It is JJ’s birthday next week, he will be a big 7! We are taking him out Sunday and then he will be at school on his actual birthday but we will still celebrate! Here are my 10 simple rules for enjoying your child’s birthday party and not turning this once a year event into a major stress or pocket buster!
1. Do not get drawn into the politics or one upmanship that seems to be the norm at some schools. Just because Peter had a 6ft hand carved pirate ship cake does not mean your child needs one too. Be confident to do your own thing.
2. Just invite the children you want to invite, not the ones whose parents you want to please! At the end of the day your child will know who they play with and this should be the most important thing.
3. Set a limit on the number of children you will invite and stick to it, there will always be that ‘just one more person will not do any harm!’
4. Do not have the party at home. I have only done this once and it was supposed to be the most stress free year. It was not – kids did not want to play the games, they trashed my boy’s bedroom and I had to clear it all up afterwards!
5. On that note, use disposable table wear. Yes I know it costs more but the time you save in clear up is well worth it in my mind and the kids love the novelty table wear. Keep your eye on ebay or your local supermarkets for good deals – buy in advance. You can always put the paper in for recycling.
6. Also, watch out for value/ reduced party bag gifts throughout the year and buy when things are cheap. Or give bigger gifts instead that are on special offer. For my girl’s birthday this year I gave plasticine sets to the kids who came to their party, they were in the sale for £2.49 down from £10.00. A much longer lived gift than a party bag of tat! For JJ’s birthday next week the boys are getting a Ben 10 stationary set which I got for £1.49 in a supermarket clearance sale.
7. If you are providing the food, offer what you want to offer. I know a load of Mums that make up a really healthy buffet and the kids do not touch it. Yes, offer some carrot and cucumber sticks and some grapes and strawberries, things we know that kids like. But ultimately it is a party and just one day, the kids are there to enjoy themselves, so loosen up a little.
8. Alternatively make life even easier for yourself and order pizza online. Most kids love pizza and places like Domino’s offer wedges and chicken now too so you can get some variety. We will definitely be ordering pizza to arrive just after we get home from work on the actual day of JJ’s birthday. This is a treat for him and a lifeline for me, a busy working mum. Plus have you seen some of the good deals they do? You know me a sucker for a bargain!
9. JJ’s birthday party this year is a trip to the cinema with 6 little friends. We are going to a Sunday morning £1.00 showing. Ever thought of doing that? What great value for a 7 year olds birthday, then a walk across to McDonalds afterwards for lunch and a candle in his McFlurry and we are set! A small party does not need to cost the earth but your child will enjoy it. Last year we took JJ and his friends to soft play after school using a buy one get one half price entry voucher and afterwards a 50% off food meal voucher. There is always a deal out there you just have to find it.
10. Lastly, make sure you have enough adults with you so you can relax and enjoy. Watch the delight on your little ones face and savor that special time. There are plenty of other days in the year for you to get stressed out…
Here is the birthday boy JJ himself. To say he is getting excited already is an understatement. Roll on Sunday……