There are many thoughts to this and no wrong one. Some people believe that you invite as many children as the birthday child's age and others believe you invite the whole year. It is literally up to you! I personally have always found that if the best friends are there, the birthday child or children will be happy!
If you are having a party entertainer, then please use a reputable one!
Always make sure there is emergency cover, trust me you don't want to be doing everything if the entertainer does not arrive! I also want to know that they are DBS checked and the company has liability insurance. These are all things we have at Mystical Fairies and honestly so will all reputable companies or party entertainers!
Don't over cater!
Everyone is so excited about the party that food will be gulped down. Trust me, I was that mother cutting sandwiches and veggies into shapes and staying up all night to make the perfect cake... I might have been a little upset that everyone just dived straight in and didn't take the time to appreciate my details... even when they were 3 and 4 and into their teens!
There are a lot of wonderful caterers and cake makers out there so don't drive yourself insane staying up all night! We have done extensive research and are happy to give you our favourites and suggestions! Equally though, so many supermarkets and bakeries do lovely things so even if you had planned to do it all yourself, you can still run to the supermarket on the day and decant it all!
Party bags/Going home pressies
Some people are still of the thought that a balloon and a piece of cake should suffice and others want to have bespoke party bags. Honestly we have done both and everything in between! Please just do what you want to do and what you are comfortable doing. We know some people spend more on the party bags then on the whole rest of the party!
A themed book is a fab pressie but be sure to add something sweet with it, not all children are happy with a book but the sweet treat, well...
It is always better to have one lovely thing, be it a book or toy or bottle of fairy dust (just saying) than loads of plastic bits of tat - seriously not a fan of tat!!!
For older children a balloon tied with a lollipop can be great - used as decoration in the party, possibly in the games and then gone home with the children, one less thing to tidy up so a win win!
I do not like lollipops in general and only when children are old enough to not choke on them.
We can organise party bags and love to do them. They start at £3.50 and go from there!
Organise as much as possible in advance
Organise your party date, venue if you need and entertainer as far as possible in advance. Everyone gets booked up and we also know things may happen so can always change the details like date or venue.
Theme your party around what the birthday child likes, not what you think the guests will enjoy. It is their special day and they should love it.
Invitations should be sent out ideally at least 3 weeks in advance, also if your child is at school make sure it doesn't clash with someone else's. Definitely worth planning ahead!
Other parents at the party - try and offer coffee (or wine, no judgement here) in another room. You have no idea how loud parents can be! It can be distracting for the entertainer and the children! If the children are happy to be dropped off, that can be good too!
Uninvited siblings can often cause distress for the birthday mummy. Venues and entertainers often have a limit on the number of children and uninvited guests can cause the party to be stressful and chaotic. Remember that the invitation may be for only one of your children so do not presume all are invited unless named on the invitation.
To that end - ALWAYS have extra party bags, someone will always forget to RSVP or change their plans or bring a sibling.
Involvement in party decisions/How involved should the birthday child be?
Let your child be involved in some of the party decisions, so they will know who is coming and what to expect especially if they are young or nervous. Parties can be overwhelming especially if you have been looking forward to it for ages!
Having said that, some children change their mind constantly so if your child is one of those then perhaps give fewer details. One of our mums was so organised that she bought all the themed table wear, party bags and planned the cake (weeks on pinterest and ebay) etc and her daughter changed her mind 3 times in the week before the party. In the end we called it a princess party and all the princesses were put on the cake! That was a very stressed mother! Happy to say that her Sweet Sixteen, which we just did was a blast and much less stressful for her mother!
Time your party to your child's schedule, if they need a nap in the afternoon have the party in morning! If they are at school and their birthday is a weekday, consider having a small after school party.
Remember to enjoy the party and to take pictures!