Top Tips for Organising School Birthday Parties: Parties have always been a big deal here in the Mudpie Fridays household. But now Monkey is at school there feels like there is a lot more stress attached to them. Suddenly my Birthday Checklist  doesn’t feel sufficient. Its not just his friends, which are really my friends kids that will be invited. Now he’s at school its the whole class. I don’t feel that I can get away with a quiet party at home and some homemade decorations and entertainment.

 

 

I know some people don’t invite the whole class, but I am all for inclusion and not exclusion. This means that we are going to potentially have over thirty children coming, when you add back in his friends from old. If you have found yourself in a similar situation then don’t stress here are my tips for organising school birthday parties:

 

1. Find a venue – hoping for good weather so you can hold it in the garden is no longer going to cut it. However if like me you have not held a party outside the home before you will need to find a venue. Thats when Venuefinder website really helps, offering a free search of all different types of venues for your function. Be it a corporate business event, wedding or kids Birthday party. With lots of filters to make sure you get your ideal venue it really helps build a short list. When I was looking for Monkey’s party it brought up 74 venues that matched my search request in a 15 mile radius, saving me so much time and effort.

 

2. Get your invites out early – everyone is busy but giving people as much notice as possible will mean you stand the best chance of people being able to make it. For Monkey’s fifth Birthday we have given everyone just over a months notice.

 

3. Give yourself at least two weeks after the RSVP date – there will always be people who leave letting you know to the last minute. But if you can try to give yourself a clear idea of numbers two weeks before then you can get all the sundries organised. If your class has a Facebook page then join it. It maybe worth putting a photo of the invite up on there too. Its also a great way to give parents a gentle nudge and make sure the invites actually made it home.

 

4. Hire entertainment – yes this can put the price up, but not being a school teacher I know I am incapable of organising thirty odd children. However a professional birthday organiser can. There are lots of options to choose from now including – magicians, lego parties, starwars parties, superhero parties, reptile parties to name a few. If your budget won’t stretch then consider a bouncy castle instead as these are normally a lot cheaper. Although you will need someone to manage it and make sure there are not too many children on at once

 

5. Keep food simple – for smaller parties there is a temptation to make the food fit the theme like I did with Monkey’s Gruffalo Party. Yes it looks great, but the kids won’t remember it and with more children you will be putting yourself under pressure. Sticking to the basics which can be done on volume and cater for most tastes is the way forward. Our menu for Monkeys looks like this:

 

  • Cheese sandwiches
  • Ham sandwiches
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cocktail sausages
  • Grapes cut in half
  • Strawberries
  • Two types of crisps (skips and hula hoops)
  • Cheese and tomato pizza

 

6. Don’t bother with party bags – I have not met one parent that is grateful for a small bag of plastic tat at the end of the celebration. Where possible opt for one slightly larger thing such as a book. Buying multi packs can work out much cheaper than even the cheapest party bag, often only £1 each. Which can make a big saving when you are buying for thirty.

7. Buy the cake in – unless baking and decorating is your thing short cut this process. You can either get the whole thing made. Or do what I have done previously for Monkey’s Paw Patrol Party, where I brought a blank cake and decorated in myself. Alternatively make cupcakes and get some ‘themed’ toppers from Etsy, eBay or similar.

8. Print at home stationary – if you are anything like me I leave it all to the last minute. Instant personalised downloads are my savour. Plus they work out a lot cheaper if you have a decent printer at home, like our Ecotank 2250. There is such a wide variety that you are bound to find something to suit your theme. I generally use downloads for invites, thanks yous, banners and signs.

 

 

My last tip is to ignore Pinterest… where you can. Don’t get me wrong when I start thinking about a party theme for Monkey or Kipper my first stop is Pinterest. I am totally inspired by the sorts of parties people throw, which is fine, pin away. But then take a step back and remember you are organising a party to both a monetary budget and a time one. You will not enjoy the experience at all if you are super stressed out. If like me you really struggle with this as I want that pinable party, then take one thing you want to do at a time and do not start on the next one until the first is finished. And only do this once all the basics above have been done.

 

I have found this list has really helped me when organising Monkey’s fifth birthday party. What would your top tips be?

 

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14 Comments

  1. I love the advice to ignore Pinterest. You are absolutely right Pinterest has a time and a place. If you’ve got oodles of time and money for the party go for it! Hope the party went well.

  2. Pinterest drives parents bananas – nothing ever turns out as good as the person who tried 100 times before getting a great product and picture! #BloggerClubUK

  3. The Pinterest thing is so important. Kids don’t care how aesthetically pleasing a party is – all they want is fun, food and (sorry) a party bag! I’m not even a stickler for healthy foods when I throw a party as I’ve seen so much waste at other parties, so I have some fruit and brown bread options but equally we have sweets and white bread. I would say, if the kids are still of an age where the parents stay, food and drinks (maybe even wine) for the grown ups is always a welcome touch.
    #BloggerClubUK

  4. Haha! I’m always eager to create Pinterest Party creations and it always turns into a stressful affair! Good tips!

  5. Ha ha I love your last tip- so true!! I can no longer get away with family parties now mine are both at school, I enjoy planning them but it’s so much work! #BloggerClubUK

  6. Brilliant tips Clare, we are also in the ‘include everyone camp’. Great tip about not having party bags, when I think about it, they usually end up in the bin anyway. Pinterest can definitely take you off in wild directions! #Bloggerclubuk

  7. Laura - Postcards for Findlay Reply

    Great tips here! Leo is only 10 months (so we’re a way off school birthdays yet!) but he was born in the summer holidays so I do worry he’ll be the kid who has no one at his party as everyone will be away! We’ll definitely have to get the invites out early before they break up! #BloggerClubUK

  8. This has made me feel daunted for the future already (and I am a teacher used to dealing with 30 kids!!) we’ve decided on a mini break for little ones first birthday in a few months but still feel like i should do something… thanks for the tips! #BloggerClubUK

  9. Great advice Clare! I definitely agree with not trying to get the perfect Pinterest party unless you have a lot of time on your hands!
    Debbie

  10. These are some fab tips! when we did Bens Christening and birthday party, we found a site that did 30 beautiful double sided invites for £17 including postage. Not bad considering it had his photo on it and everything! #bloggersclubUK

  11. Good tips! Have only done family days so far, but expect I will have to face parties once they start school! #BloggerClubUK

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