also have to ferry a lot of food and equipment to the venue, plus bring gifts home etc, which can really add to your workload.
Bear in mind that if you’re planning on using a public park, you may need a permit, especially if you’d like to use a particular spot, like a gazebo, or if you’re planning to serve alcohol!
You are cordially invited! The ideal time to send an invitation is around four weeks’ in advance of your party. Long enough that guests can keep their diaries clear, not so long that it’ll be forgotten about. Set your RSVP date to one week in advance of the party date.
Include an end time on your invitation so that people don’t feel rude leaving, or hang around longer than you’d like.
We love using digital invitations that can be emailed or texted – a great way to save paper, and also time collecting home addresses!
Parking Kind of boring, but important to think about. If you’re hosting at home, or at a venue with limited parking, consider including information about parking availability along with your invitation. If you’re hosting at home, it may also be worth giving your neighbours a heads up that there might be a few additional cars on the street the day of the celebration. And some really loud Wiggles music!
Choosing a theme Bespoke themes are all the rage right now, and can help you create a really personal celebration for your little one. If your child is not into old favourites such as Superhero and Pirate themes, think outside the box and choose a colour, favourite food (donut party anyone?), game/hobby/toy (bubbles, trains etc.) or even an animal for your theme.
Dressing up? Unless you have a particularly crafty group of friends, you may not make yourself popular by insisting that guests dress in costume! In saying that, costumes can help create a really fun atmosphere for little ones. One option is to make a more low key request of your guests, e.g. ask them to wear something in a particular colour, something sparkly, a funny hat etc. Alternatively, buy some accessories that match your theme and hand them out at the beginning of the party to help guests get into the mood!
How much food? Ok this is a biggie, and the source of much parental angst when it comes to party planning. Here they are, the official numbers you need to know … adults will eat four to five canape sized pieces of food per hour. Children will normally eat three to four. Examples of canape sized items include a piece of sushi, a cookie, a piece of cheese and a cracker, or half a larger item such as a cupcake. In other words nowhere near as much as you were probably thinking!
As far as drinks are concerned, plan for one nonalcoholic drink per person, per hour. If you’re serving alcohol to your adult guests, one or two per person should do it – remember that not everyone will partake!
For more tips on creating a beautiful spread, check out our Top Ten Tips for Party Food Prep blog!
Fun and games! This can be a toughie! How young is too young for games? How many do you plan? Here are a couple of our top tips:
Keep it simple – kids will make their own fun, and you don’t want to spend the party herding them from one activity to the next
A couple of simple games like pass the parcel, pinatas or musical statues can work well for kids who are four or older. For younger kids it’s best to stick to open ended activities, like craft stations, dress up boxes or bouncy castles
If you have the budget for a paid entertainer, look for one that can multitask – many of them can face paint, make balloon animals and also organize games.
For more tips on creating party fun, check out our Fun and Games blog!
Creating the perfect space! No two parties are the same, but here are a few key things to think about when planning your party set up:
Where will your food go, do you need a separate drinks table?
Do you need to hire any glassware?
Will you have a gift table?
Where will guests put their rubbish?
Do you need speakers for music?
Will you need an extra table for activities?
Do you need seating?
Putting on the ritz! Kids love decorations, and they definitely help make birthday parties extra memorable. You don’t need to go overboard though. Pick a few key decorations that go with your theme, stick to decorating one area (e.g. around the food table) and use white tablecloths, backdrops and/or serving dishes to really make your special touches pop!
Grown up guests? When is it okay for parents to simply drop kids off and pick them up later, rather than stay for the whole party? There’s really no single answer to this question, as it depends a lot on the type of party and how well the parents know each other. If your child and their guests are under six, assume that parents will stay on to help manage the craziness. After six, you may need to specify what you’d prefer on your invitations, e.g. ‘parents asked to join in’, ‘parents welcome’ or ‘parents welcome to drop guests off and collect afterwards’.
Loot bags Loot bags are certainly not a must, but some kind of little thank you gift can be a nice touch! If it’s something you’d like to do, we recommend keeping the sugar and landfill to a minimum! Balloons, stickers, stamps, crayons, notepads and fridge magnets are all great options.
A Party Planning Checklist comes with every Hooray Day Party Kit – it’s like having a party planner in your pocket!
Back to Basics! Kids Parties 1012018-02-232018-02-23https://hoorayday.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/hoorayday-logo.pngHooray Dayhttps://hoorayday.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/8264b199-d664-4df2-88fc-36c5cc20c9f5.jpg200px200px