Whether they are turning two or eight, celebrating your little one’s birthday is an exciting and special event. You can spend anything from R800 to R5000 – it really all depends on you. You can definitely keep costs down by sticking to just cake and cool drinks, having it at home, keeping your guest list to a minimum or skipping the party packs altogether.


Either way, here are some helpful hints on how to plan the perfect kid’s birthday party:

The bestiesCheck to see if your child’s best friends can make the proposed party date and time. Birthdays are much more fun with the besties around.Get your kid involvedIf they haven’t already been reminding you at every turn about the birthday cake they want or who to invite to the party, get your child involved in the party planning. Ask them to think of party themes and activities. Be prepared for tears and tantrums if pony rides or circus troop are not part of the budget. You can get inexpensive party décor at Pick n Pay or Checkers for popular Disney or Superhero movie or character themes.Guest list and invitationsThrowing a big birthday party bash is not necessarily the best. Younger kids handle smaller groups better. Keep count of your guest list and get an idea of who will and will not be coming, to make catering easier for you. It’s usually best to invite the child and a parent. The more help with the supervision of the kids, the better for you. Aim to invite kids that are the same age as your little one.These days you can print personalised party invites off the internet, so that’s one thing less to worry about.Favourite foodsServe up a platefuls of your kid’s favourite things to eat. Think finger foods like pizza, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and sandwiches. Cut up your sandwiches using cookie cutter shapes to make it interesting and fun for the kids. When it comes to the cake – make sure you get all the necessary ingredients and utensils ahead of time. You can also order your personalised character printed birthday cake in advance at your Spar or Pick n Pay bakery. No mess, no fuss.TimingParties are usually held on a weekend. Whether it’s a mid-morning or afternoon affair will depend on whether you are serving a meal or just birthday cake. For example, if you plan to serve lunch, have your party from 11am to 2pm. If it’s only about the birthday cake, then schedule your party two hours before or an hour after the usual meal times so your guests’ tummies are at least full when they arrive or leave.GamesYounger kids will enjoy “pinning the tail on the donkey” and musical chairs. Older kids will love a treasure hunt or art and craft activities. Try Makro for art and paper supplies.The venueYou can go out and hire a venue or opt to have it at home. This depends on how much you are willing to spend and the space you have at home. If the venue offering includes décor and catering, then this means less hassle for you. Think twice if you’ll need to set up the venue plus deliver the food as well.Prep and plan ahead of timeIt’s best not to leave things to the last minute. Get your party theme, details and décor sorted at least 4 weeks before the party date. Send out invites at least 3 weeks in advance and get the food menu organised. A week before the big day, you can order the cake (if you are ordering) and plan the games and activities. If there is any food you can make and freeze then add that to your to-do list. A day before, you might want to child proof the party area and get the decorations up if you are having it at home. Make sure you have plenty of time on the day of the party to pick up any food items or cakes before the guests arrive.Birthday presentsCollect all the kind gifts from your guests and place them out of the way while the party is going on. It’s best to open them after the guests have left. It makes for the perfect end to your perfect party event. Don’t forget to send out thank you notes to you guests.


Remember, planning the perfect kid's party doesn’t necessarily have to equal big and costly.