Parent party planning, how not to do it, plus some things I actually learned, tips, tricks and ideas for the future.
There are certain moments in your life that you realise you are out of your depth. This is one of them.
Unfortunately I am not an event planner, otherwise, this post would be irrelevant but I thought I had a handle on the requirements of a children’s party.
Nope. There is a reason why party planning has an entire event niche of its own.
My son turned 6 on Wednesday and it was his first birthday party with his friends, honestly his first party ever. I turned into a parent party planner and it was HARD.
Things You Should Know Before Throwing Your First Kids Party
- Set a Budget
- Party Bags Are Costly
- Remember Food
- Kids Need To Sit
- Invitations Don’t Always Make It Home
- You Will Worry
- Pre-Order Cake
Set a Budget
THE mistake we made. I wish I could write a post on how to party on a budget but we just bought stuff willy-nilly and ended up spending a lot more than I like. If I had sat down and pre-planned, I could have saved a fortune.
Party Bags Are Costly
We’ve been suckered into the party bag. We wish that we hadn’t, when you scale up a bag that’s a few pounds to 30 people, it gets expensive very quickly but also they look a bit sad with not a lot in them so you feel like you should get more. Next year I think we will opt for the new trendy party bag alternatives including:
Party Bag Alternatives
- Coloring Books
- Plain T-shirt and Fabric Pen
- Notepad and Pencils
- Balloon Animals
- Sweet Bags
- Mini Lego Packs
We made the mistake of choosing a venue and forgetting that they don’t provide food. It was a mad rush a few days before to pull something together and an emergency food delivery to the house. Some of the options we included were:
- Fresh fruit; strawberries, grapes, apples, oranges
- Veggies; cucumber, carrots
- Cupcakes; who doesn’t love those?
- Classics; party rings, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages
Kids Need To Sit
Literally two days before the party we remembered to ask if our venue supplied table and chairs. The answer was yes we have 20 (we had 30 guests) but luckily they were accommodating and had spares. But you’ll need to remember to order, request or organise seating, don’t just assume it’s provided. Disaster averted.
Invitations Don’t Always Make It Home
If you haven’t heard back from parents, send them a message. Chances are the invitations never made them home from the book bags or pockets! Don’t panic and wait for them, they probably have no idea.
You Will Worry
I am still anxious about it now! So many things run through your head; will the kids have fun? Will the parents be comfortable? What if there are any dramas between the kids? What do I do if there’s a problem? HAve I forgotten something?
The one thing that we really wanted was a special cake and this is something you have to pre-order in advance. My only good and prepared deed as a parent party planner was to order the cake way ahead of time! A cake that served 40 and some went home with the kids!
We had real trouble coming up with ideas so here is our list of options that you can check through!
Ideas For A 6th Birthday Party
- Hall Hire Party
- Laser Quest
- Swimming Party (consider at this age whether it’s suitable for all the kids who may be younger or unable to swim.)
- Air Hop (trampolining)
- Science Party
- Character Party – e.g. princess, storybook or movie character
- Retro Disco
- Glow in the Dark Party
- Back Garden Camping/Glamping
- Paint Splatter – This is a local studio that has a room where you essentially let the kids loose with paint, overalls, and canvases. Kids get to take home their creations.
- Group Cinema
- Themed Parties – We chose Star Wars but it could be Disney, their favourite film, sport, activity or really anything.
- Outdoor Activities – A led party that usually has treasure hunts, outdoor activities
- Bouncy Castle/Soft Play
- Magic Shows
- Reptile Adventures