Jeebs recently had her 5th birthday. She had been planning her party and inviting and uninvited people for the past 8 months. I was reluctant to organise anything in advance due to Reggie being due 10 days before her birthday, turns out he was born bang on his due date!!

Once baby was here and the risk of having to cancel last minute was out I guilted myself into organising her party – with only 7 days notice and a newborn to throw in the mix. I couldn’t handle a class full of kids so we stuck to her favourites and their siblings (I have issues with parties where siblings can’t join in, I have a husband who works a lot of weekends and no family close by so my kids often miss out). We ended up with 18 kids, which to be honest was more than I thought I could handle but what the hell!!

It seemed as though a lot of the parents in the first year of reception were trying to outdo each other by spending a fortune on parties. In my view, there’s nowt wrong with an old fashioned ‘Do it yourself’ kind of vibe.

I emailed the local church to see if their hall was available – which it was, for £12 an hour. Win. Then went about organising activities. Here’s what we had…

Pebble Painting.

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I took the  kids to a nearby beach with a bucket each and sent them to find flat pebbles. I bought a few tubes of acrylic paint from Wilko (also provided aprons as it doesn’t wash out too easily but will stay on the pebbles), paint pallets and paintbrushes, job done!

Cupcake Decorating.

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You can pick up trays of plain cupcakes for next to nothing. I raided my cupboards for decorations (most of which were out of date, that’s ok right!?). I made a few pots of icing from icing sugar, food colouring and a few drops of lemon juice.

DIY Ice cream Station.

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This went down an absolute treat, especially with the older ones. I borrowed this tray from work but a dinner tray would work or I’ve seen similar type trays in B&M Bargains. I borrowed ice-cream scoops and set it up with ice cream cones and sprinkles. My father in-law did not get this concept. He was concerned about the ice cream melting and the mess. Needless to say, the more mess involved the happier the kids. To be fair, there were a couple of dropped ice creams but other than that it was fairly contained.

Disco Area.

This literally consisted of iPod and speakers (which ended up with ‘Shake it off’ on repeat), a borrowed disco ball, a few inflatable microphones (bought off amazon for a few quid) and balloons.

The Obligatory Party Games.

We did a few rounds of musical statues, everyone got a bag of sweets because I’m too soft (the winner got two!). We also did pass the parcel, I only spent a few quid on the prizes from the craft section in Wilko.

For the kids tea my friend had these boxes hanging about her house which she kindly donated. They were from eBay and pretty cheap. I filled them with cheap stuff from Lidl. Jeebs is a fruit and veg lover so I also made some fruit kebabs and a tray of chopped veggies (I shouldn’t have bothered with the veg, though Jeebs did polish it off over the next few days).

I refused to spend a load of money on tat for party bags which lets face it, all parents hate that shit cluttering up their house. I bought some sweet bags from eBay and some large packs of sweets which I divided between the bags. Done!!

All in all it went down really well, I would’ve struggled to get it all done without the help of the in-laws entertaining the girls and hubby and good friends helping to set up and tidy away.

Rachel