We all love a party and enjoying a party with your kids can easily be environmentally friendly, especially if you have it outdoors in the sunshine.  However, regardless of if you are trying to do your bit to save the planet or not, planning a kids party can still be quite stressful, so here are a few tips.

Keep the guest list short:

It is not necessary to invite everyone you or your child can think about. You can limit the guest list to your child’s close friends and family members if they live nearby. Don’t worry if the mother of one of the children not included in the list, feels offended. It is your child’s party and if he or she is not friends with this other kid, let it go. The mother will also get over it in time.

Time the invitations:

eco-friendly-party-ideasA child’s party invitations can safely be send out two weeks before the party. People tend to forget and the invitation can get lost amongst other letters if you send it out earlier. State the time the party start and end clearly on the invitation. That way people will know not to overstay their welcome.

Don’t expect everybody on the list to let you know that their child/children will attend the party. It is good practice to phone the ones that have not responded to find out if they will attend so that you can cater more accurately.

If parents drop off their children for the party, remind them about the time they must pick up the children again or else you will have a few tired, grumpy kids on your hands until the parents eventually remember to pick them up.

Avoid weekend parties:

If you plan a small party for your child, it is best not to have it on a weekend. You will find that the brothers, sisters and even cousins will tag along and you may have to budget for more children than you originally planned for. Friday afternoons can be quite a good time to have a smaller party as all the extramural school activities normally run from Monday to Thursday.

However, if you do enjoy huge parties and family gatherings, have the party on a Saturday and enjoy it!

Budget for a bouncy house or entertainer:

bounce houseIf the party is being held at your house, be prepared to keep the kids busy with games or some other form of entertainment. A professional entertainer like a clown or a magician is always a great hit with the kids but if your budget does not allow it, you should have plenty of party games up your sleeve. You don’t want the kids to become bored and invade your house…

Another good option to keep kids entertained is a bouncy house.  Lets face it, everyone loves them and they are remarkably environmentally friendly nowadays, especially if you hook them up to your solar panel power.  Party rental companies do all the hard work, saving you hassle and stress.

Keep the food simple:

Let your child help you decide about the food for the party but don’t go overboard with a lot of food. Two or three bowls of sweets, age-appropriate crisps and cupcakes will usually be enough. Add some mini pizzas or mini sausage rolls (easy to make as they can be bought ready made). Add to that some ice cream and the cake and all the empty stomachs can be filled quite easily.

If there will be parents at the party, don’t go overboard with special goodies for them. Provide them with biscuits (bake your own or buy a few packets of fancy biscuits from a deli), add some cocktail sausage rolls and serve tea or coffee. The left-overs can be frozen or stored in a container so the family can enjoy it afterward.

Party Packs:

Finally let’s take a look at the party packs. There’s no need to go all out with these (don’t let your child pressure you into providing the “best party pack ever”. Many times party packs are taken home and forgotten. A few marshmallows, bite-sized chocolates, small packet of crisps and a sucker or two will be enough.

Novelty toys can be added, but if you are not careful, they can cost a fortune and normally they find their way to the back of a drawer after a day or two. Why not make a small gift yourself, something that will fit in with the theme of the party… but in most cases children just want to take home a small bag of sweeties to “show” that they have been at a party.