Jelly and ice cream. Pass the parcel. Party bags. Some things haven’t changed since we were little – and nor should they! Whilst the modern world brings a whole array experiences for our little ones that we’d have never dreamed of back then, some things are sacred. Do you remember the excitement you’d feel on a Friday afternoon at school, knowing that the very next day, you’d be surrounded by your friends, perhaps with a bouncy castle, or doing the YMCA in the local Church Hall? And the best bit? You wouldn’t be in uniform so you could show off your new tie-dye jeans from Tammy, bonus! Whilst the days did seem longer back then, they probably still feel like that for your child. So, if their birthday is coming up (and you want to upstage all of the other mummies…) make sure you go to some extra special effort. Before you have a heart attack, unlike so many of the other demands that kids have these days, a perfect party doesn’t have to be a huge blowout that costs a fortune. It’s the little things.
So what are the essentials? Of course, there should be cake. As healthily as you might want your children to be, cake at birthdays is a rite of passage you shouldn’t deny them. Providing they eat right most of the time, your little darling isn’t suddenly going to be obese. A great idea is to pop to the local wholesaler. You can get huuuuuge ones for low costs when you’re catering for loads of people. You’ll want to put on a little buffet, too. Nothing messy – you know how kids are – but some sausage rolls, perhaps some chicken nuggets, and a selection of sandwiches (not forgetting the veggies out there!) should go down a treat.
Next, you’ll need to think about what the kids actually want to do at the event. There’s no need to spoil them Super Sweet Sixteen style (they’re children, for goodness sake), but you need to think. There’ll be music, dancing, fun and games – clearly. But do you want entertainment? Would a clown go down well, or would they be terrified? How about a children’s band, or maybe a bouncy castle for summer birthdays? Perhaps a magician would work, someone like Oliver B who can be enjoyed by the adult chaperones, too?
Of course, you’ll need to get a venue sorted. Can your home handle an onslaught of mini warriors battling through it, or would you prefer to rent a local hall? Once you’re actually in there, some décor definitely wouldn’t go amiss, particularly if the place you’ve chosen looks it hasn’t seen better days since when you were little. Get your creative hat on (and buy some party hats, while you’re at it!), and have a think about how to make the place look great. Some big balloons would be fab, which you can pick up from Chuckle Monster, and you can also get some great sparkly banners, bunting, normal balloons, confetti and so on and so forth at your local craft shop or even Ebay, for super-bargains.
Finally, there’s the party bag. Think of this as a badge of honour, rather than having to begrudgingly give the whole class a present (even little Tamara, who’s always sort of wound you up). Literally all you need to pop in here is a piece of cake, some sweeties (which you can buy in bulk) and some cool stickers, bubbles, or figurines or something, whatever you can find. Party Pieces can give you some ideas if you’re stuck.
Did someone say superstar mummy? Well, you know. I don’t mean to brag but… all in a day’s work!