I loved this article by Natalie Trice and had to share it with you.
When I read Martha Stewart describing birthday parties being like road trips: getting there is half the fun. I laughed as I learned this the hard way when I planned a surprise circus party for my son. There were going to be clowns and acrobats flying through a big top whilst guests ate candy floss and had their faces painted. On paper it was perfect but when I told the birthday boy he burst into tears and whispered he didn’t want a circus party. The thing is, whilst social media bragging and peer pressure have upped the party stakes, if we go back to basics, all that matters is the birthday boy or girl has fun and feels special. Whether you rub your hands in delight at the thought of planning a party or reach for the wine bottle in despair, you can successfully keep a bunch of over-excited revelers, high on sugar, happy and entertained for two hours, you just need a PLAN.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Whilst parties at home keep costs down, going for a Church hall, leisure centre, pizza restaurant or bowling alley often means leaving the washing up and mess for someone else; BOOK IT!
GUEST LIST: Whist it might be ‘PC’ to ask the entire class, extended family and Brownie pack, things will spiral out of control. Most children won’t think about putting noses out of joints they just want the people they like at their party – end of.
KEEP THEM BUSY: You can guarantee one irritating delightful guest will say your party was ‘rubbish’. Book an entertainer, have a disco, organise a karaoke competition and have a plan B, that way they will be busy from start to finish and too tired to complain when they are collected.
FAB FOOD: Be imaginative with food; ‘flying saucers’ (mini-bagels) and ‘moon rocks’ (rice crispy cakes) are loved by astronauts and telescope wraps are perfect for pirates. It you stick with pizzas and sandwiches make them star and heart-shaped and put out big bowls of snacks and fruit too, but no nuts.
INVITE EXTRA HELP: Some parents read party as ‘kid free shopping time’. However, be smart, ask some of them along, give them snacks and fizz and you’ll have a team of waitresses, peace keepers, toilet monitors and DJs for free.
A PIECE OF CAKE: Whether you make it or buy it, cake is key. Once the candles have been blown out don’t just slice it up and squish it into party bags, serve it as dessert. If it is too good to share, pop fairy cakes into the party bags and keep it for later.
Finally, charge up your camera, relax and try to enjoy the party and smiles because these days don’t last forever.
P.S. If you hire a female entertainer who dresses up as Spiderman at tea time be prepared for the kids to talk, and the Dads to look!
Natalie Trice is a freelance journalist, writer and award-nominated blogger, she knows a thing or two about PR and social media too. She’s also a Mummy to two small boys, wife to Oliver and an owner of a cat and a dog. When she isn't writing or networking on Facebook, Natalie is an avid shopper, coffee drinker and collector of handbags and shoes. www.passionateaboutwords.co.uk
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