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The ultimate guide to throwing your child’s next birthday party

This is the only guide you need to read to throw your little one an unforgettable (and Instagram worthy) birthday party.

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1. The three W’s

Where

Your place – if you’re happy to have your house left a little worse for wear for the good of an awesome party, host it at yours. This means you can go extra wild with the decorations, and if you invite the kid’s parents to come along, you can share glass of champagne or two!

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Park/outdoors – if you’d rather not invite the masses  (or the messes) to your house, a local park is always a great idea. Some things to consider:

  • You’ll need to check the weather (hint – having an outdoor party in the middle of winter is a bit too risky)
  • Book the space (if required)
  • Make sure there will be enough adults to supervise if the park is near open water or busy roads

Play centre – hiring a play centre is the next step up from the park. No cleaning, no need to arrange entertainment and more often then not – you can leave the catering up to them. This is always a good option for time-poor parents, and is guaranteed fun for your kids. This option of course can be more costly (if you’re paying for each guest’s entry), and can also limit your guest list, decoration efforts and food choices. But you can always shop around to find somewhere which caters best for you.

When

Pick a date and a time. This will depend on the age of your child, and the children you’re inviting. Here’s a quick guide to setting the length/time of your party, based on age groups:

  • Toddlers (1 – 3 year olds) – nap time is still a consideration for this age group, so keep your party on the shorter side to avoid tantrums, or worse, an unplanned snooze-fest. Think 1 – 1.5 hours. Mid morning, 10am – 11am always works well.
  • 4 -7 year olds – although a few years older, still stick to 1-2 hours, stick to mid-morning or early afternoon time slots.
  • 8 – 11 year olds – by the age, most children can stay entertained and enjoy themselves for up to 2 hours
  • 12 onwards – by 12 kids can usually entertain themselves to an extent and are comfortable being away from their parents for 2 hours plus.

Who

  • Is this going to be a big bash or more of a cozy celebration? This will depend on your location (space limitations), whether your child enjoys bigger or smaller gatherings, and your budget
  • Sit down with your little one, and let them help you put together a list of friends
  • With younger children’s parties, parents sometimes expect to be able to bring siblings along. If this doesn’t work for you, make sure you make it clear it’s invite only

2. Choose a theme

Choosing the right theme for the party is very important – and fun! It instantly brings the party to life, and helps guide the food, games and decorations. Here are some fun ideas for parties!

Bugs

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Recreate these costumes: Praying mantis, Ladybug and Spider.

Under the sea

This theme works for all ages and really lets you run wild with the decorations! Sea more ideas here (see what I did there?).

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Glow in the dark disco

One for the older kids. Think glow sticks, glow in the dark paint and fairy lights. Check out more bright ideas here.

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Want more theme ideas?  Here is 17 more from BuzzFeed.

Invites – paper or digital?

If you were planning to send the invites home from school – maybe think again. We all know any sort of important paperwork (think excursion note, report, etc) may end up at the bottom of a school bag covered in yoghurt. Going digital also means you can invite your kid’s friends discreetly if you’re having a smaller party.

There are lots of options for e-vites, some which even have rsvp functions. We love Paperless Post.

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Check out more invites here.

4. Entertainment

Want a form of entertainment that ties together your theme, is tons of fun and creates some great party photos? Look no further – get yourself a face painter.

We might be bias, but if you’re in Adelaide book Sophie’s Facepainting.

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Her work speaks for itself!

CanYa makes hiring Sophie simple:

  1. You search for her in the “artist” category (or skip the hassle and use this link)
  2. You ask for a quote by including a description of the work and some pictures
  3. You chat (message and calling) in-app
  4. Once the job is done you pay with the tap of a button
  5. Review each other to keep the CanYa Community honest!

5. Let them eat cake!

I’ll just leave these here….

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