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Every child loves the excitement of a party, but we know the organising and clearing up afterwards can be something of a headache for the parents! We have come up with some tips to save you time, money and hassle.
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If you are looking for some simple ways to put on a memorable party, here are a few ideas.
Themed parties are always popular and make it easier to plan. Encourage a couple of adults to dress appropriately, and hopefully the kids too (Cambridge has various party shops if you need costumes), decorate the venue and theme the party games. A themed birthday cake is also easy to create.
For older kids & teens
Make sure your piñata is suspended securely so that it will withstand the thumping it will get, and that the other children are kept well out of range of the child flailing the stick. I have a vivid childhood memory of a disoriented blindfold classmate swinging a large stick backwards over their head and striking another child square on the nose. As you can imagine, the nose was not happy.
In terms of filling, any wrapped sweet is great, but if you want to reduce the sugar levels, you could try mixing in some small toys – novelty rubbers are great, small pads, pens, slinkys etc. All the supermarkets now have a great selection of party favour size toys which are perfect for a Piñata.
Old fashioned party games are still very popular and can help you structure the party without having to spend an age planning. We have a list here if you need some ideas.
We will whisper it, but Poundland have some great bargains when it comes to kids parties. Stock up on paper plates, tablecloths, napkins, plastic cups, party bags, invites, decorations and all manner of other goodies. B&M is also a great spot to go bargain hunting.
Rather than an expensive outing or venue hire, how about hiring your local church / village hall. This is often inexpensive, and while you will have to set the hall out as you want it and clear up afterwards, it is much easier than having a house full of excited kids. You will also have oodles of space for games etc which is great, especially in the winter when there is little chance of going outside.
Lots of kids like to have a specific cake for their party. These can be very expensive to have made and if the idea of baking makes your heart sink, buy a plain iced cake from the supermarket and decorate it yourself. All the supermarkets do fairly simple large chocolate and plain sponge cakes and you can buy a huge range of cake decorating items, thanks to the popularity of the Great British Bake Off. Alternatively decorating a load of fairy cakes can look really effective and can sometimes seem more manageable. You could even have the children decorate their own cakes but make sure you have some for the obligatory ‘blowing out’ of the birthday candles. You can find simple ideas for cakes on our Pinterest page
In terms of party food, the old favourites like mini sausages, sausage rolls, crisps, jelly & ice cream always seem to disappear the fastest. If you are looking for cheap and cheerful, Asda is hard to beat. If you are looking for good quality, we think M&S has the best range.