Here come the ideas.
As quickly as our children grow their ambitions and ideas for their parties grows even faster. This is an insight earned from having two children of my own. Their sense of what a party can be grows with every party they attend and is fueled further by their own growing interests and imagination. These are ideas that are unfettered by all those practical considerations we have to worry about such as cost, time or the amount of work involved. So how do we make them the party of their dreams without it becoming a nightmare for us?
Start early. I start by talking to my children roughly two months before their birthdays. Is this because I’m super organised? Nope, far from it. Their ‘little’ ideas will keep changing. I need those months to make sure those changes work for me. It gives me time to help shape their big ideas into something more manageable without popping their bubble. I want a simple life, thanks.
It’s important to manage expectations, to quote the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want”. As parents we can all agree that money trees don’t grow in our gardens; there’s only the plastic wishing well. With two children there is no way we can afford to give them each lavish parties every year so we don’t. What works for our family is to allow the big party ideas every other year. It doesn’t mean one of our children will miss out on a birthday party, it just means we tame it all down, keep it simple and probably book the soft play venue.
Lisa Balderson from Cambridgeshire shares with us her idea for a themed party. The idea was based around that mad and fun book ‘Alice and Wonderland’. Plenty of scope to really get creative without breaking the bank. Lisa was able to keep costs down by making the cake, and doing the catering. By making the decorations, Lisa managed to keep within her budget. Decorations play such a key part at a children’s party, and thank goodness for googling. A very clever idea was to use fake grass to cover the tables, along with teapot templates. Little signs covered the food in a very ‘Alice in Wonderland’ way. To set the atmosphere even before the children entered the venue was a fun sign. Such a simple but fun idea! Thanks for sharing with us Lisa!