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January 2nd, 2013
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Five Steps to Planning the Perfect Party  Planning their birthday party is an exciting time for a child so get them involved in choosing the theme or colour scheme, suggesting activities, and deciding on the food. This simple five step guide will help you throw the perfect children’s party.

  • Step 1 – Set the date  Set the date and get those invites out nice and early. The weekend closest to your child’s birthday is ideal, unless you’re planning a teatime party on the day itself. Consider a Sunday lunchtime as guests are more likely to be available than on a Saturday, and check that any special friends are free before you set the date. Make sure you state a start and finish time on your invitations. Two to three hours is ideal for younger children as they will become tired after that.
  • Step 2 – Find a venue   A party at home can be a great choice if you have space to run around, and younger children love the familiar feeling of a party at home. If you’re inviting more than ten children, consider hiring a village hall or similar venue. Check for hazards at the venue such as a stage that children could fall off, or unguarded heating. Decorate your venue with balloons, paper streamers, or bunting, to make it more welcoming.
  • Step 3 – Keep them busy    Younger children are easily entertained with simple party games such as pass the parcel, musical chairs, or musical statues. They also love to be creative so if you have willing helpers you could decorate cupcakes or even make simple puppets out of wooden spoons.  In a larger venue you could hire a bouncy castle, soft play equipment, or trampolines. Children over the age of five need more entertainment so it might be worth hiring a children’s entertainer such as a magician, a dance teacher, or a mobile disco with a DJ who runs games as well as playing appropriate music. Look out for themed parties where costumed entertainers take the children on an imaginative adventure based on a theme such as princesses or pirates.
  • Step 4 – Serve the food Party food should be served during the second half of the party to provide an energy boost. Simple finger food is a great option, with sandwiches cut into novelty shapes, and fruit jelly served in colourful bowls. Cheesy crisps and mini sausages are always popular, but also include healthier options such cheese and pineapple, grapes, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. The birthday cake is the highlight of the party so light those candles, dim the lights, and sing as loud as you can. Baking a cake with your child can be a fun activity in the days before the party, but it can also take a lot of time and your child really won’t mind if you buy a cake or have one made. Cupcakes are a popular alternative to a traditional cake are easier to serve.
  • Step 5 – Fill the party bags Children love party bags and even if you throw the world’s best party, some will be disappointed to leave without one. The ideal party bag would be one small gift such as a colouring book, key ring, or pack of crayons, along with a couple of fillers including bubbles, balloons, or stickers, and perhaps one sweet treat. In the excitement of party planning it can be easy to get carried away and forget that the main focus of the party should be your child. Keep your plans simple and be guided by the things that they like, such as their favourite games and their favourite food, and you’re sure to throw a party they will love.
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