We do a lot of things for our children that we , perhaps, are not a thousand per cent keen on or sure about. But we do it because they love it, and we in turn, love to see them happy. One of these things is throwing them a birthday party.
Now, if you follow us on Instagram you would have seen we threw a first party for our youngest. At home. In October, with a potential storm setting in. The party was partly thrown, of course, as an excuse to drink loads of Prosecco on a Sunday and see our mates. Any excuse for a party in our house. And being one is a pretty big deal and it is only right we throw a shin dig. The bouncy castle was booked (with a get out if it was chucking it down), the balloons were ordered and the date was set.
Here’s the birthday in numbers, 25 kids invited, 6 years being the eldest. 62 Adults Invited. 5 tiers of cake and 1 tassel bunting. 24 packets of crisps, 20 packets of raisins, 20 fruit shoots, 6 bottles of Prosecco, 24 beers, 5 XL Pizzas being delivered and 1 Gazebo erected. 20 little chairs, 5 little tables, 20 food boxes, 20 cheese sandwiches and 20 ham sandwiches, 15 letter balloons, 2 posters of photographs, 20 cupcakes with Xanders face on and 1 Mum and 1 Dad, with zero pounds left.
A top tip for throwing a kids party is to get rid of the kids. Not forever. Just while you are setting up. We took the boys to Nanny and Granddad’s the morning of the party- with strict instructions to make sure they both nap, thus hopefully avoiding potential meltdowns during the festivities. Can you imagine taking delivery of a bouncy castle with two toddlers in the vicinity? And trying to lay out cake, cupcakes, sandwiches and treats also with toddlers in vicinity. No thank you. The birthday boy arrived after it was all set up and his face was a treat. Mum forward slash party planner was happy.
Another struggle with a kids party is siblings whose birthday it ISNT. This can be tough for a two year old to understand. So we told Eden it was his party as well, and it basically was and gave him jobs to do so he felt involved. One of these was to give a sticker to everyone saying ‘Thanks for coming to my party Love Xander”- he felt included and important that way. Phew. We bought these from eBay for the total sum of £3.50. EBay was our biggest friend in party planning. We bought the food boxes from there and each child had their own little lunch inside. It felt easier to do a lunch box each rather than a buffet and they went down well with the children to open and see what was inside. They were under £10 to buy 20 and you can get them in all different colours to suit your theme. The boys are having them at every party from now on. Call it my party signature.
Another tip would be to delegate. We are great at this. Don’t take the whole party on yourself; it will just lead to stressing you out. Look at your team (family in our case) and assess who was best at what and delegate jobs accordingly. Mum on the sandwiches, mother in law on the cup-cakes. What is that saying about it taking a village to raise kids? Never has this been more true when throwing a kids party.
Luckily we have a house and garden, just about big enough to accommodate this amount of people. Although, Eden’s party in January will definitely be held in a local hall. But we do not have enough tables and chairs so we found a company on Instagram called What About the Kids (here) who hire kids’ party furniture etc. to the local area for weddings and parties. They were an absolute dream. Delivering the furniture the morning of the party and collecting after. We actually found them after they provided the furniture for events that we have attended through Instagram. If you are in our area we would highly recommend using them for your child’s party or even your wedding. They can provide dressing up items, scooters, the tables and chairs, tepees and much more. There was a lovely moment when all the children were sitting round the table eating their lunch boxes and chatting away. It was miraculous. And if we hadn’t had them it would have basically been a party for us adults who bought their kids along. It gave them their own space and made the party.
If you follow us on Instagram you have probably seen the cake we had. 5 tiers of fresh cream and jam, covered in fresh fruit in a ‘naked style’. Sounds expensive don’t it? But it wasn’t. It was from Morrison’s bakery and they have them in stock all the time. It was 2 that we put on top of each other. The bottom two tiers were £4 and the top three tiers were £7. Our local Morrisons were so helpful and even said if there wasn’t one on the shelf the day before when we went in- they would make us one there and then. If that isn’t service for £11 we don’t know what is. It would have cost more than that to buy the ingredients and bake it ourselves and it wouldn’t have turned out half as good knowing our skills. We bought blueberries, strawberries and raspberries to cover it in as Xander loves fruit and it went down a storm. We would advise talking to all local businesses, big and small when planning a party as you never know who can help. We even got a deal with Papa Johns to provide the pizza for the adults and a last minute rain cancellation policy with the bouncy castle company so we wouldn’t lose our deposit if we had to cancel it due to torrential rain. The cake was finished perfectly by a personalised cake topper from Aria Lily Designs (here) it was blue and sparkly and easily went in the top of the cake. It simply said “Xander is one” and gave a personal touch to our inexpensive cake. Do have a look at them for all your cake topper needs. It was easy and effective and they have great customer service.
Finally, we collaborated with the people at Cheerz (here) to print some photos to display at the party. We created a poster of all the best photos from Xanders first year and our guests enjoyed looking back at how he has changed and grown. If you download the Cheerz app from the App Store it is the simplest way to print photographs and make photo products. You can create the products straight from your camera roll on your phone or you can link up with Instagram to use photos directly from there. We also made him a photo book with every picture from his first year as keep sake. Our pictures tend to stay on our phones these days and Cheerz is the perfect way to bring them to life and treasure them. Their service was impeccable and the products were delivered to our door within a matter of days. Lovely quality and another personal touch to the party.
The afternoon went better than we could have hoped for. We had no rain. We had happy children. We had drunk guests (no names mentioned). We had an extremely happy one year old who felt he was the bees knees with the older children at the party table. It was chaos, as most things are as a parent, our walls need repainting and it took 4 days to clean up but it was worth every second and we will do it all again soon. When we have got some more work and money.
Huge thanks to:
If anyone wishes to collaborate with us for Eden’s Party in January (he will be 3) please get in contact via the contact page or on Instagram @mumofmadlads @dadofmadlads