Planning a kids birthday party can often feel daunting but it really doesn’t have to be a scary thought. Having seen tons of children’s birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle, here are my top tips for organising a stress free, fun filled kids party!
Have a chat with your little one to see what they would like –
- Indoor – soft play, role play, magician, messy play party, craft party for full class
- Outdoor – Farm visit, picnic, craft party in the garden/park
- Active – Trampoline park, disco or football
- Party at home – Build a Bear party, arts & crafts party, jewellery making party
If you are looking for first birthday party ideas, ARTventurers can create a fab Baby ARTy party so you will have plenty of messy memories to look back on in the years to come! Here are some of the childrens party packages we offer.
Book a party venue –
If you don’t want a children’s birthday party in your house, you will need to find a local community centre or church hall that is suitable for your activity and numbers. Newcastle & Gateshead have tons of fab venues to hire for kids parties. They will vary in price but often the one closest to you and your guests is the best option as it can be tricky transporting your prize birthday cake too far! Your entertainer will be able to help with suggestions on halls to hire. With plenty of party experiences, I can recommend fab venues that are perfect for arty parties throughout the North East.
Remember to ask your entertainer how long you will need the room for. The party might be 2 hrs long, but your entertainer will need time to set up the fabulous fun – it takes me 45 mins to be ready for your guests to arrive plus you will need some time to tidy away and get all the presents into the car! That extra bit of time will make for a stress free party!
If you want to keep the party small and have it at home, no problem ….. ARTventurers have tons of creative party options that aren’t messy. Just pop me a message.
Children’s Party Theme Ideas
Have a chat with your little one to see if they would like a theme for their birthday party? Whether they are into superheroes, mermaids or Harry Potter, having a theme is a great way to tie the party together. From the cake to the plates, to the balloons and party bags, there is no doubt that having a theme makes it much easier for you!
If it is a superhero party, Paw Patrol themed party, LOL Doll, Harry Potter, Moana birthday party or a Jungle theme…..it is handy to let the entertainer know. If you are having an ARTventurers party, we can theme the arty fun to anything your little one loves so just let us know. An art party can be a great activity for all ages and both boys & girls, and themeing it can make it even more special.
About a month before the party is the time to get the invites out in the post. If you are having a ARTventurers party, you will get your invites as part of our party package. If you need to find other invites places like The Range or Asda do fab selections. Once you have the invites, make sure you have the following on them –
- Whose party it is. Your phone number.
- The date, start and finish times of the party.
- Venue info
- An RSVP date so you know how many guests are coming. If you are having an ARTventurers party, you will need to let us know the final numbers about 10 days before hand.
- Extra details such as messy clothes for the arty party or allergies for the food.
It is useful to keep a list of the invited guests so you can tick them off as they reply.
Children’s Birthday Cake
It is often useful to decide early on where you are going to get the all important cake from. There are normally three options
- Homemade cake (go you!)
- A local cake maker
They will vary massively in price and your theme. If you decide to go down the local cake maker route, it is best to get it organised asap as they are often booked up in advance. Your entertainer will often be able to recommend someone, friends and families often have someone they use or your local social media sites will have plenty of recommendations for you.
You may want to decorate the room/venue to match your theme. Or have a big balloon with the age of your little one (a fab way of remembering their age when you look back on photos). You can use themed or coloured tableware too, there are tons of options available to tie everything together. It works really well to pop a themed table cloth on the table with the cake.
Kids Party Food
My top tip for children’s party food would be to keep it simple! Over the years, I have seen amazing party spreads more or less ignored by the children (then eaten by the adults!). Keep it simple for them and for yourselves. Cardboard lunch boxes are brilliant as you can fill them before the party and they are much easier to transport than plates of food. My top tips for kids party food is –
- A simple ham / cheese / jam / chocolate spread sandwich (remember any allergies)
- Packet of kids crisps
- Box of raisins
- A mini sausage roll wrapped in cling film
- Chocolate mini roll or a freddo
- Little bottle of water / juice so no pouring out drinks
- A napkin in the lunch box so no need for plates
For older children, hot dogs are also super popular and really easy to prepare with a slow cooker or using the facilities in your venue.
