party tips and ideas

Birthday Party Tips and Tricks + LoveJK Giveaway

Congratulations to the following winners:

I just love the gorgeous Cut And Make Rainbow Party Kit, because rainbows always invoke a feeling of fun, excitement and parties to me and I love that it’s gender neutral so reusable for boys and girls!

Thanks for the great giveaway, fingers crossed!!!

Loving the Cut and Make Party-bot kit. Great theme & sooooo easy to create a fabulous looking party table with these. That teamed with the divine twine and striped bags the party decor are covered!

Rosemary Butcher
My soon to be 5 year old daughter would love a rainbow themed party in May. Perhaps with the Cut And Make Rainbow Party Kit
$39.95 I might be able to achieve that feat!
I was thinking to get a long roll of butchers paper to draw the rainbow outline and make colour related food to put on it.

January was birthday party month on Planning With Kids! You can find the previous birthday party posts here. This is the last post in the series and it has a fab giveaway too, so be sure to read to the end!

Today’s post is a guest post from the talented Jennifer Henderson, who describes herself as Chief Kiddo of Love JK. Love JK is a Melbourne based company who make fun-ware for kids, for celebrating, decorating and creating. They also have beautiful stationery, invitations, bunting and giftware which is made locally in Melbourne with premium paper, fine fabrics and ‘love’.

Jennifer has put together some handy tips to help make your next birthday party a fun one, not a stressful one!



To ensure a stress-free and happy day, get planning the party early!

I suggest you start to think and plan the party 2 months before the big day.  If you are looking to celebrate it outside of the home and are looking to get a professionally made cake, then it’s a good idea to contact the venue or cake maker early, as they do get booked out!

Choose the theme for the party. From Rainbows to Cowgirls, Firemen to Pirates, there are lots of fun themes that kids love. Once you’ve chosen your theme, find your invitations and post them out 4 weeks beforehand.

Start planning your menu about 3 weeks before. This will give you time to make freezable items in advance or ask for friends or family for help! You can also start making any homemade decorations 3 weeks prior. Try and get your little one’s to help you in any way so they get excited too!

A few days before the party, take your shopping list and hit the shops (I prefer to do it with a soy latte in hand!). Buy off your list to help you stick to your budget. Try to do as much food preparation in advance as possible, as it really does make life a lot easier.

The day before the party is when I call for all hands on deck to help clean up, make food and decorate the house. (assuming your are hosting it at home).

On the day of the party, get any last minute food prep out of the way early, so you aren’t worried about it. If there are some things which have to be done really last minute, then perhaps ask a lovely friend or family member to help you, so you can welcome your guests.

Once everyone has arrived, enjoy the celebration, take lots of photos of the happy occasion and relax!  Be sure to keep a note of which gift is which too, so you can thank them with a card.

Food to fill little bellies

party tips and ideas
Depending on your culinary prowess, you can make incredible sweet treats yourself, or buy them. You don’t want to be stressing about being a domestic god/ess in the lead up to the special day!

Here are some of our tips for food which is super easy, healthy and won’t cost a fortune:

  • Shape Cut Sandwiches ~ Make simple, everyday sandwiches much more fun by using a cookie cutter to make a fun shape. Somehow a star shaped honey and cheese sandwich is much more fun to eat than a standard square one!
  • Pop, Pop, Poppin Popcorn ~ Gluten-free, healthy, tasty and cheap! Popcorn makes a great party snack which is super easy to prepare. You can buy it pre-popped or pop it yourself.
  • Scrumdidlyumptious Fruit ~ Most kiddos like at least some fruit. Strawberries, grapes and apples are always popular and you can make them more attractive to little eyes by putting them in fun containers, getting creative on the plate, and make fruit animals, or even fruit sushi.
  • Fruit Jelly ~ Yummy and easy! Simply add in your fruit before you allow your jelly to set and a few hours later your fruit jelly will be ready.
  • Shape Cut Pizzas ~Using your cookie cutters, cut a regular pizza base into fun shapes and top with fresh pineapple, ham slices and cheese.
  • Healthy Cupcakes ~ Not all cupcakes have to be fattening and loaded with sugar. Add in some banana, carrot or blueberries to make a healthy sweet treat!
  • Food allergies – Serious food allergies are increasingly common now. Make sure you know of any allergies and cater accordingly. If any of your guests do suffer from an allergy, make it clear as what they can and can’t eat, and give them lots of choice. There’s nothing worse for a little one to feel left out of the celebrations!

Fun & Games

party tips and ideas

  • The games you play depend very much on the age of the birthday kiddo. For older kids, crafty activities or cooking classes are a great way to fill the time. And for the little-uns, old favourites like a treasure hunt and pass the parcel are always brilliant. Here are some ideas which have proved a hit with little kiddos we know:
  • Drawing competition: Lay out a selection of crayons or pencils and let the little artists create.
  • Pin the tail on the donkey: This can be changed to suit the theme of your birthday. For example, with our Celebrate n Bake Party Kit, we include a template for “Pin The Cherry On the Cupcake”. The prize for this could be kid-sized baking utensils.
  • Dance competition: Use up some of their energy with a dance comp! You can link it with the theme of the party too – so if it was a ballerina party – the kids could pretend to be ballet dancers… or if it’s a Robot themed party, why not hold a robot dancing comp?


Give your guests a little something to say Thank You for coming. You can let the kiddos make their own party favour (eg decorate their own apron, if the theme was cooking related), or give them a selection of sweet treats and trinkets.

Not all goody bags have to be filled with sweet treats though! You can give pretty pencils or crayons (depending on the age) or link it to the theme of your party.

Love JK Giveaway

party tips and ideas
To help you with your next birthday party, Jennifer is offering 3 x $50 shopping sprees on her online shop Love JK. Which you could spend on something like:

Cut And Make Party-bot Party Kit ($39.95)
The kit contains all you need to cut and make your gorgeous party accessories so you can enjoy the special day in style!

  • Happy Birthday Bunting & Ribbon
  • 12 x Large Labels
  • 12 x Little Labels
  • 12 x Milk Bottle Labels
  • 12 x Lolly Bag Thank You Tags
  • 12 x Tent Cards
  • 12 x Party Circles

To enter all you need to do is:

  • Simply visit the Love JK website, then come back here to the Planning With Kids blog and leave a comment stating the product you like best and why. {You can choose to spend your $50 on what ever stock is available at the time.}
  • The winner will be notified via email. You must have a valid email address to enter. If no response is received with 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • This give away is available to Australian residents only.
  • The give away will close 9pm AEDST Saturday 9th February 2013.
  • Good luck!

You can also sign up to the LoveJK newsletter on the website to keep up to date with their latest news, competitions, and fun ideas for you to try at home.