As a parent it can be hard not to get caught up in the competitive madness which often seems to surround children’s birthday parties. Newspapers love to print stories about children getting stretch limos, dinner at a top restaurant for the whole class or performances by their favourite pop group at their birthday party. The best way to deal with all of this is to be innovative and come up with an idea for a party which is completely different from what anyone has done before, so comparisons cannot be drawn.
As children get older, they are more likely to want to go to the cinema, theatre or for a day at a theme park with their friends than to play musical statues or pass the parcel. Spend some time looking for unusual activities which your child and their friends are unlikely to have tried before; avoid the obvious like pizza or nail painting and opt for something like a pottery painting session, climbing wall, behind the scenes museum visit or a fancy afternoon tea at a local café. Many smaller, independent venues are happy to work with you to create your perfect party, even if they do not offer party packages. There is no harm in asking what deal they can do.
Sports and Activities
In general, children love taking part in sports especially if they are not overtly competitive. Opt for a day out at the local stables for your child and their friends where they will be shown how to look after the horses before going for a trek. All equipment, from helmets to kids riding jackets, will be included. Or why not hire out a five a side football court for the afternoon and let them have a mini world cup tournament, complete with national flags and trophies for the winners? You could even theme the food on an international theme, with chilli con carne or pizza. The only limit is your imagination.
You don’t have to have a party away from home to get a theme going. There are a huge number of websites with ideas of how to create different themes in your home. For example, blue and green paper can be cut into strips and hung from the ceiling to create an under the sea theme, or lots of silver foil, fairy lights and pink balloons can transform a room into a fairy grotto. Beg, borrow and steal items from friends and family – most people are delighted to help.
Nappy Parties are all about having fun with your babies. The idea is that Mum’s and Dads get together with their nippers and allow these little ones to interact. This allows babies to have fun and also has the added advantage of developing social skills from an early age.
Nappy parties can be fun for parents as well, as this gives everyone a chance to talk whilst looking after their babies, although the thought of many little ones in a room running round in their re-useable nappies is too much for some, even the most loving of parents!
Party bags aren’t a necessity, but it is nice to give the guests something to take home with them. Theme your cake and party bag according to the theme of your party, so for a horsey party make your cake in the shape of a kids riding jacket or saddle, or for a mermaid party make starfish shaped cookies to take home. Kids never play with party bag toys so don’t waste money and just pack the bags with balloons and small chocolate bars.
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Morag P is a mother who writes for many different blogs and websites on subjects ranging from family issues to travel. Morag Peers has a Google+ page if you wish to find out more…