Topic: Family Life

To help you plan the perfect party we’ve put together a handy guide with some ideas for everything from themes to party games and food.

1)      Party theme

If your child currently has a favourite TV show, film or activity this might be an obvious one, but kick your party planning off by choosing a theme for the event. It’ll help you decide on all the other elements like decorations, invites and maybe even food.

You’ll probably find your son or daughter is full of ideas about what they want at their birthday party (the problem is most likely going to be reining them in!) but if they’re unsure about their party, here are some popular ideas to get you started:

  • Superheroes  
  • Pirates
  • Princesses
  • Outer Space
  • Dinosaurs
  • Under the Sea
  • Peppa Pig
  • Frozen
  • Minions
  • Toy Story
  • Gruffalo

1)      Invitations

This is your first chance to show guests the theme you’ve chosen – so get them excited for the party by making the invites match your party theme.  On a practical note, it’s best to give your guests at least two weeks’ notice before the event. This leaves plenty of time to RSVP and means guests can save the date in their diary.

2)      Food

Finger food works best for birthday parties but, while there should definitely be treats on offer, you might not want your little guests getting giddy after too much sugar! Be creative with your presentation and you’ll be able to sneak in some healthy options without anyone noticing. Here are a few of our favourite ideas:

  • Hungry caterpillar sandwiches – Use a round biscuit cutter to make sandwiches into circles and line them up in a curly caterpillar shape. Then use a tomato for the face and cucumber segments to look like legs.
  • Fruit stick rockets – skewer a selection of different fruits onto cocktail sticks and top with a triangular shaped strawberry to look like a rocket. These look extra special if you use cocktail sticks with sparkly tassels at the end!
  • Corn on the cob flowers – cook corn on the cob and then slice into thin-ish segments. Spire the segments onto long cocktail sticks and serve stood up in a tumbler or – for the full effect – a clean flower pot, to make your corn look like sunflowers.
  • Yoghurt ice pops - Carefully pierce the top of a fromage frais yoghurt lid (something like petit filous would work well) and insert a lolly-pop stick before placing in the freezer. Once the yoghurts have frozen, remove from the pot and serve your icy treats on sticks.

3)      Decorations & Party Bags

If you ask us, the more decorations the better when it comes to a birthday party! They’ll make the occasion feel really special and bring your party theme to life, but they don’t have to be super expensive.

DIY decorations look great and can be a fun crafty activity for you and your child before their party.  Here are a few quick, easy and brilliant party decorations you can make with your little one.

Alien head balloons for an outer space party – inflate purple and green balloons then draw eye shapes on coloured paper to cut out and stick onto the balloons.

Dinosaur footprints leading to the party – cut big footprints out of green or black paper and lay a trail to the party.

Colourful planets for a space party – cover balloons, balls or round paper lanterns in glitter, tinsel, wire and hoops to dangle from the celling at a space themed party.

Party bags are another great opportunity to get creative with your party planning, everything from mason jars to zip-lock bags can be decorated to create a brilliant party bag. We recommend keeping the contents of each bag identical to avoid any squabbling though!

4)      Games

It’s good to have plenty of activities planned to keep everyone busy and entertained during the party – we’d even recommend going as far as devising a schedule!

Putting a party theme related twist on classic games always works well or arts and crafts are a great way to keep your guests occupied and give them a memento of the day.  Here are a few ideas for inspiration.

Kiss the Frog – this is a princess themed take on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. You’ll find lots of printable templates online for a frog shaped board and lip shaped ‘kisses’.

Shell painting- arts and crafts are always popular with children.  Decorating shells is a great creative activity for an under the sea or a beach themed party.

Pirates Treasure Hunt –No pirate party is complete without a treasure hunt!  Use picture or written clues, depending on the age of your guests, and create a trail that leads to the pirates’ treasure!

Heroes to the rescue! – This is a brilliant idea for a superhero party. Inflate balloons and draw faces on them – happy faces for the good guys and mean faces for the villains –then have your guests burst all the bad guys and gather up the smiley balloons to rescue them.

Whatever themes and activities you choose, your child’s birthday party is sure to be fantastic fun! We’d love to see your party pictures – you can share them with us on Facebook and Twitter.