Top Tips for Throwing a Kids Party

Tips for throwing a Kids party

My daughter Arabella turned six last week and I threw a rather large party for her this weekend. Having never done a party this big before (30 kids and all the parents and our family) I thought it would be good to run through my tips (well basically the mistakes I either made this time or have made in the past) an why it is key to avoid them.

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Organising your own kids party is stressful (I’m not going to lie about that) BUT if you do it yourself you will end up with much more for your money, and a much more ‘special’ occasion for your little one.

So here are my top tips:

  1. Organise it early

Send those invites out early and make sure you give a way for parents to RSVP. You need to make it clear on the invite that if they don’t RSVP there won’t be a place at the party for their child. This avoids the numbers being completely out on the day. I sent Arabella’s invites out two months before the party, firstly to make sure that the most important friends were able to be there and secondly to kick start me in to starting to organise things avoiding the panic of last minute ordering and hanging out of the front door waiting for the postman on the morning of the party because he’s bringing the party bags!

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  1. Sandwiches

This year is the first year I actually considered using a caterer to provide the sandwiches, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret here. DO NOT GO NEAR CATERERS.  I was quoted £45 + Delivery for 30 sandwiches (and that’s not fancy fillings, that’s ham, cheese and jam) To make 8 loaves worth of sandwiches it took me two hours on the morning of the party, I bought fresh bread from Aldi that morning that cost me 55p per loaf. Turn up the radio, get your little production line going and do it yourself. Caterers will absolutely rip you off for something that is really quite inexpensive and lets face it easy to do.

My other sandwich tip is making sure you always butter both sides of the bread. I have no idea why I don’t do this naturally anyway (perhaps I’m just lazy) but by habit I only butter the side that the filling is going on. When you are making sandwiches that need to not fall apart on a tray it is key to butter that second side. They will stick together nicely and the bread won’t dry out half as quickly.

  1. Entertainment

You may think some cake and party hats would be enough but from experience I can tell you it’s not. Kids need entertaining (always) so make sure you have some entertainment, i have never used ‘paid’ entertainment in the form of a person but there is always some kind of attraction. We have done, various pets, racing pigs (battery operated don’t worry) disco with a mic so we can play various games with them, a bouncy castle twice and various planned party games at festive parties. The one party there was no entertainment and we had riled parents and bored children so that’s not something I would do again!

  1. Don’t open the presents on the day

You can imagine it now, thirty children all running round, screaming, eating sugar and loud music. That is not a place you want presents to be opened, they won’t be appreciated, cards get lost, nothing gets written down and it’s a free for all with all the other children. I was really strict (much to Arabella’s frustration) that we weren’t going to be opening any of the presents at the party and we would open then a few days later (or consecutive days later as there were so many) with a pad ready for the thank you cards in a calm environment where she actually has half a chance to take in what she had received.

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  1. Attach the cards to the presents if they aren’t already

As a parent that attends a lot of parties this is my pet hate, lots of people don’t attach their card to the present which basically means you have a lot of nameless presents and a lot of separate cards. I stood with a roll or cellotape and every time I spotted a present with a precariously balancing card I taped it down. This means that every present has a person attached to it. I would personally hate someone to think I had forgotten the gift!

  1. Provide something for the parents

In all honesty how much fun are kids parties for parents? Exactly. So they need something to get them through. I wouldn’t recommend gin and tonic, unless you have a huge budget, but making enough food for the parents to be able to eat and providing them with caffeine (either in the form of tea or coffee) makes a huge difference to how bearable a loud kids party is. I know if I’m sat down with a cuppa I can dull out the noise and catch up on social media for a couple of hours.

  1. Make more party bags than you need

We had a little hiccup this year. It’s easy to forget that with the invite for a child it does mean their siblings could also end up coming along. I hadn’t allowed for siblings when I made the party bags so we were two short at the end of the day which brought tears and all sorts of upset. Always make about five extra and you won’t be let down, you can always give any leftovers out at school the next week or save them for friends that weren’t able to come. Believe me it’s a much better alternative to feeling like the worst person in the world when they realise you haven’t got them a party bag.

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  1. Check for allergies

Always worth a check, one of Arabellas school friends has a severe egg allergy. Luckily her parents emailed me and let me know the things she did eat. I made sure all the food was labelled so her parents knew what she was safe to eat. I made her a special egg free sponge cake and labelled it for her. They actually ended up taking the rest of the cake home with them which was so nice. Allergies or not no one wants to be left out at a party.

  1. Shop around for party ware

Being a complete Amazon prime addict my searched naturally started there, once I started to shop around online and in shops I started to realise there were cheaper options I ended up looking all over for the best price. I put a lot in my basket on Ebay, working through a list I had made of what I needed. I then went to the Poundshop and looked at what  could get from there saving on the postage then the rest ordered from various shops on Ebay, the only tip I would give for doing it this way is make sure you allow time for things to arrive, the dates they give you for delivery aren’t always what you get!

  1. Take lots of pictures or get someone else to do it

I had my big photography camera at the party for taking pictures of the kids on the princess castle backdrop but when it came to actual pictures of the party, the parents and the set up, I failed miserably. I got caught chatting to a lot of people and topping up various sandwich plates and to be completely honest didn’t have time to even think about picking up my camera. If I could do it again I would definitely ask a friend or family member to take some photos for me as I have barely any memories to save from this party.

