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PLANNING a party doesn’t have to be stressful.
There are so many things that could be done without forking out the cash and spending copious amounts of time on preparation.
Here are some helpful hints to make the day special and go off without a hitch.

Deciding on a theme
This can be as easy as you want it to be – from a simple colour pink for girls, blue for boys, yellow for either, or a little more complex featuring favourite characters like Winnie the Pooh, Disney princesses, or Ninja Turtles.
Go wild with animals, impress with a circus theme or have a blast turning a famous event into a kids-friendly affair – think Kim Kardashian’s daughter North’s birthday, ‘Kidchella’ – a child-version of the popular American music festival Coachella (however, you may have to forgo the ferris wheel and celebrity guests).
Make your theme come to life with colourful streamers, balloons, homemade pom-poms and lanterns, or posters.
Top it off by dressing up, and asking guests to dress up, to match the theme.

Pick your food, drinks and venue
Making an invite list doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to be cash savvy is to make the list small and intimate – inviting only close family members or close friends.
If you want to invite more than close family and friends, make sure you know when to stop.
If your child is infant or toddler age – keep the guest list low to not overwhelm them. Invite the people they know and see regularly so they aren’t scared with many new faces.
If they are older, invite only close friends who they regularly associate with and their parents. Make sure to only invite as many people that you can cater for.
Pick a venue which is big enough to host everyone – preferably your own house so you don’t have to transfer food, drinks, and presents around.
If you plan a park – make sure it has a gazebo area or have a back-up plan.
If you hire a venue, try to hire one which provides toys for children so you don’t have to lug many around, and a kitchen area to do food preparation and cleaning.
Pick simple foods, preferably nut-free to avoid any run-ins with allergies. Think fairy bread, mini-pizzas, sausage rolls, meat pies, and nutritious options like fruit, vegie trays and juice boxes.
Make the cake on your own – matching your theme. Or if you have spare change, hire someone to do it for you. There are several cake makers who specialise in kids birthday cakes and can make anything and everything, in an array of different and delicious flavours. Cupcakes, cake pops and cookies are also perfect options instead of a cake. Just don’t forget the candles!

Plan some activities
Kids don’t need a lot of planned activities to keep them entertained. They have great imaginations and can come up with games with limited props. However, having a few activities keeps things organised. Try a pinata (just make sure it’s supervised so kids don’t get hurt). Pin the tail on the donkey (or similar), a treasure hunt around a closed in yard or pass the parcel (try to let everyone get a small prize so no tears are shed).
If you have the cash to splash hiring a face painter, balloonist, magician, clown or character artist adds a little bit of excitement to any party.

Pack the Party Favors
There is a wide range of options if you plan to hand guests party favours. You can fill gift bags with with sweet goodies such as lollies and chocolate (but again, keep in mind any food allergies). If your party guests are mainly babies and toddlers, you may want to avoid handing out any food. Instead, buy inexpensive mini-books, party poppers, bubbles or puzzles. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to get in on the action. You have worked hard to plan a great event, you deserve to have a little fun too. Dress up, eat, drink, have a turn on the pinata.
Then after you clean up and say goodbye, put your feet up and relax – you deserve it.

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