To help you get the best out of your child’s party with minimal effort, here are a few ideas we’ve picked up from the parties we’ve entertained at. We kick off with food and drink but we’ll be sharing more tips on other topics so check our Facebook page regularly . . .
Food and drink
There’s always lots of dancing at a Tillie & Matt party so make sure you’ve plenty of drinks on hand. Cartons of juice or small water bottles with sports caps will help to reduce the chance of spillages.
From our experience, eating’s not always a priority when you’re small and having fun at a party. Don’t stress yourself out by preparing loads of food that simply won’t get eaten. Instead, why not prepare each child his/her own meal in a personal party box. Expect to pay around 40 pence per box (lots to choose from online), and then fill them up with bite-size food, such as a sandwich, crisps and cheese strings. Then maybe display fruit slices and cupcakes on the table for ‘afters’.
But if you want a more traditional spread, here are some ideas we’ve picked up from other mums
Cucumber and carrot sticks with hummus – a huge hit at a party we entertained at recently. Use tiny, disposable shot glasses and fill each one with a spoonful of hummus, a carrot and a cucumber stick. I was amazed to see how well they went down.
Pizza is always popular and easy – kids usually love it and parents will polish off any leftovers! To make it even less stressful, order them from your local take-out but remember to get them delivered at least 10 to 15 minutes before you really want them in case the delivery is late.
Fairy sandwiches – small triangles of bread covered with butter and some coloured sprinkles.
Fruit kebabs – strawberries, watermelon, seedless grapes cut in half, kiwi – whatever’s colourful and in season. (Or for smaller children, just arrange pieces of fruit on a brightly coloured plate).
Marshmallows dipped in chocolate – an alternative to cupcakes. With a sweetie stuck on top this is Tillie’s favourite!
Crisps – naughty but still a firm favourite and ‘Pom Bears’ are especially popular with the under-sevens.
Birthday cake – we’ve noticed that a small, modest cake is often used for the candles and then each child is given a cupcake or cake pop to eat at the party or take away. This is a great idea as children are more likely to finish one of these. There are lots of fantastic cake-makers creating incredible designs and we have several favourites if you want a recommendation. Personally though, I always remember the cakes my mum made me. Sometimes they dipped in the middle or were a little burnt around the edge but she used to turn them into my favourite thing at that time. I had a swimming pool, ballet class, theatre stage, a farm – all far from perfect but in my eyes they were the best cakes in the world!
Party bags – I’ve seen all kinds of gifts in party bags: from books, to backpacks and helium balloons, to hand-wrapped sweetie bags or little plastic toys. I’ve noticed that children will appreciate anything at the end of the party and are often more excited about the cake inside the bag. It really doesn’t need to be expensive!
There’s a big choice of small toys and other gifts available – from online party gift suppliers to the cheapie high street favourites and the big supermarket chains. Museum and art gallery gift shops, farm shops and some charity shops, usually have a great range of inexpensive and unusual gifts, sometimes on a particular theme.
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Tillie & Matt specialize in parties within a 50 mile radius of London