When it comes to children’s parties, I like to keep things relatively simple. You could – and people do – go crazy, when in reality, most children are just happy with having their friends there, a cake (mine are all bought from M&S), music and games. However, there are a few things that can turn an ok party into The Best Party Ever (well, until their next one next year) and please a few aesthetically-minded adults by doing so. In a bid to find out the secret to throwing a corking good shindig, we turned to Camille, founder of A Little Party Box, a fab company specialising in – you guessed it – party organising AND a gorgeous range of themed party boxes full of beautiful bits and bobs such as Birthday bunting, table centrepieces, balloons and food trays. We particularly love the look of their Circus and Pirate boxes and are waiting with eager anticipation to see their new Summer party box, which will be out soon. Camille – party planner extraordinaire – has given us 5 great tips for throwing a children’s party – all affordable, all fun and all very easy to do….
BALLOONS AND CONFETTI
Whatever your theme, the more balloons you have the better! Either floating in the air or moving on the floor, they convey a festive mood in any room. And to pimp up your table, spread some confetti around the plates and cups. Easy.
NUMBER OF GUESTS
Personally I have never invited the whole class to my children’s birthday parties, essentially because I tend to do it at home, so the space is limited, and for under 8 years old I apply the rule of “age plus one”, which means 6 friends for a 5 year-old’s party. Keeping the number low allows you to organise lovely little games or craft activities and you have more quality time to dedicate to each child… and it goes without saying that it’s a lot less stressful experience !
The main difference between a French goitre d’anniversaire and an English one is the food. In France you will find a diversity of colourful sweets at the buffet (a visit to the dentist afterwards is in order) whilst in England the traditional triangle sandwiches/carrot sticks/pack of crisps balance out with the amount of icing sugar that covers the cake. A little advice is to use a cookie cutter to shape the sandwiches, use labels to write the names on the cups, and offer big bowls of salted popcorn instead of crisps – more festive and convivial!
Choose an activity with an item that they can bring home, like decorating a cupcake or personalising a pillowcase if it’s a pyjama party, so this can be part of their party bag.
It does save some energy to hire a professional entertainer, but if you decide not to, a very successful activity is to draw on large white cardboard houses or rockets or pirate ships and then let them colour them and play in them. Temporary tattoos are a good replacement for face painting, they are less messy and easy to apply at the beginning of the party to get kids in the mood!
They are becoming very popular in the UK and I love using them for two main reasons: they can be a great added value for your decor, hanging from a branch or the ceiling, they are very eye catching. They’re also a great activity for children, you can fill them with light toys, little sweets and tissue paper confetti that will fall gracefully on the floor once the pinata has been broken through.