Cub’s Birthday Post (and some kiddie party planning tips)!!

11:40:00 am

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 India, so unless you have the time, talent and resources to go the DIY route, I’d suggest you stick to something common like:

  • 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)
  • Cars
  • Princess
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
  • Chocolates
  • Bookmarks
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:

to 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:

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  1. Once again Belated Birthday wishes Cub...aaw..look how happy Rayan looks in the last pic...loved the tips (though I may need it only after 10 years or so :p)

    1. He he he...Well, I'm sure these tips are relevant even after all those years :-D....Yes, I love that pic too, he's so excited to cut the cake!!

  2. u did a great Job Fab! belated birthday wishes to the handsome lil fellow! :D And thank you for the mention :) .... btw the birthday party posts are amongst the most viewed on my blog! haha!

    1. You're welcome, Poonam!! I loved all your birthday posts too!! It's no surprise they're so popular :-)

  3. Cub is looking handsome and all happy :) your efforts have turned out so beautiful :) loved everything from the paper bag to the lego set...

    1. Thank you, Ramya!! I considered buying ready made loot bags, but this was more eco friendly, economical and wayyyy more fun!!

  4. Belated birthday wishes to Rayan...he looks so adorable in the pic :D
    I loved the fact that you actually took the time and effort to make most of the stuff instead of buying them off the shelves. Cub sure had a great birthday :)

    1. Thank you, Swarnali!! It was a lot of fun, the DIY and all, I especially enjoyed making those little paper bags!!

  5. Oh cub looks mighty delighted! Oh the joys of childhood birthdays :))) I hope he had the happiest of birthdays and has a even better year ahead. the Legos look so cool!

    1. Thank you, Holly!! Yup, the legos are really getting their due of playtime!!

  6. My daughter loves her lego set too and how cool are those newspaper gift bags! Great idea Fab!