Birthday Party Hacks

Birthday Party Hacks

It's my daughter's 7th birthday party this weekend. We always celebrate with a party for both kids - so this means it will be the 18th birthday party I have hosted! What am I thinking?

I have definitely learnt a thing or two about children's parties and so I thought why not share my tips and some of the fabulous suppliers with you. Here are my 10 top tips for running a great party. I hope they remove some of the stress that comes along with being the party parent.

Tip 1 - Don't make the cake

This may be controversial, however unless you love baking and are particularly good at it, I would suggest you skip making the cake. I've never seen a homemade cake look quite as perfect as the ones done by the professionals plus it takes a lot of time and effort and often additional cost when things don't go to plan.

By using a cake company you are highly likely to get something that is the right size, looks great and is on budget. Plus, if you get it delivered to the party venue it's one less thing to worry about. Find a picture online of a cake that fits your theme (Pinterest is great) and ask the professional if they can make a similar one.

My favourite company to use are Sweet Bites Cakes in Auckland and this is the fifth birthday cake they made for my daughter.

Sweet Bites Cakes

Tip 2 - Helium balloons

I have spent many hours the night before a party inflating helium balloons and then finding them looking a bit sad the next morning. Use a product like HI Float to make them last so much longer and enable you to prep the night before

Tip 3 - Unwrap the presents at home

I used to think this was quite a miserable thing to do but have totally changed my mind. With a bunch of kids trying to open lots of new toys things inevitably get lost, broken and the party child often misses out on playing with their new gifts. Having a present opening session at home when everyone has left extends the birthday party and makes the most of the new toys and gifts. At the party, pop the presents away on a dedicated gift table and let everyone will forget about them.

Tip 4 - Balloon Arches

For non-helium balloons, try making your own balloon arch for a low cost decoration. I promise they aren't as complicated as they look. Buy yourself some balloon tape, attach the balloons and use balloon glue dots or a cold glue gun to add additional ones to fill the gaps. Here's a great guide to show you how.

Balloon Arch

Tip 5 - Be clear on who is invited

As the children get older, they often have a sibling who wants to come along to the party too. If you are restricted on numbers or space, make sure you are clear upfront on the invite to avoid any surprises.

Tip 6 - Skip the party bags and try this instead

I find party bags are such a waste. They tend to be full of plastic toys that the kids don't play with for long and lots of lollies that create a massive sugar high on the car ride home! For a more sustainable and cheaper option, how about bagged take home decorated cookies which are great to eat the next day. You can get them from your cake company (see tip one) or somewhere like Revel in Nosh who is my fave.

Revel in Nosh Cookies

Tip 7 - Consider buying a bouncy castle

This may sound crazy but stay with me here. We bought a bouncy castle for $800 for my son's 1st birthday party. A huge expense at the time. It has been used at just about every party since plus for many of our friends, neighbours and local community groups. We have saved so much by not hiring one and it makes a fun activity on the weekend too.

 Tip 8 - Personalised Lollipops

This is such a unique idea, try out Lollipop Lane  or to order some custom pops to fit with your party theme.

Custom made lollipops

Tip 9 - Combine your party

Find out when the other birthdays are in your child's class or daycare. You can share the load (and the cost) by combining the party with one of their friends.

Tip 10 - Feed the parents

We've all been stuck at a birthday party watching our kids eat fairy bread and starting to feel very hungry ourselves with no appealing food to eat. Grab something simple and delicious for the parents and they will be forever grateful. One children's party we went to had nachos for the parents - so good!

Hope the party planning goes well and good luck!

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1 comment

I loved the idea of the Lollipops. I recently purchased some through an Auckland company which also did personalised lollipops. I only mention this as the lollipops I received had a super high quality photo printed on which I couldn’t get from the company you mentioned

Robyn Clews

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