In around a month my eldest will turn 4 and I need to begin my party planning. Parties are pretty laid back in my neck of the woods – the weather will predictably be hot and sticky and we have lots of space for kids to go wild. But I do need to have some idea what I want to do so that I can shop and so on. I’ve had a look at Planning With Kids 10 Point Birthday Party Plan and here are my current thoughts on each point (apart from a family birthday party strategy – I don’t have one, I’m only giving one party this year).
Theme – a messy party (kids get wet and messy in the backyard)
Guest List and Invitations
I have no invitation ideas as yet, but I will make something on the computer (I’ll try to post it when I do). There are some ideas at Planning With Kids, Chasing Cheerios has some gorgeous handmade invitations using children’s art and se7en has 7 party invitation ideas.
Jelly Shots (see instructions at Planning With Kids, these or ice cups seem to be traditional for parties within my husband’s extended family)
Cake – at this stage I’m thinking that I will make a large cake and ice with white icing. Then, let the kids go with sprinkles and that decorating icing you use to write on cakes. This fits well with the messy party theme.
In addition to the delights of our backyard – trampoline, sandpit and swings – I plan to have …
paddling pool with large (ice-cream container size) coloured ice blocks
ice treasures (idea is from Let’s Explore)
water balloon catch
Decorations – balloons and possibly a Happy Birthday banner. Colour theme for cups, plates and napkins (I imagine it will be blue or green depending on what’s available)
Treat Bags – make Paper Cup buckets from Kids Craft Weekly. I don’t like to fill them with lollies. When I take my children to a party, I don’t mind them eating lots of junk at the party but I want them to stop once they leave. Other possibilities for treat bags include
hot wheels cars
mini containers of play-doh
I think I will find something I can freeze in the ice treasures and then a couple of other small bits.
If it rains, provide more towels!
I’m happy to say, nothing too different because it remains very warm up here even if it rains and rain will add to the mess of our messy party. I would possibly have balloon games on the verandah.
Thank you notes
I have to admit we don’t send notes to people who attend the party. I teach my son to say thank you to the person when he opens the present. For presents that have been mailed, this will be the first year that I have gotten him to help with thank-you’s. I’m thinking of using an idea I saw at Christmas last year (but I’m sorry I don’t know where) to write thank you on a chalkboard and have the child stand next to the board with the present. You then take a photo and mail or email it.