Party Planner

Having four children, aged between 1 and 9, I have organised quite a few Birthday Parties! The boys have always been fairly definite about what theme suits them best each year, from Pirate Party to Tea Party they never let their Birthday pass but it being marked with lots of memories! Sometimes I think that I enjoy these parties as much as the children. Really each one will only have a certain amount of parties that they will want their 'Mammy' to organise and it's one occasion that I am always grateful to be a part of! 

It is easier to organise a themed party than you may think and can be easily achieved on a small budget. You will need some Party Invitations and Jack has some printable ones for free over on I Jack O D. Most party game can be adapted to suit the chosen theme. The obligatory game of Pass The Parcel is always first on the party game list. I generally use this as a way to distribute some vital party equipment, like mini swords and eye patches for the Pirate Party or little craft/hobby sets to make a necklace or friendship bracelet at an Arty Party. I would always advice that you have an adult or teenager allocated to help the children with some activities while you are preparing the food. Adding the chosen theme to the party can be made easy by purchasing some cake or bun toppers online.

I always like to get the children fed 'real' food before introducing any goodies! It is a good idea to offer children some fast food that there will be a good chance that they will eat{as always I dislike waste!} Most love my Chicken Goujons served with some Homemade Potato Wedges

When the children are a little older I often let them participate with the food preparation. A great idea for this are my Pizza Naans or if you have a little more time to spare my Easy Peasy Pizzas work a treat for children. I leave out a few bowls with a variety of toppings, a bowl with pasta sauce and naan breads. This works on so many levels as the children love being in control of what they are eating so they are more likely to eat the food. Also it can fit nicely into a themed party and it's an activity so it will take up some time. When I am planning a party I always include the boys, as often this is as much fun as the party itself. So last year Jack chose to have his favourite dinner as his party food - Pasta with Spicy Sausage and Cream!

The cake is always an important feature in our house. I love Chocolate Biscuit Cake and this recipe by Daithi O' Se is just irresistible and makes a perfect birthday cake. Here is a recipe for Chocolate Cake that I have relied on many times. More recently I tried Donal Skehan's Naughty Chocolate Fudge Cake and it was a big hit!

 Finding moulds for birthday has become a lot easier, TK Maxx, Ikea and most kitchen shops have a variety available to buy. I find my Mother's Bun Recipe works well with any mould. This is a train cake that the boys really enjoyed decorating. They actually made this almost completely on their own!

I like to have treats that are easy to grab such as Toffee Krispies, Polka Dot Cookies, Chocolate Dominos, or Brownies. Especially for younger children another option for a Children's Cookery Party would be to have some Buns already made and then allow the children to decorate a few each with a variety of toppings  or frostings. I generally decorate a few to give them ideas but have plenty of bowls with a variety of sweets and fruits so as the children can create their own masterpieces! This activity is actually less hassle than you might think and there will most certainly be less rows as they are all too busy! These beautifully decorated buns can then be placed on a pretty party plate for the children to bring home. In turn this could pass as their party bag, maybe just scatter a few more sweets on each plate.

In place of fizzy drinks a nice option would be a Tropical Smoothie, a Strawberry Smoothie or a Banana Milkshake. If you are hosting a winter Birthday party I'm sure your guests would really appreciate a Hot Chocolate on arriving in from the cold!

  When having a Birthday Party at home I always find it nice to have organised activities for the children to do. There are so many great ideas for outdoor party games and setting up an ice cream stand and serving some Knickerbocker Glories works fantastically in hot weather. When there is a large group of children often one or two can become secluded however once the group have to come together to decorate cakes or make their very own Pirate Telescopes any of the shyer children will become much more relaxed and a good day for all will be guaranteed!

These are just a few ideas that have worked well for my boy's birthday parties. I will add more to this page so keep an eye on it! I would also love to hear some of your party suggestions. So do feel free to let me know how you host the perfect children's birthday party!!

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