Hey busy mums, has the time come to plan your child’s first proper kids party?
Have they finally started school and want to invite every child in the class to celebrate with them?
You want to give your child the world for their birthday, but where on earth do you begin?
Maybe you’ve scrolled through Pinterest and feel overwhelmed by the stunning elaborate decorations and DIY tutorials.
But actually, getting down to the nitty gritty stuff, you find yourself asking…
“Where the heck do I start?”
First, go make a cuppa and grab a pen & notebook.
I will take you through party planning from the very start with no fluff or nonsense. Just a down-to-earth Yorkshire lass, chatting to you about the thing I’m most passionate about, KIDS PARTIES.
Step 1: Brainstorm ideas with your child.
Listening to your child’s opinions is essential in planning an awesome party. First, scribble down a dozen ideas, then after, you can go through it all and figure out what is most important to them to create a magical birthday celebration.
Ask your child,
- What is important to them?
- What things have they enjoyed at other parties?
- Do they want a theme?
- How many kids do they want to invite, just a few or the whole class?
Step 2: Choose a date
I usually suggest picking the weekend before or after the child’s birthday. Try to be flexible at this stage as the entertainer or venue might not have the initial date available, so keep a few dates in mind.
It might also be worth considering what other celebrations might interfere with the dates and stop kids from attending.
I recommend planning early (1/2months in advance) to get ahead of other parents who might also be preparing for their child’s party.
Step 3: Entertainment
Do you want to run everything yourself or hire a professional to come in and take the stress away?
Decide this early on as it will be a significant factor when planning the rest of the event. I recommend booking a professional, especially if you’re new to the kid’s party scene. They will guide you through the process and set your expectations of how the party will run. This tends to be expensive, but it’s worth it if you are a busy mum stressed about keeping a room full of kids happy.
Remember you don’t need to book everything. Just pick one main activity and leave the rest for another year.
Do your research, find out their availability, get quotes and find out what each party provider offers. I am fully transparent about my party packages. There’s loads of information on my website about what I do and why my parties are unique. If you have any questions, feel free to email me; I’m more than happy to assist.
And once you’ve got your entertainer in mind, book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Step 4: Book your venue
This coincides with booking the entertainer as you will need to find a venue as soon as you get their availability for things to run smoothly.
When searching for a venue, look for; community centers, church halls, and function rooms local to your home or child’s school.
I have created a hand map of venues I’ve previously worked with across West Yorkshire to help you out in your search. So click the link to find out more and get the low down on party venues here.
Step 5: Invitations
All the big things are booked and in place, and it’s time to start inviting the guests.
The key to creating invites that don’t just go straight in the bin is to be memorable! I find if you send a few different types of invites, the parents have no excuse to not get the date on the calendar. So send a paper invite with all the key details on it, pop a message in your school parent’s group chat if you have one, and send a video invite to hit home. I offer a free personalised video invite service to all my bookers, including photos of the birthday child. This has a great response rate as it’s unusual and stands out above the rest.
IMPORTANT: always include how you want the parents to RSVP so you can keep track of numbers, they may not, and that’s common, but they definitely won’t if you don’t include it. I suggest dropping them a message the week before to confirm attendance.
Step 6: Food & Cake
Do you want to hire a caterer or be hands-on and make stuff? Lunch boxes or buffet? Maybe delegate family members to assist on the day, or most supermarkets have platters available. The choice is yours, and the budget can have an impact. Get two large jugs of squash and plenty of cups.
The number one piece of advice for party food is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. The kids don’t care about the fancy condiments, and there’s nothing wrong with a plain cheese sandwich, crisps, and sausage roll.
Ask the parents if their child has any dietary restrictions so you can prepare them for the day.
Worried about waste? Ditch the single-use party ware and hire an eco kit to do your part and reduce your carbon footprint. Find out more on the party kit network.
Step 7: Decorations
The possibilities are endless when it comes to decor. Use a theme to help plan or a simple color scheme.
If you are an insta-mum that wants to wow your guests from the moment they walk in the door, you could go crazy and hire balloon arches and huge decoration displays.
Or if casual is more your style, banners and bunting will do the trick just fine.
The kids don’t remember how pretty the party looks. But, they treasure the experiences and memories they take away, which is why I place entertainment so high on the list.
I like to go the greener route and invest in decorations that you can keep and reuse for years or paper decor that you can recycle when the day is done.
*Pro Tip – Don’t leave the balloons on the floor, the kids will pop them!
Step 8: Party Favours
You can do something as simple as a paper bag filled with sweets for a party favor. Or you could make a party bag where each guest gets to take home an item from the theme. Try to think of things guests enjoy, like crafts or a book.
Don’t go for the obvious plastic tat; they always end up in the bin, are a waste of money, and are terrible for the environment.
I hope you found this information helpful. Let me know in the comments what route you’ve gone down and if there’s anything I might have missed.
I love hearing back from you and finding out what you’ve done at your parties.
See you at a party real soon.