In the world of competitive parenting nothing unleashes the beast like kids’ party season. Popular entertainers are more difficult to reserve than a table at The Ivy. And don’t get me started on the depths parents are willing to go to to personally shine – calligraphy invitations, petting zoos, food trucks and photo booths are just a few recent excesses, I kid you not. But you can satisfy the desires of your little darling without going full Kardashian for 2019! Throwing the most memorable, sweetest, thrill-filled or coolest party isn’t about following a theme down to the last detail. The knack is to pick an idea, look at the broad scope and then add your own signature. Don’t take on more than you can handle, they’ll be happy pretty much whatever you do. Here’s some inspiration and tips on what’s trending in kids’ party land this year.
Princess Tea Party
Princesses are still with us, so if you’ve got one of your own, don’t fight her. 2019’s would-be royalty are going for personal invitations, pretty party games, cute-to-the-max cakes and plenty of pink – what else? A Princess Tea Party is great for 5 – 7 year olds. It’s a good summer holiday idea because you can invite just a few friends without causing a classroom riot. And, even on a small budget, prettiness a-plenty is possible.
- Heart-shaped sandwiches are sweet and cookie-cutter easy (good shape for individual mini-pizzas too) and strawberry is the only colour for ice-cream.
- Pink lemonade’s perfect in real teacups with saucers.
- Disguise a dull kitchen table with ballet net, a pale pink paper tablecloth and napkins.
- Go for an ‘easier than it looks’, extravagant iced birthday cake.
- If the weather’s nice, put your tea table outside or close by to your external doors and use the garden for games.
- Decorate with paper flowers, transparent balloons on pink ribbon, glittery cut-out crowns.
- Fill party bags with princess stickers, little wands, tiny tiaras and heart-shaped sweets.
Remember when you were a princess and let your imagination do the rest.
Superhero Saves the Birthday
Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes now, so only perfect for a house full of Thors or Supergirls. And inviting everyone to dress up as the hero/heroine of their choice is the easiest way to theme this one fast.
- Cheat the look on invitations with bright colours and lots of ‘POW’, ‘ZAP’ and ‘BAM’ to make it comic book without being too specific.
- Think about a superhero twist on traditional games like ‘Pin the Mask’ instead of ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’, ‘Spidey Silly String Tag’, ‘Superhero Scavenger Hunt’.
- Rope in a heroic grown-up to teach ‘Superhero Skills’ like climbing over tall buildings made out of decorated cardboard boxes, punching through painted walls of cereal box bricks, lifting foam Hammers of Thor, making Silly-String webs
- Go Movies and Comic Book on the food with hot dogs, popcorn, red and blue jelly in transparent plastic cups, tiny hammers of fudge cubes on cocktail sticks, fruit kebabs in superhero colours
- Indulge your own little hero with their favourite character cake
- Set up a superhero backdrop for photos instead of standard party bags. Tape a sky-blue bed sheet or paper tablecloth over a garden fence, stick up some fluffy cartoon clouds and make a silhouette city skyline in miniature along the bottom. Get your guests to strike their best superhero pose one at a time during the party, take pics and print them out, ready to hand over at home-time.
Trick to save costs on this one is to overload with bold cartoon colours instead of expensive branded party merchandise
Everything unicorn can be easily made by sticking to just four colours: white, pink, purple and turquoise, with a little black for the eyelashes.
- Go for some colourful bunting in the colour scheme to solidify the theme
- Get a white cake, add eyelashes and some coloured buttercream for a colourful mane and an ice-cream cone horn
- Get unicorn head bands for the kids to wear, you can either buy some or make them using this tutorial
- Try making these unicorn treats and snacks – the unicorn poop is my favourite!
- Play pin the horn on the unicorn and draw it yourself
Pirates on Point
The all-time favourite Pirate Party gets a camping trip twist for 2019 with makeshift garden tents (simpler than they sound), cook-out party food and a whole heap of treasure hunting.
- Under 10’s are too young for sleepovers but this party is a great compromise with easy tepee-style tents in the garden made out of three tall garden canes tied at the top with a sheet draped over them. Make each tent big enough for at least two small pirates and place them in a circle round a fake campfire. They’re fun for games and more exciting than sitting at a table for party food. If you’re feeling creative you can add Jolly Roger paper flags to the top of each tent.
- A barbecue works well for this theme with standards like hotdogs, mini corn on the cob and grilled marshmallow or fruit kebabs.
- Use your tents as home base for games like Pirate Tag and Musical Tents.
- Bring the garden into play for a scavenger hunt – divide pirates into teams and the tent with the most booty at the end wins.
- Bury foil covered chocolate coins in a sandbox or two, give your pirates party bags and get them to dig for their own treasure.
Now you have a few ideas, the rest is down to you and your guest of honour. And that’s the way it should be: don’t over plan and leave plenty of room for the fun to take over!
What’s your party plan for this year?