BIRTHDAY PARTY IDEAS
Surprise! This is your invitation to throwing the best birthday party ever. Whether you're hosting the whole class, or celebrating baby's first year, we've wrapped up some ideas and advice to make party planning a piece of cake.
First things first: Decide on how many guests, whether you're hosting at home or a venue, and choose a great theme. Pick up a party pack, so you can organise plates, cups, party bags and fun decorations all in one go.Shop all party packs
PARTY INVITE CHECKLIST
- Your child's name and age
- Date of party
- Start and finish time
- Address (home/venue) and map
- Telephone number
- Theme/dress code
- Whether you would like parents to stay
- Date for RSVP, with any allergies or dietary requirements.
- And a fun design! Think treasure map for a pirate party, or start off a Star Wars invite with "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."
HINTS AND TIPS
- Send invites 3-4 weeks before the party with an RSVP date of 1-2 weeks out, giving you plenty of time to prepare.
- If you're using a public venue, either invite parents to help out, or let them know how many adults there'll be per child.
- Inviting the whole class might not be an option - post or email invitations to avoid making anyone feel left out.
- It's always a good idea to cater for an extra one or two, just in case some kids turn up who've forgotten to say they're coming.
- Be sure to get the mobile number of any parents who are leaving their kids with you.
FUN AND GAMES
Plan plenty of games and activities to help the party go with a swing. Throw in a few old favourites, like musical statues, to get them burning off energy. Sleeping lions is a great choice for when you want things to quiet down.
Traditional games can be adapted to fit a party theme, like pin the patch on the pirate or pin the crown on the princess.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Bring out their creative side. Finger painting is a classic activity for little ones, older kids can design their own jewellery or make slime. Pack their creations in party bags to take home.
View craft ideas
Host an "Olympics" for sports-crazy kids, with ball games, a tug of war and an obstacle course. Hold a Mad Hatter tea party (finish with a game of croquet), or have an all-out Nerf war.
Shop outdoor toys & games
Dress-up is great for themed parties. Invite kids to dress up as their favourite superhero, TV show character or fairy tale character.
Shop kids fancy dress
SLEEPOVER SURVIVAL GUIDE
- Keep the number of guests small.
- Ask them to pack their favourite teddy and if needed, sleeping bag and pillows.
- Plan ahead the time for lights out, time to quiet down, and time to really go to sleep.
- Be prepared for a child to get upset in the night and want to go home. Hopefully, you can get them back to sleep, but arrange with parents before in case a late night pick up is needed.
BABY'S FIRST BIRTHDAY
- Keep it brief. Tots have short attention spans and will tire easily with all the excitement.
- Invite guests your baby knows well - close family and friends with babies the same age.
- Keep food simple. Snacks that tots can grab with their fingers will keep them happily occupied.
- No need for organised activities. Spread out some toys on the floor where little ones can play safely alongside each other.
- Extra adults can assist with games and activities, keep an eye on little guests and help with any spillages or other little accidents.
- A simple finger-food buffet for adults makes life easy on the day, with a glass of wine or cup of tea.
PIECE OF CAKE
It's the moment everyone's been waiting for. If you're looking to really wow, why not have a go at making the birthday cake yourself? Grab a tin, browse kitchen gadgets and get sound advice at the Go Get Baking page. Just add candles, wishes and some off-key singing.View go get baking