*A collaborative post
In just a few short weeks, my three year old will be turning celebrating his fourth birthday and with so many of his pre-school friends being born around the same time, the birthday party invitations have been flying home. I fear I have many years of hosting children’s birthday parties ahead of me but thankfully, I love organising a good get together and I can’t wait to organise my son’s future birthday parties to make his special day one to remember.
Planning a birthday party can be stressful. But it doesn’t need to be. Here are my top five tips for organising a stress-free birthday party.
Order a birthday cake – We all know you can’t hold a birthday party without a birthday cake so commission a baker to make one for you. My son has asked for a Lightning McQueen birthday cake this year and there is no way in the world I’d be able to come up with the goods. To alleviate the time and stress that making such a cake would cause, I’ve asked a local baker to make me a cake featuring his favourite Cars character. A few pounds well spent here is well worth saving a 5+ hours in the kitchen!
Hire a venue – With all the best intentions, I would never hold a birthday party for my son at home. I couldn’t imagine the mess, the constant watching over sticky fingers touching the walls or treading in sandwiches into the carpet would give me palpitations. Save yourself the stress and hire a local venue to hold the party in. Venuefinder is a great way to find a suitable local venue to hold your party. You can search results by location, room capacities and price to come up with a range of suitable venues for your party needs.
Offer a variety of party snacks – Feeding children has to be one of the most stressful things ever. My three year old likes chicken nuggets one day and detests them the next so imagine all children are the same. Keep the party food simple but appealing with a range of simple sandwich combinations and finger foods perfect for picky eaters.
Plan games and busy stations – Keeping a group of children entertained during a party is no mean feat so plan ahead with a range of party games and busy stations to get everyone involved. It’s wise to play the more active games at the beginning of the party and quieter games after food as nobody wants to clean up after a child who has eaten too much and got a little over-excited. Avoid competitive games to ensure all guests enjoy themselves and no-one is left isolated. Leave a couple of jigsaws available for quieter guests to enjoy should they not want to participate in group games.
Make up simple party bags prior to the party – No party is a successful party without party bags. If you’ve got a theme for your party, make up simple bags containing small gifts relating to the theme but there’s no need to go overboard. You can pick up a selection of small gifts ideal for party bags from most supermarkets these days and you can avoid sending home children with a bag full of E numbers which most parents will thank you for.
What are your top tips for hosting a stress-free birthday party? Do you hold them at home or keep the mess away from your carpets. I’d love to hear your experiences too.