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- If your stuck what to buy for, ask what the birthday boy/girl's favourite colour is and give them something in that colour. That way they're bound to like it, even if you have a tiny budget.
- Small marshmallows make really good candle holders on birthday cakes
- At parties, instead of large bowls of cut fruit, put out individual portions of paper cake cases filled with strawberries/ blackberries/grapes. Looks pretty and reluctant fruit eaters more likely to eat.
- Having a birthday party? Write the thank you notes out in advance and hand them out as the guests are leaving - saves postage and you look uber organised!
- Put picnic blankets on the floor when you have a party, the children love the idea of an indoor picnic and most of the mess is then left on the blanket and not on your carpet.
- A teddy bear's picnic is a great idea for a first birthday party. Picnic blankets and tents in the garden (or indoors if it rains) and as many teddies as you can get your hands on. Make sure every guest young or old brings one with them.
- To save pass the parcel angst - when wrapping, mark each layer with its number. Do enough layers for the maximum number of children that will attend. If there are fewer on the day, just take the layers off down to the appropriate number before starting. Ensures everyone gets a go but it doesn't take longer than necessary!
- keep a box in the wardrobe with spare generic birthday/Christmas cards and the odd wrapped toy from Tesco sale or similar. that way you never get caught on the hop when you remember that you have party at 1 and its 12.30
- For quick party cakes buy plain fairy cakes from the supermarket and get the kids to decorate them-they look great the kids love them and you've saved time and money.
- Party Tip:
Have a party timetable with the timings - and try to stick to it. Make sure there is a clock you can refer to easily throughout the party, as it is easy to become distracted and lose track of time..
Have the timetable prominently displayed along with timings so that party helpers can see what is coming up next and you can see whether you need to skip a game or it is time to start getting the kids settled down for the birthday tea
- A small bag of sunflower (or similar) seeds is an excellent addition to a party bag, and will provide daily entertainment for your DCs for several weeks when planting, watering and watching them grow!
- Bring out the birthday cake before the children start eating so there is time to cut and wrap up the cake for party bags.
- If you have more than one child, always keep a few party bag type toys and sweets in the cupboard. When one has been to a party the other one doesn't have to feel so left out later on.
- Instead of party bags full of tat, buy a batch of cheap brightly coloured T-shirts and a pack of pens for drawing on fabric. Lets kids make their own T-shirt when they arrive and take it away with them at the end instead of a party bag. (You can also let them wear them during the party, which creates a nice team effect!)
- Keep balloons leftover from birthdays and decorate them with crafty bits to make balloon people e.g. wool for hair, button eyes etc, double sided tape is ideal for sticking things on
- Doing party bags for older girls? I got small lipstick and perfume samples from my Avon lady which went down a treat.
- Tip for replacing expensive party bags and goodies!!
Buy book bundles (you can usually find these in book clubs and on Amazon, etc) and wrap in newspaper including lolly or small pack of sweeties together with balloon. Much more enjoyable for the children and less expensive for Mum!!
- For parties, buy brown paper lunch bags, then get the kids to decorate them as a crafty treat (supply pens, sequins, glitter etc). Make sure they put their names on!
Give small prizes for best bags THEN at the end of the party fill with the usual party bag stuff-pencils, stickers, sweeties etc.
- To inflate balloons more easily leave in room temperature overnight, stretch the balloon length and width ways. Blow gently then repeat above, Blow with full effort.
- Tip all the inedible bits from party bags into a box and get it out on a rainy afternoon... Peace and quiet for a while (as long as you remove the trumpets and screamers)
- Buy up nets of 'golden' coins now while they're cheap and available. Keep them for treasure hunts in the garden/park /house. Fantastic for birthday parties.
- Struggling to get your children to write thank you notes? Take a photo of them holding a sign saying Thank You. Print it out, glue it to a blank card, then get them to write/scribble their name.
- For party invites, blow up a balloon then write the details of the party on it with a fine marker pen. Deflate balloon then post. Simple, cheap, fun invites.