Top Party Tips by Lorna Shields
If you're planning a big party - then get the venue and activity booked as soon as possible - 6 months in advance is not unheard of and it means that you have absolute choice. Leave it to the last minute and venue could be a problem, or you might not get the entertainment of your choice. I know it's easier said than done but try be organised - in the end it’ll be a lot less stressful!
Don't try and be all things to all people - be organised with the food and the party bags and book someone to entertain the children and then be present. Be there for your child and their friends. It is honestly possible to enjoy your child's birthday party. If the food is ready, and the party bags good to go then you can sit back and watch your little one enjoy their special day. Yes, if you like offer tea and coffee to parents during food - it's not expected but always appreciated.
Party bags There's no doubt the little people love and expect these. At my daughters last party I bought a pack of 20 books for £10 - and the kids all got a book and a piece of birthday cake - they were happy children. www.littlecherry.co.uk has lots of alternative party bag gifts that don't cost the earth.
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to. The perfectly planned day (my top tips followed!) this is going to be the most wonderful day ever for your child… But there is quite a high chance your child will at some juncture burst into tears, have a tantrum, sulk at their party - and possibly all 3 - it really does sometimes all get too much for them - they're only little.
Be Frugal When it comes to food, don't over do it. 4/5 food items per child is masses. Buffet style works quite well, or you could make up little food boxes with names on them, then anything that they don't eat can go home with them. Ideas - Satsuma, small apple, small banana, sultanas, few strawberries/grapes, snack bar, oatcakes, cube of cheese, popcorn. I personally wouldn't bother with sandwiches.
Ok, this one’s controversial but give it a shot - ban birthday presents. You'll be surprised how easy it is, a gentle message on the birthday invite saying 'no presents please’. If you wish you can list your favourite charity as an option. Your child won't mind - explain that they'll get plenty of other presents from family and friends and their party is about getting all their friends together for some fun. You'll also be a very popular parent as you've just given 25 other parents one less thing to worry about!
Bring in the clowns Well maybe not just clowns, but book entertainment you know your little one is going to love. If your child can't sit still for more than 5 minutes then entertainment that involves sitting and listening might not be for them, something more active might be better - do your research, ask questions. It is possible to do it yourself but a lot more relaxing to outsource. You've got enough to do!
Beano the Clown Magic, Balloons, Songs & Games -5s & +5s, 1hr & 2 hr,
Tel: 07948-070 569 Web: Beano.theclown.free.fr
14 FAMILIES EDINBURGH Issue 100
Lorna Shields, mother of 4 and Partner in Award winning Storytelling company