Children’s birthday parties don’t have to be hard. I’ve got a few tips and tricks to share to hopefully make party planning easy and less stressful so you have more time to enjoy yourself and celebrate on the day!
My son recently turned 3 and he loves Thomas and Lightening McQueen. We exhausted the cars theme last year and so this year we decided on Thomas for something different.
1) My first tip is to decide on a theme. Once you have your theme I generally go to Pinterest and create a mood board of anything I can find surrounding the theme. You can get so many decorating ideas, food ideas and party game ideas from Pinterest.
2) start organising decorations early. I always write a list of what I need and make sure I start collecting these things ahead of time. This will save the stress of last minute running around and also save money as you can generally find some bargains if you shop around!
3) write a menu. A list of all the party food you plan on serving.
Once this is established you can write another list of things you could plan ahead of time, this will help you stay organised closer to the day. The more things you can make in advance the better. An example of this could be jelly, the layers are achieved by making the bottom layer first and setting it in fridge. Once set you can make the next layer of jelly mix and pour on top. Set again and repeat if needed. Vegemite scrolls (you could smear Vegemite and sprinkle with cheese, roll up the pastry and glad wrap ready to cut when needed), sausage rolls (can be home made and baked til almost done, the day of the party take out from fridge and finish baking), cupcakes and the little Milky Way trains and cars that are pictured above are easily made the day before.
Now you can write your shopping list. There is no shame in buying something’s that are already done for you if it will save time you don’t have. Only you know how much time you have and what you can achieve in that time. No time to make sausage rolls? Just buy them. As long as you have checked with guests for allergies of course.
4) the cake. Cakes are so gorgoues and you can have some incredible cakes made but they also have a heafty price tag attached. My cheats way to a showstoppimg cake without spending a fortune is to semi DIY it. By this I mean choose a cake design that is achievebale, work out what you are capable of and just cheat the rest. For example, the Thomas the Tank engine cake pictured above was made by buying mudcakes, if you have time you can make them but I didn’t this time. As I said there is no harm in buying. This cake used two mudcakes (one small and one large, cutting the smaller one to size, covering both with fondant, decorating the tunnel and rocks on the smaller cake with fondant, making fondant train tracks and then I cheated the rest by using toys to decorate. I am not a cake maker and had a lot of trouble with the fondant, the green cracked around the bottom so I improvised by hiding the imperfections with the fence and trees. No one knew but me and my son was very happy with his Thomas cake. The cost was half of what it would have been to have this cake professionally made and was special as it was made with love. I made the cake the day before and the fondant kept the mudcakes lovely and moist, it was perfect.
The McQueen cake was made in a similar way last year but I did attempt making the McQueen cake topper. It wasn’t perfect but my son immediately recognised it as his favourite car and loved it. The look on his face emade all the time it took making the cake topper worth it but if you haven’t the time using the toys is a great alternative.
The day before I always decorate the party area so it is ready to go. I always wait until my son is sleeping before I start so it is a big surprise for him when he wakes up, he loves seeing all the decorations in the morning. It really makes it feel so much more special.
I hope my little tips and tricks have helped remove some of the stress involved that can surround children’s parties.