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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Operation Oliver's Party - part 2

Well, I survived Oliver's birthday party.  More than that, I actually rather enjoyed it! 

The party was from 12 - 2, so I had enough time in the morning to sort out the party food - a pretty basic buffet - 3 types of sandwiches, nibbles, cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, grapes, cherry tomatoes, fairy cakes, with old fashioned jelly and ice cream was to follow.

The room was easy to decorate - just moved all furniture out of the way, stuck up a few birthday banners and chucked in a few (inflated!) balloons.  I made sure there were plenty of colouring pages and crayons on a coffee table, and I was glad I did so, because the first arrivals went straight to it and happily coloured in until the games started.

Well, I say "games"...half the kids were quite content with raiding the toy box and trying every item of dressing-up clothing on, so I left them to it, and mustered the remaining lot into a game of musical statues.  I'm not sure what they thought of my John Travolta moves, by I thought I was great!

Food was followed by a game of pass the parcel, a fair bit of dancing (the kids as well as me), and the party finished with a run around the garden and a chicken feeding session.  We have 4 chickens, so it was really nice to let the kids stroke and feed them.

We were having so much fun we almost forgot the Pinata, which Oliver's Dad hung from the rotary washing line (ingenious, isn't he?).  After what seemed a half-hour of bashing with a plastic cricket wicket, it finally gave way, sending hundreds of sweets all over the lawn.

Finally, we all sang happy birthday to Oliver, and then it was time to go home!

So what pearls of wisdom have I picked up from this experience?  Quite a few really:

  • Be prepared - make a list of all you need to do, and make sure everything is in hand or done before the big day - it's far too easy to leave things to the last minute, and then forget - nothing worse than filling the party bags as the kids are running out of the door, or realising you forgot to buy a lighter for the candles!

  • Have a few games planned - better too many than not enough, and if you run out of time to do all the games, then that's good - shows the kids had a good time!

  • Have a quiet colouring or craft activity

  • Have a few toys and dressing up clothes to hand - there's nothing better than rooting round someone else's stuff!

  • Always, always make sure you have a strong adult available to crack open the Pinata!

And finally, don't stress too much - it's a party, so enjoy it.  So long as you have everything planned, there's no reason why you shouldn't.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Operation Oliver's Party

Tomorrow is my youngest son, Oliver's 6th birthday, and he's having a by me.    Given that I earn a living selling party bags to mothers just like me, who are hosting their own parties, I thought it would be rude not to take the bull by the horns and do it myself too.   After all, I've thrown parties before.  What could go wrong?  "It'll be fine", I keep telling myself.  "Don't panic!  They're only children!"

In order to cover all bases I've made a list of things to do before the day, some of which I've actually managed to do!  These are:

  • Send invitations and make sure you chase up replies (check)
  • Buy party decorations, cake, partyware, balloons etc (check)
  • Decide what to do with the children!  I have a list of party games to play, but have yet to wrap the presents for pass-the-parcel - may leave that until tonight - a glass of wine will ease the pain - I'm a terrible wrapper!
  • Buy and prepare party food!  Well, it's been bought, and just needs preparing in the morning.  There are already 2 jellies setting in the fridge (courtesy of Oliver's very domesticated Dad!).
  • Print out colouring sheets so the kids have a quiet activity to do - not yet done, but that won't take long.
  • Sort out the party bags!  I decided to go for the personalised printed cotton tote bags and once I'd taken way too long to decide which character for which child, it was lovely to actually print some out for my own party!  Filling them wasn't a problem, as I have a rather large stock cupboard, so the only thing I had to stop myself from doing was putting too much in them!  Here's a picture of Oliver and his older brother Adam, with some of the bags.
So we're almost there....just have to decorate the room, do the food, and a few other bits, and we'll be bracing ourselves for the onslaught of a band of excited 5 and 6 yr olds!  What could possible go wrong?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

New Luxury Cotton Party Bags

I'm pleased to announce we have expanded our luxury party bags range, with the addition of these beautiful cotton drawstring bags.  Each bag is made from heavy weight unbleached cotton and is fastened with a rope style drawstring.  Hand printed with one of our personalised party characters, they are the ideal luxury party bag for your little ones. 

We will soon be adding personalised versions - details to follow!