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Not all birthday parties for your kids can be lavish but each birthday is special and each party should be special.How do we make sure that the child feels same amount of love and efforts at each birthday party?
This is a write up to help organize a simple, homely but special birthday party. (Relevant to age group 3-6 years)
One of the easiest ways to plan a good and hassle free party is to come up with a theme. I use very simple and uncomplicated themes (obviously post discussing it with my 4 year old). I am not suggesting anything complicated like a costume/fancy dress party but a generic theme that would be a part of your decorations and cake.
For e.g. Spiderman, Chota bheem, Winnie the poh or Barbie etc
After you have finalized a theme, it’s time to work on the details of the party only within the theme.
Following is a list of things that are a part of my planning:
There is a lot of variety in terms of invitations available in market. Generally I am a big fan of DIY for kids but there are so many options at good price available in market that I avoid the effort of doing it myself. (They are as cheap as 1 rs per invite and go up-to around 7-8 rs). They are not very expensive and yet give a special feel.
There are a lot of options available on line also like Chhota bheem invites, Pooh invites etc. These can be bought at much lesser price also if you become a member and keep a tab on the online sales which keeps happening through out the year.
Make sure to order atleast 7-10 days in advance.
List of Invitees
Prepare a masterlist of invitees and save it. This list can be used as reference for coming years. (I have illustrated my master list towards the end)
Decorations can be as per the theme selected. So for example if the theme I selected was Chhota bheem, following items will be as per theme:
1. Banners: There are a lot of banners available for birthdays. Some of them that I use are:
· Birthday banner saying Happy b’day (Is available in different themes like Chhota bheem etc) (around Rs 75 for one banner)
· Banners for age: There are number banners that I used for my son’s 4th b’day and was a big hit. (These come with the age number printed on the design, nice and colorful. "Age banners")
You can be more creative and add more banners and wall posters if your budget permits. A lot of options are available like Its a party banner, Party zone banner etc.
2. Ribbons and balloons:
· We use the traditional twist ribbon decoration across the party room. Very cheap and looks very pretty.
· For balloons a lot of options are available like Metallic finish, heart shaped, spotted etc. We use a mix of color that goes with the theme for e.g For a spiderman theme you would ideally want lots of red and black balloons.
· Stick the balloons on the walls but do not forget to throw lots and lots of balloons on the floor for the kids to play and fool around
· Center balloon. Do not forget the center balloon (Big balloon to be placed just above the cake)....fill it with goodies, I avoid filling it with decoration items like thermacol balls etc, instead I use small candies and toffees.
You can get theme candles also and if not than age candles are a lot of fun. (Price between Rs 50-Rs 100)
4. Noise makers:
This is a kid’s party and hence noise pollution is most welcome. There are a lot of options available like whistles and blow horns. Again same are available as per themes also. (Price is around 7-10 Rs per item)
5. Party accessories:
You can buy caps, masks etc matching with your themes like this Chhota bheem mask (Price between Rs 6-10 item)
It depends on the type and quantity of food you are serving at the party. I am an advocate of take away parcels and may graduate to proper party food in few years when my kids are little older but right now take aways work best for me (less mess and headaches)
I would normally serve cake, wafers and a tetra pack of any fruit juice.Below is a list of basic requirement:
· Paper plates
First and foremost be aware of the latest fad of music amongst your kid’s agegroup. And arrange for the same. No better entertainment then some great music, fun dancing and loud cheering from your side.
Beyond this I do not recommend any party games for this age group because I don’t think they have the patience to sit and play games even at parties....just let them be....
Don’t forget to announce the best dancer after the party and handover a special gift (you can be innovative, can come up with a sachet “Best dancer”)
For cake, ideally order one that will go with your theme but themed cakes are more expensive than normal ones (anywhere between Rs 1000-2000 for a two kg cake). If you do not want to spend this much, you can order a normal cake but use a themed candle, with a themed table cover to make it more special.
No party today is complete without return gifts. Some of the good, relevant and inexpensive ideas that I recommend are:
· A goody bag: A gift bag full of small interesting items related to the theme like Spiderman tattoos, stickers, badges, colors, bottles etc (Can customize for girls and boys, can add fashion accessories etc for girls)
· Coloring books
· Story books
· Bubble guns
· Bags etc
If you have different age groups of kids attending the party, then make sure that you buy age appropriate return gifts.
I do not recommend buying return gifts online, there would be a lot of cheaper and better options available at your local vendor.
Other then these, I have been buying products from Firstcry and Babyoye.com (To go with my theme). These keep going on sale on and off. Take the free membership of the sites and you will be regularly updated of the ongoing sales and buy them anytime of the year.
Prepare a master check list:
Prepare a master check list incorporating all the above points. A copy of my check lists for planning and invitations is illustrated below: