6 Secrets to Party Success

We love a party here at Pink Fizz Towers, and what better excuse than our youngest daughter’s first foray into the world of double digits. Yes, it’s the big One-Zero for Katie, she’s finally hit the big time, catching up with her sister at a rate of knots at the grand old age of 10. But what to do for a ten-year old girl’s party in this day and age of all things digital, expensive and uber-cool?

We asked Katie the question with trepidation…”what would you like to do for your birthday this year darling?”…imagining all sorts of ideas that were either too loud, too fast or made us feel old and past it. Imagine our delight when we were greeted with “I’d like my friends to come over and play games…definitely pass-the-parcel”. Hoorah! We shook on that one pretty quickly!

So the day arrived and nine gorgeous girlies all appeared dressed in their party clothes ready for fun, plus our two that made eleven tween girls, more than enough for a squeal-fest.

With two girls in the house and a collective 20 parties between them (well, less than that really, it was simple family tea parties in the early years) we have become old hats at this party malarky so here are our 6 secrets to party success for girls:

1. Let your child be the party-planner: If it’s a good enough job for Pippa Middleton, it’s a good enough job for your little angel. Why take on all the stress of planning the party when at the end of the day your child knows what games they like playing, what their friends are likely to eat, what theme they are all into and what prizes they would like to win. Don’t agonise over the details, planning a party can be great fun for tweens, they can draw pictures, write lists, search online for ideas and even create a mood board and work to a budget. There, all the hard work done for you, now all you need to do is trim to fit your space/budget/time slot!

2. Make your party food part of the programme: Girls tend to eat like sparrows at parties, filling up only on the best pickings and often too excited to eat much at all, so don’t waste your time and money clearing the local supermarket shelves and offering too much variety. Keep the menu simple and get double the value by incorporating it as part of your theme – making pizzas for tea or decorating cakes for dessert. Katie was very lucky to get a candyfloss maker for her birthday so we incorporated this into the party with each child able to make their own stick of sugary fluff…this was a huge success, great fun, simple and delicious! As was the chocolate fountain and decorating ginger biscuits – an hour of fun and dessert all sorted!

3. Let your child choose what to wear: Can you imagine hosting your own party and your mother/father coming along and telling you what to wear? The Brigit Jones/reindeer jumper scene springs to mind! At the age of 10 our tween girls are starting to experiment a little with their style, they are starting to develop their ideas, likes and dislikes and they need the space and support to do this…so if it’s a choice between a hideous new neon-trend, a fancy-dress costume, wearing an identical number to their BFF, or your favourite frilly dress, just let them be the one to decide what will suit their big day …if nothing else you’ll win brownie points for being chilled out, and you can always take your photos in soft focus ;o). Luckily our little blonde loves a ‘proper’ party dress and we chose the one in The Blonde is wearing in the feature picture from Next as a surprise to remind her of our favourite holiday destination – St Ives (although I have no idea if the print is in fact St Ives or not!!).

4. Don’t let party bags get you down: There’s no getting away from the infamous party bag conundrum; such is our parental obsession with party bags that there are numerous websites, forums and discussions dedicated wholly to this topic. We must be mad! Well after many years of participating in this debate and trying every possible approach; homemade goodies, a wrapped book/toy, a themed bag, a reusable bag, etc, I have given in entirely and finally listened to my daughters who tell me in great earnest that all their friends really want is a bag full of sweets and something sparkly – ideally stationary from Smiggle, nail varnish or a bracelet from Claire’s Accessories.  Yes they might lose it, throw it away, have ten already, but does it really matter – the smile on their face when they take it home says it all, these little token bags are really not worth all the angst! Along with this the girls took home the results of their party activities – this year it was pottery painting…meet Barry and Bertie:

Pottery painting party, parties for girls

5. Make a contingency plan: Something will go wrong at your little angel’s party, it’s par for the course, so just be ready to deal with a problem and stay relaxed. This time for us it was the music playlist not working when everyone arrived poised to dance their socks off – I knew I should have stuck to CDs! You can bet your bottom dollar there will be something that throws your perfect party plans out the window so be ready for it; make sure you have all parent’s phone numbers so you can call if someone is ill/injured etc; have some spare food around and an extra couple of party bags you can make up for unexpected siblings, and have a few extra games and prizes up your sleeve in case everything passes by too quickly or you have less guests than expected. Fail to prepare and you will only prepare to fail.

6. It’s all about the cake: No matter how old your child will be on their birthday, they just love a special cake complete with candles to blow out (and pull out of the cake – what is this obsession?!). We have had a range of cakes over the years, from Disney themed shop bought treats to home-made triumphs and disasters. This year, knowing I had little time to prepare I was very lucky to engage the lovely Liz at our local Simply Scrumptious Cakes in making a birthday cake that would be a dream for a little girl who can’t stomach fondant icing, vanilla sponge or anything fruity (not taking after her parents I hasten to add)….so a chocoholics dream came true:

Birthday cake ideas, simply scrumptious cakes,

A Simply Scrumptious birthday cake fit for a chocolate-loving party princess!,

If you follow the 6 secrets above, as well as adding all your ideas too, your birthday babe will have a brilliant party. Everything you do to make your child’s party a success is important, but perhaps the most important factor is that you enjoy it too. Just relax, have fun and think of that long, cold glass of something special at the end.

Chink chink x

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