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Friday, 18 January 2013

Lessons I have learned - How to organise a successful kids party

So both parties are now over and done with.

Lessons I have learned and can put into practice in future:

  1. Lists - make a list of everything you are going to need.
  2. Start planning months ahead of time - that way your not in a mad last minute dash and can buy what you need gradually instead of having to fork out a fortune in 1 go.
  3. Theme - the theme generally define party activities i.e. 'Princess' usually involves make up and nail painting, maybe dressing up or 'Pirate' generally involves dressing up and a modified version of 'pin the tail' with a treasure map
  4. Reconnaissance - eBay, eBay, eBay!  Don't be afraid of eBay, it's not all second hand stuff!  Instead of buying official Monster High party invitations at £4.49 for 6 on Amazon, I found these personalised invitations on eBay at £4.09 for 12! 
  5. Guest list - a good mix of ages helps the party run more smoothly as the younger kids tend to follow the older kids, who tend to follow your direction.  Also, you need to know numbers so you know how much stuff to buy!  
  6. Party bags - think about whether you need to buy official party bags or whether these would suffice once sealed with coordinating stickers and again, eBay, eBay, eBay!  In the past, I have bought super cheap mini colouring books or mini magic painting books, mini colouring books, paint brushes, noise makers, punch ball balloons etc most items are purchased in sets of 6 or 8 - worth remembering when deciding your guest list! Even this year when I decided to make necklaces for all of the girls, while I already had all materials needed, they can all be bought at amazingly low prices in eBay stores!
  7. Accessories - You may want to use accessories to make your theme come to life...I bought a bunch of vampire teeth at Halloween and used them as napkin rings at the parties!
  8. Catering - you could go out and buy stuff to make finger food with, you could buy ready made finger food, but could you make stuff the kids are guaranteed to eat?  And can you do it for less than the price of a Happy Meal?
  9. Cake - Its usually best to match the cake to the theme of the party unless you know there is something specific the birthday girl or boy will enjoy i.e. novelty giant cookie cake (my personal fav!)  Think about whether you could make it yourself or do you know someone who could instead of having to pay a lot of money for a small independent business to make it for you...
  10. Budget - it may seem a little odd to have this at the end, but you need to know how much items are before you can set a reasonable budget.  I made the mistake of setting my budget first which is why I was constantly breaking it - it was not realistic 
While I was constantly blowing my non existant budget, I did find a few ways to save money on a few bits and bobs - of the 7 kids invited to party #1, 3 belonged to my brother and 3 belonged to my cousin  and 1 to my BFF.  I asked the seller for 3 detailed invited and the rest were left blank.  I then wrote my own 'thank you' notes, got Lola to sign her name on them and slipped one into each party bag - so for my £4.09 I got personalised invitations AND thank you notes!!

All in all, I really did enjoy organising these parties and would very much enjoy planning and hosting more parties in the future!!

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