Having some cans of pop handy for the parents is always popular. I’m never a great fan of teas and coffees at parties as there is always the risk of burns so I would stick to cold drinks. As the entertainer parties, it is always lovely to be offered a cold drink. It can be hard work entertaining your cherubs, so a drink is always very much appreciated.
Now personally I am not a massive fan of party favours as I’ve seen far too much plastic go in the bin over the years. If you are having an ARTventurers party, themed party bags are part of the package so one less thing to think about (and the children take all their amazing creations home too so they certainly aren’t thinking about a plastic toy.)
My suggestions for party favours would be –
- A pack of bubbles
- A book (you can get cheap books from Boyes / Poundland / The Book People)
- A sticker book
- Something for a charity like a Red Nose or Pudsey Ears so you know your money is helping someone else too.
- I’ve even seen hula hoops given out as a party favour and they went down a storm!
It is always lovely to see the birthday boy or girl saying goodbye to their friends at the end of their party and saying thank you for coming too. It is such a lovely way to end a fun birthday party.
Useful things to remember on the day of the party
- Key for the venue
- Matches or a lighter
- Sellotape or blue tac
- Big knife for cutting the cake
- Extra napkins for the cake
- Money for the room hire/entertainer
- Camera for the all important photos
- Bin Bag
Hopefully these top tips for a stress free birthday party will be helpful but remember your party entertainer has tons of experience so don’t be afraid to ask them for advice. They will be the expert on the day so should take charge to ease any stress! If you want to know how I can help with a children’s birthday party in Gateshead and Newcastle, pop me a message to 07768373006 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of all, your children’s birthday party should be fun for your little one and you too. Delegate jobs to friends & family so you can be there in the party and not stuck cutting cake. Enjoy the day!
If like me you have a SNOW DAY and the little ones are desperate for something to do…..open your kitchen cupboards and whip up some messy play fun!
Open ended messy and creative play activities can keep children entertained for AGES! Plus all the time they’re playing they’re learning, developing skills, working on language and communication, problem solving…so it’s educational too!
If you’re mess-adverse then there are some “less messy” options in the list below, but it’s also really quite easy to keep mess contained! Try using a long low storage box to keep the play materials contained (like an under bed storage box), pop an old sheet or plastic cloth on the floor and strip the kids down to vests and nappy/pants so they can get well and truly stuck in!
1. Rice Play
This is definitely low mess and so much fun! Coloured with food colouring or just plain, add spoons, pots, pans, colanders….it’s sensory, GREAT for scooping and pouring and measuring and it’s magic stuff that somehow can soothe the most fractious toddler!!
2. Edible Paints
We love using edible paints in our Baby ARTventurers classes…….SO easy to make! You can try finger painting with things like yoghurt or whip (with some food colour added?), mix up a super simple edible paint with flour and warm water and a bit of colouring OR try one of the cornflour paint recipes like this lovely one from The Imagination Tree!
3. Jelly on a Plate!
Wibble wobble, wibble wobble……hide some toys in jelly and let them dig them out! OR use jelly granules with a small amount of water to create a paste – you’ve got jelly paint!!
4. Oats or cereal Play
For those who are mess averse – a box or tray of oats or dry cereal can provide a fab dry play material! Add trucks and diggers and it can become a building site……pour water in too and start mixing up some concrete!
Is it a solid, is it a liquid??….it’s rare to find a child (or adult!) who isn’t fascinated by gloop! Mix it up with cornflour and water – super simple and FABULOUS for rolling snow balls then letting them melt!
6. Cloud dough
Super soft, mouldable just like sand (but not as gritty!) and SO easy to make…..just grab some flour and add some veg oil……mix with your fingers to achieve a crumbly mouldable texture….now PLAY! We do it on a super sized scale but just a tupperware tub works perfectly.
