Keep it simple and stress-free with our guide to planning a FUNtastic party for your little elephant!
Keep the invite list short
While your little one might try their best to convince you that everyone in their class at school is their best friend, try you best to keep the invite list confined to a group of children who you actually know are in your child’s friend circle – the best scenario for everyone would be to try and invite only those children who you have had previous experience with in a group setting outside of school, at play dates or other birthday parties, to ensure that you know a little bit about the other children’s personalities and how they fit into the group. This will hopefully help you avoid any fights (hopefully!) and having to control the emotional outbursts of other people’s children. Keep in mind that while your child is still young, it is more likely that you will have to plan for both parents to attend the party with their child, which increases your guest list again. A smaller guest list also makes it easier to stick to a budget.
A “golden rule” to follow is that the number of guests should be the age of your child plus one once your child is aged three and over.
Determine your budget
Ok, so this goes for any event you may want to plan, but it is important to remember that while you think it might be the most important thing to have a My Little Pony ice sculpture as a centre piece for every table, your child is more likely to remember and appreciate the fun and games they enjoy with their friends instead. Decide what the most important aspects of the day are and prioritise those expenses.
Once you have determined your budget, you can decide on the venue. Hosting from home saves money on venue rental and keeps things a bit more “personal”, but the idea of cleaning up at the end of a busy party day might sound too daunting for some. Many venues offer all-inclusive packages to take care of all aspects of the party, from decoration, to food and in most cases the clean-up afterwards – this can save you money in some cases, as well as saving time and stress.
*Remember, EMILY ELEPHANT goes wherever your party is being held, so no need to stress about that!
Technology is you friend
Don’t feel it’s necessary to have everything custom made – These days you can find templates and free designs for almost any theme imaginable. And with Pinterest showing you the way, anyone can be the queen or king of DIY party décor. Save time and money on invites by also doing these digitally, and send them out via WhatsApp to make sure parents receive the invites timeously! Creating a group on WhatsApp with one parent representative for each child invited also ensures you have an easy, low-cost platform to send out any changes to information for the party as well as keep track of RSVPs.
And do so way in advance, at least 2 – 3 months in advance! This will give you the advantage so securing a date in cases where you book a venue, and will also ensure that any other arrangements for the day can be booked on the chosen date. Planning your child’s birthday party in advance will also give your guests adequate time to fit it into their schedules, and you ideally want to send the invites out 3 – 4 weeks before the date of the event. Be mindful when your child’s birthday falls within school holidays or public holidays, as most families plan getaways and activities in advance for these days and will likely not are available.
Choose a theme, ANY THEME, for the party and base all the decisions for the party around this theme. From invites to food, décor and entertainment for the party – having a theme gives you a chance to streamline your ideas and make it easier and simpler to execute. For younger kiddies, it’s sometimes better to go with a basic theme like “farmyard” or “circus” as opposed to choosing a specific theme like “Hello Kitty” as you are less limited to options for décor, etc. and can focus on making the day fun in a way the little ones will understand and enjoy.* When planning your décor, think about the clean-up involved afterwards. Choose paper plates and cups, or juice or milk boxes to minimise spills and clean-up.
*EMILY ELEPHANT can provide character entertainers to suit most themes, and you are free to request a custom character to your choosing!
Entertainment and Activities
Perhaps the most important aspects of any party, is the entertainment and activities for the kids in attendance. Ensure activities are simple, age-appropriate and safe for all ages and think about setting up activity stations around your party venue to keep their hands busy. Having a jungle gym or some kind of outdoor activity is always a hit, and if this is not possible, consider hiring some “soft-play” equipment. Our face painters and character entertainers can keep the kids busy for hours, so that the adult also get to enjoy the day with their kids!