Tracey Taylor, busy Mum and founder of the very popular Ride On Time, shares her top tips for the daunting task of organising your first children’s party.
They say some of the most stressful events in your life are planning your wedding and moving house, however, there is another event that could be added to that list.
Planning your first ever children’s birthday party!
We work with lots of nervous parents who are organising a child’s party for the first time. We often hear ‘ I’ve never done this before, how does it work?’ and we do try to offer advice and answer questions based on our experience over the past 2 years delivering to parties.
How to Throw A Children’s Birthday Party
So for all you first time party hosts these are the questions that are the most common:
How long should the party be?
We’ve found 2 hours is plenty of time for a party for the under 5’s. An hour of play/entertainment followed by food and cake and a bit more play usually works beautifully.
How does it work with booking a venue?
If you are booking a hall, book way ahead as finding an available venue can be tricky. They get very booked up in advance. You need to book enough time either side of your party to set up and pack away. If your party is 2 hours long, hire for three hours to allow tidy up and set up times. Some halls are very strict about timings others are very relaxed so make sure you know how it will work and who will open up for you. https://www.hallshire.com/
Where can I get some ideas & inspiration from?
If you are looking for any source of inspiration for a theme, a cake, food ideas, decorations or games, Pinterest is amazing! It’s a fantastic source of ideas for children’s parties and does become a little bit addictive!
When should I send the invitations out?
Send invitations out about 4-6 weeks before with an RSVP date so people know when they need to reply by. That way you know numbers. You don’t have to spend a fortune on them either. Often handmade invitations created by the children are just as lovely and there are also lots of free downloadable templates you can find online.
Facebook and Whatsapp are also now the new party invite. You can group message and everyone can respond in the same place which does make life a lot easier.
What should be in a party bag?
These days anything goes. You can stick with the traditional party bags full of treats and toys. In general avoid noisy things (parents won’t thank you) age inappropriate things (too small/choking hazard). But you can do something different. Sweet cones are a popular choice along with books or sticker books. Other great ideas are hula hoops and Hotwheels cars being given out at the end of the party or something linked to your theme if you have one. (Themes not compulsory)
ALWAYS make sure you have made a few extras made up just in case you have any extra guests turn up.
One more piece of advice is make sure you have a team! A birthday party is a bit like your wedding; it’s a blur that goes by in a flash. Make sure you have some friends or family taking lots of photographs to capture those special moments, especially bringing the cake out! Also very useful to have extra pairs of hands to help things run smoothly and help tidy up at the end!
Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Ride On Time, a popular and well loved family run business. As well as their pop up and regular playtime sessions around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire they also do the BEST parties for under 5s.
Create your own fleet of amazing ride on toys to make you child’s birthday party a dream come true! Ride On Time will deliver to your venue and set everything up. It’s original and stress free! You can have a theme such as construction or tractors, or you can select a variety of toys to suit the age range of you party. Find out more on their website.