Going back to basics
Children’s parties are a hot topic at the moment with the recent uproar and debate over the mum who invoiced a no-show.
It can be a pricey affair, so we asked our resident baking blogger and mum of four Alice from Alice’s Vintage Pantry to share with us some of her top tips for a traditional children’s party.
Looking for something a bit different for your child’s birthday party? Why not go back to traditional kids parties that were common place before children’s entertainers and soft play venues were so popular.
There is something really lovely about organising a traditional kid’s party with traditional games and entertainment and a lovely homemade party tea.
At Alice’s Vintage Pantry we host lots of adult and children’s tea parties. We’ve put together a few tips and ideas to help you plan one of your own.
Choose a theme
First off decide on a theme for the party and use it to help you plan both the entertainment and the food.
Age dependent you could go for a Teddy Bears picnic, Princesses and Princes, Mad Hatters or Alice in Wonderland or maybe a Village Fete theme.
Invitations can be made with ease, just get yourself a pack of plain cards and get the kids decorating with stickers etc. Games food and entertainment can all be themed to match.
Keep the food simple and small, nothing that is going to need cutlery.
Finger sandwiches, little cakes and bakes, cut up veg and fruit, cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks.
Perhaps get yourself some shaped biscuit cutters to suit the theme you have gone for and use them to make shaped sandwiches.
Use china teapots, teacups and saucers for soft drinks. Kids love pouring their own!
If you are concerned about breakages there are lots of pretty paper cups available to buy, but in our experience very few breakages happen, and they love to use the proper cups and saucers.
Along with traditional games like ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ (always goes down well!) and musical bumps, have a couple of organised activities planned to give the children a bit of sitting down time (and a moment of relative calm for you!).
Perhaps bake some vanilla cupcakes and get the kids to decorate them. Disposable icing bags are inexpensive, add a few ‘sprinkles’ or chopped chocolate to decorate, put a named cocktail stick flag in each and they can eat them with their party tea.
Or get some stiff card and cut our photo frame shapes, let the kids decorate them with glitter, coloured pens, feathers etc.
Consider strings of bunting and petals or beads sprinkled on the table, name place cards for the afternoon tea and fairy lights.
If you have a specific theme then browse the internet for decoration ideas to complement it, there are lots of ideas out there.
Making your own birthday cake can seem a bit daunting but might not be as tricky as you think.
There are lots of simple design ideas available online for you to have a go at, most come with step by step guides, and, let’s face it – the cake is only on display for a few minutes, then cut, packed and wrapped to take home!
So not worth too much of a sweat!
Paper bags can be bought online or in lots of the discount shops and supermarkets.
They are a great way to create personalised party bags that are a bit different to the norm. Get some stamps, stickers and coloured pens are decorate according to the theme. Stencil or write kids names on them and make sure they put the result of their craft activity in the bags before they go home.
It might sound a bit dull when you are talking about a kids party – but having an idea of what you are going to do and when can make a massive difference to how well it all goes, and how stressed you feel!
Have a couple of ‘group’ party games to get things going, something like pass the parcel or musical bumps. Break up the party games by scheduling in craft or baking activities.
When you serve the food will depend on the timing of the party, half way through normally works well, a bit more relative calm for you.
Be brave…give it a go and let us know how it goes!
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