So as you guys know, Cub turned four!! Thank you all for your lovely wishes :-). So as I promised, here are some details of Cub’s party.
This is the first time we a proper party for him, usually it’s just us and a cake with candles and some gifts. Since he’s actually got some friends now, we decided to do more this time.
An important point was budget – I didn’t want a huge mega-bash for him. ‘Frugal yet Fun’ was my motto throughout. Here’s a breakdown of what I did, which might help if you ever want to plan a party for kids.
First off, I made a plan which listed everything.
1. Guests – How many kids? (and parents, if any; I left the parents out :-), but included siblings). Apparently, the thumb rule for number of guests is age of the birthday child + 1. I ignored this and there were around 10 kids at Cub’s party :-).
2. Theme – I wanted a theme, but he’s in a transition phase from trains to construction vehicles – he hasn’t let go of one and isn’t a 100% into the other. So I decided on a general ‘Birthday’ theme :-).
Getting supplies to match your theme is a bit of a challenge in
, so unless you have the time,
talent and resources to go the DIY route, I’d suggest you stick to something
common like: India
- Animals – Jungle, Farm
- Cartoon characters - Dora the Explorer, Ben10, Chota Bheem, Mickey etc
- Superheroes – Super/Spider/Bat man. (Iron Man/Green Lantern would be a challenge)
3. Invitations – I printed out these from the internet:
Of course, if you have a theme, go with it. There are some brilliant suggestions by Poonam here.
Online kids stores are a good place to try for supplies - First Cry, Disney, Hoopos are some options.
4. Party Supplies – I got candles, party blowouts, paper plates, paper cups, napkins and plastic forks from a local store, but ordered these party hats from FirstCry.com:
You can of course, go the whole hog and buy everything in matching sets online, especially if you have a theme. I opted for the store, because I got stuff cheaper there.
5. Decorations – Again, go with your theme. I reused some decorations we already had, including the Happy Birthday banner. All we bought were packs of balloons. Whatever your theme, balloons are a MUST. The kids had a lot of fun playing with them.
6. Food and Drink – An important point to remember here – do not overestimate kids’ appetites. And keep it as healthy as you can, with something unhealthy and yummy thrown in for balance. This is what we served:
- Chicken nuggets (Can be substituted with potato smileys/wedges)
- Chocolate Chip cookies
- Homemade vegetable sandwiches
- Small bananas
- Fruit Juice
- And of course, cake
I tried to keep a balance between sweet and savory. Try to avoid colas, they do nothing but harm kids’ bodies. Also, be sure to ask parents beforehand about any diet restrictions.
7. Party Games – Again, go with your theme. Since ours was simply ‘Birthday’, we opted for classic Birthday Party games:
For the Donkey game, I used the donkey and tail from here. Here’s how poor Eeyore looked after he was all printed and pinned up.
For the Animal Farm game, I made little slips of paper with pictures of animals (since some of the kids were too young to read) and the kids each took a slip and began making the corresponding animal sounds to locate their partner. I collected some animal pics from the internet and it looked like this:
P.S. You can download it if you want, I don’t mind :-).
For the prizes, I used inexpensive stuff like little plastic lunchboxes, pen stands and fun photo frames. Keep in mind that games like Animal Farm will have two winners. Also safe to keep a gift or two handy for ties :-).
Don’t forget the music!!! You’ll get loads of suggestions for kiddie music online, but here’s my top pick :-) :
I also put on a kiddie CD on DVD for the kids to watch while they ate.
8. Goodie Bags – Not necessarily theme dependent. We made the goodie bags out of newspaper and ribbon. We downloaded little ‘Thank you’ tags from the internet and filled our bags with these:
- Little Play doh tubs ( I bought a Play Doh Party pack)
- Paint Boxes
Other good options are stationery, crayons, little wind up toys. Or you could give just one toy or book instead of a bag of little stuff. I learnt to make the newspaper bags from here.
9. Gifts – We’re the kind of people who open all the gifts after everyone’s left :-). Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have a designated space for the gifts and a time to open it up. Cub got a huge haul, with all kinds of stuff from this:
and loads of things in between :-). We gifted him blocks – ‘My First Lego Set’, ordered from First Cry. They have quite a lot of stuff and good service.
Cub is totally into legos and it is turning out to be a really good buy. I think we’ll get some add-on sets later; for now, this is a really good starter set and I would recommend it to anyone just starting out on legos.
Important points to remember:
1. Try to get someone to help; I did this all by myself, and I could’ve really used a helping hand.
2. Keep your camera charged the day before.
3. Start planning a month in advance. That way you can score the best deals and have enough time to receive your online shipments. Also, I used Evernote to help with all my planning.
4. Consider a little extra for everything. You don’t want to disappoint anyone :-).
5. Plan for more games than you think are necessary – it’s no fun for the kids to sit around doing nothing!!
So that was how Cub’s birthday party went!! It was a lot of fun – all the planning, organizing and shopping. But the best part was seeing the kids really enjoy themselves and get involved in the games – it really was worth it!! And here’s a pic of the delighted birthday boy about to cut his cake: