Planning the perfect party for your little one

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Planning a party is always fun, especially when it’s your child’s party and you know how excited they will be when the big day arrives. As parents, we love to see those grins and bask in their child-like enthusiasm.

This is why it’s so important to focus on their experience, instead of our own designing and event co-ordinating skills.

The best kids’ parties don’t have the most stunning décor. Instead, they ensure that the pint-sized party-goers enjoy the day and do all the fun things they love.

Here are 5 tips to help you plan your child’s next birthday party:

1. Choose an age appropriate theme for the party

As early as their fourth birthday, children enjoy choosing their own theme for their parties. This not only makes your job easier, but it includes them in the party arrangements as well. To help them with some ideas, look for clues in what they love at the moment – this could be a favourite game, television series or more general idea, like dinosaurs or unicorns.


2. Look for a fun venue

There are amazing party venues throughout South Africa that cater to kids’ parties. Some will help you with your theme, and others have jungle gyms, jumping castles and other activities included in the hiring fee. In most cases, they will assist with the set up and catering as well. You’ll also have a clear start and finish time. All round, it’s a win-win situation! There are also kids party entertainment companies that will come to you, whether you’ve chosen a venue or you’re hosting at home.


3. Cater for the crowd

It’s always a good idea to have snacks for the kids and their parents. Start with some finger-foods like fruit sticks hotdogs before laying out the sweets and party packs, and for the parents, pastries, sandwiches and even pizzas keep things simple.


4. Keep the kids busy

The number one rule of any great party is that the kids stay entertained. Luckily, they can generally do that themselves, provided they have room to run and jumping castles, playgrounds and other age-appropriate activities to enjoy.


5. Be the cake boss

For kids, the cake is an all-important part of the celebration. It’s when everyone sings happy birthday, when the candles are blown out, and when they really get to indulge in their theme. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, traditional or an ice-cream cake, the celebrations around the cake will make your little one feel loved.

If you keep it simple and focus on a few special details, your child’s next party will be fun for everyone, from the birthday girl or boy to the kids and parents who get to join the festivities. Don’t overspend on your budget and don’t work yourself into a coma. This should be enjoyable, not something that induces stress. And remember, even though you may want everything to be perfect, you child just wants to feel special and to have fun with their friends. That’s what you need to deliver.

Remember that kids actually need very little to be happy as long as there’s cake and some yummy treats they’ll have a ball. And take your camera along to make sure you capture the special moments!