Amazing for developing those fine motor skills, sewing is a super quite time activity, low mess but really easy to set up and great for lots of ages. For toddlers & older children, grab some card or paper, (maybe cut into a snowflake shape to theme it for the snow day), hole punch holes around the shape. I tie wool or string to the end of a pipe cleaner which acts as the needle. For our younger little ones, grab a colander and pipe cleaners and let your little one pull and push them into the holes. Endless fun!
8. Spaghetti/pasta play
Brilliant for developing those fine and gross motor skills and pincer grips, playing with spaghetti is always a big hit and it’s so easy to do! Cook until just cooked, drain and stir in some food colour if you want to brighten it up a little…..how much fun?!
Never underestimate the play properties of plain old flour! It’s a snowy scene, it’s an indoor snow storm! It’s great for piling up and knocking down! You can make marks, draw patterns, write your initial….get set GO!
10. Super snow
Ok, so for this one you’re going to be raiding the bathroom cabinet as well as the kitchen cupboard! Cornflour AND shaving foam – mix together and crumble with your hands to create some super snow! This isn’t one for babies who are just going to pile it straight into their mouths but older kids can have hours of fun mixing and playing with this one!
If you’re trying some messy play at home then we’d LOVE to see the photos – post them our social media with #artventurersfun so we can see what your own ARTventurers have been up to!
Introducing your little artist to paint at home the ARTventurers way!
There are 5 tips and a bit of inspiration from the ARTventurers team. Tips that you can use at home to get creative with paint with your little ones! There are loads of benefits to letting children be creative with art from a young age, and these tips will help them do so!
As most parents will know, the thought of letting your little one loose in your home with paint fills you with horror! All those lovely white walls and carpets covered in paint? No thank you! However, allowing babies and toddlers to get messy can be SO important for them and their development, whilst giving you a great opportunity to bond! So, fear not, here are some top tips from us at ARTventurers when using paint at home with your little ones…
Do you remember those old rolls of lining paper or leftover sheets of wallpaper that are stuck in the garage or loft gathering dust? Bring them out! These types of materials are ideal for covering your floor with and letting your little ones loose on. They’re easy to bin afterwards or even stick up on the wall to display the masterpieces and are a lot more fun to work with than small A4 sheets!
Make sure the paint is non-toxic and suitable for use!
Obviously, your child’s safety comes before keeping your house clean and tidy! So before you all get messy at home, ensure you know the paint being used is safe for use with small children. You can even try and mix it up using edible paint made from cornflour. We all know how much young ones want to put everything in their mouth! There are plenty of recipes online about how to make edible paint, so be sure to check them out.
Be prepared for the inevitable mess!
Cover your surfaces and floors with something easy to wipe down or bin, like an old shower curtain or plastic tablecloth! This protects your lovely house from getting covered in paint, but also allows young children the freedom to move about and be really creative with their whole body instead of sitting at a table. Stripping your little one down to a nappy also means less washing too as you can just plonk them straight in the bath! A cheap shower curtain or plastic table cloth can go straight in the washing machine afterwards too.
Join in and get MESSY too!
Babies and toddlers learn from watching other people, so if they see you getting involved and covered in paint too, they will be curious and copy you! Who knows, you may enjoy it too?
DITCH the paint brushes!
Unless your child is anxious about getting paint on their hands, leave the paint brushes in the box and use your body parts to create art instead! This allows them the freedom to investigate and explore the lovely colours and textures of paint, without having to pick up a brush!
If the thought of letting your little one loose at home with paint still frightens you, let an ARTventurers Session take the stress and worries away for you! Be sure to come along! See you soon! Emily x
If you’re doing Elf on the Shelf this year then you NEED our ARTventurers Elf planning calendar in your life in December! Loads of cheap and easy ideas for your elf.
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