Big parties for little bucks
KIDS love to party. Children's birthday parties are all about fun, laughter, excitement and creating lasting memories but parents don't need to spend a fortune on throwing the ultimate birthday bash.
Ezy Parties owner Michelle Eckles said there were simple ways to ease the cost and stress of planning a kids party.
The first tip she gave was to set a limit on the number of guests invited to the party.
“I don't feel that is it necessary to invite the whole class to a kids party,” Ms Eckles said.
“If your child goes to daycare/school and you don't know who to invite or they are too young to tell you, ask their carer/teacher who they play with the most and then give them the invitations to put in the kids bags so the other kids don't feel left out.”
Another tip she gave was to choose a theme and then get organised with a plan, checklist and timeline.
She said choosing a theme helped to streamline the planning process and cut back on any possible unnecessary expenses.
“I am blown away by some of the theming I have seen at kids parties which really create that wow factor and bring looks of delight and awe on kids faces as they arrive,” she said.
To save money on food costs hold the party after lunch.
“Having your party after lunch/mid afternoon means you don't need to provide substantial lunch type food,” she said. “One of my favourite things to do are individual picnic boxes – the kids love them and they are quick and easy.
“They don't need to have hot food, you can make the items yourself or buy them in bulk, e.g. fairy bread sandwich, wrap or roll, mini muffin or cupcake, mini quiche, pack of chips, mixed lollies and a juice. Then for the adults just make or order a cheese/antipasto platter.”
Ms Eckles said party entertainment was an area many parents were most concerned about.
“Most kids under the age of four to five are really just happy playing together with whatever toys the birthday child has and because birthday parties are a relatively new experience for a lot of kids this age, they are like a play date with all their friends, which is exciting in itself,” she said.
“So paid entertainment for the little ones is usually not necessary and if you are having entertainment, choose just one thing because having a combination of things like a face painter, jumping castle, clown, etcetera, can just be overwhelming for them and it makes it a lot harder for the entertainer to engage the kids with so many other distractions.”
Kids parties may seem like hard work but Ms Eckles said it was refreshing seeing the joy created.
“Having a child say it was the best day ever or best party they have ever had or been too is the icing on cake, pardon the pun,” she said.
If you don't work weekends and it's practical, hold the party on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday, to give you the morning or day before to prepare.
If you plan to hire an entertainer or party host, organise and book this first as their availability may affect the timing of your party.
Determine the maximum number of guests to attend the party. Order/buy your invitations and party supplies such as tableware, decorations, loot bags in the weeks before the party.
Send out your invitations 3-4 weeks prior and put RSVP details in big bold capital letters. If your party is 1-2 weeks after school holidays send them out before the holidays and try to avoid holding the party on a long weekend.
If you choose not to make the cake order it 2-3 weeks in advance. Make a list of the party food you are going to make/order and a list of what you need to buy and shop for it a week before the party.
Do up your party bags and any games a few days beforehand so they are out the way. Then on the day of the party you should only have to setup any decorations, tableware and the food.
Most importantly, delegate someone to take photos, and if you can afford it, hire a cleaner to clean up afterwards.
For more information visit www.ezykidsparties.com.au.