So there you have it, my top ten kids party tips. If you have any others please feel free to leave them below.

Thanks as always for reading!

Georgie x

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Making the Old Useful

I spend my life writing notes in various places and then either losing said bits of paper or forgetting what I have written where. Whether it be ‘Buy Milk’ or ‘Pay Gymnastics Fees’ a lot gets forgotten being so busy.

I found this really simple picture frame in a charity shop bargain box for £1. A lot of charity shops sell picture frames off cheap, or if you want to buy a more specific frame Dunelm and The Range have a great and cheap selection.

I decided that a chalk board would be good for the kitchen to be able to just scribble important things down in the hope I would stop forgetting the most simple tasks.

Here’s how I did it for under £5.

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Take your frame apart and get rid of the glass and the print only keeping the frame and the back board.

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I picked up this black matt paint from my local DIY store for £1 and a brush to use for 79p (Don’t expect to use the brush again because this paint will ruin the brush and you will be throwing it away)

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Paint the back board with the black paint and use whatever colour paint you want to on the frame, I went for my good old Antique White chalk paint again. I did end up doing two coats for solid coverage depending on what colour the original frame was.

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That’s basically it, put the backboard back in to the frame and pinch it all shut. Either you can put a picture mount on the back but I actually screwed in to the back of the door through the back board at the top and the bottom so it wouldn’t move around when i’m using it.

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The Juice Box

If you are a follower of my Instagram channel you will already know I am well and truly on the OCD spectrum. I loathe mess, I loathe disorganisation and truly can’t stand not being able to find things.

In our house we have more technology that a post could even contain (partly due to what I do for a living) but this leaves me with the constant sight of cables charging various electricals everywhere. On top of annoying me immensely these cables get chewed by the puppy, played with by the cat and I’ve also been known to suck a few up the hoover (plugged in I might add) talk about hazards!

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I searched on Ebay and various other sites for some kind of ‘charger organiser’ plenty came up, there were colourful plastic ones, holder ones that held various things up, but nothing shouted out at me ‘i’m great value and I will fit with the country chic theme of your house’. I went on to pinterest and searched various options these ideas all amalgamated in to ‘The Juice Box’ so i moved over to Ebay for my supplies.

The box was just over £11 with a fast and free delivery option: here’s the link

The multi USB charger stand was just under £10: here’s the link

You can use any paint or colour you want, I went for chalk paint in antique white as i’m pretty much obsessed with the stuff, and the writing is optional (if anyone want’s to know how I did that just ask and I can put together another blog or video).

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Here is what the box looks like when it comes, there is an option to have a lid or no lid but wanting to hide it all away I went with a lid.

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Measure out where the power cable needs to feed in and with a wood bit drill out until you have made a whole big enough. I know there are big drill bits that would make a much bigger hole but I wanted to keep this low cost (and realistically when would I use it again).

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Once you have made your hole then it’s time to paint, I painted the whole box inside and out for a nice fresh finish but it’s up to you what you want to paint and the colour.

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Next I added my text (this is totally optional) but like I mentioned earlier if you want to know how I did it just ask). This was sanded to finish hence the dust everywhere.

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Attach the power cable and fix the USB tower in place with  little bit of double sided tape then add as many cables as you plan on using (as you can see for us it was rather a few).

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Done an in place without a cable in sight when the box is closer. It really was so easy. If I haven’t made sense or can give you any more tips please just get in touch or leave a comment!

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Homemade Pom Pom’s

So easy and so effective! I am probably the world biggest pom pom whore, I literally love them. On my clothes, in the house, on the pets (and my child) and now even on the Christmas tree.
I have been known to buy the fluffy pom poms but when I saw a lovely Pintrest post with wool pom poms I decided it was time to learn how to make them. There is always the option of getting a ‘pom pom maker’ which personally for me I think takes away the fun (and will set you back anything up to £10) I can honestly say you really don’t need them this is not a hard craft project at all (unless you are 5 and overtired).
All you need for this craft project is some wool (colour is your choice) some string and a pair of small sharp scissors!
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Cut yourself roughly a 10 inch piece of string and slip it between your middle and ring finger.

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 Start wrapping the wool around all of your fingers keeping the string out of the way.

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 You want to aim to finish with about this much wool on your hand (roughly 60 times round)

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 Next you want to pull the string forwards and start to tie to pull the wool together before you remove it from your hand.

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 Slowly start to pull the wool up your fingers until it is free and then finish the knot.

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 now tie another knot and make sure it is nice and tight so the wool doesn’t slip out.

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Taking your sharp scissors start to run them up either side cutting the wool in the middle, do this as evenly as you an as it will save you time on the next step.

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Once you have done both sides give the pom pom a good shake about using the string to make sure you have cut all of it apart.

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 Then all you are left with is the trimming of any rouge strands to even the finished pom pom out. Tie and trim your string and you’ve got a pom pom ready for the tree

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 If you have any problems jut pop me a message on instagram! @lifeinthecottage
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Thanks for reading

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