When you think of screaming children running rampant through your house with fistfuls of lollies and party streamers, you may be thinking of taking the party to an external location – and what a great idea! The park party is a fabulous way to celebrate and let the kids make their mess and noise outside where it doesn’t matter. And so long as you have everything you need it will be smooth running.
Here’s my list of what you will need to consider:
- Make sure you visit the park you are thinking of having your party at beforehand. Keep in mind toilets, play equipment, space, potential supervision hazards and bodies of water. Parks well fenced are essential for the younger ones. Smaller is better. When you do choose your park, make sure you arrive a good hour or more early so that you can find the right spot and I strongly recommend a quick scour for dog poo (gross but necessary).
- Make a list leading up to your party of everything you will need to remember to take on party day.
- Don’t forget the knife. One that comes with a cover is best, otherwise wrap it securely with thick paper.
- Take a chopping board – and then you can leave cut fruit or veg on the board to save plates.
- Decorations don’t have to be lavish, but a bit of coloured paper, balloons or streamers go a long way. When visiting the park before your party, take a look at potential hanging spaces.
- Hot food can be transported from home in a thermal bag in large containers with the lids off.
- Sauce for hot food!
- Don’t forget to take the lolly bags and party favours. To save yourself some time, pop in each bag a small thank you note from your child.
- Pre-plan party games, races or competitions, and any equipment required. Parks with fixed equipment are a great option as this is ready made entertainment.
- The cake of course. Keep in mind the moving of the cake from point A to point B. Think about which lap the cake will sit best on. The best way to cover a cake (without a handy cake carrier) is to stick toothpicks all over the cake, and then gently layer plastic wrap over the top so it doesn’t touch the masterpiece. Candles and matches also of vital importance!
- Drinks! An eski with individual bottled drinks labelled with the child’s name mean when kids put their drink down to go play, they are able to easily find it on their return. Extra cups always handy.
- If the park has a bubbler or tap, it means you won’t need to bring water.
- Make sure you have on hand two of your best friends, they are great go-to-girls to help take the pressure off.
- Lots of plastic bags for rubbish and wrapping up dirty plates etc.
- Consider disposable tablecloths and don’t forget napkins, plastic bowls, plates and paper towels along with wipes for sticky fingers.
- Get everything ready the night before packed in large ‘green’ bags or washing baskets, whatever you have that will make for less trips to and from the car.
- Know how many heads you need to count and do so throughout your party. Talk to the kids about where they can and can’t go, tell them to ask an adult to accompany them to the toilet.
- Always assume it will rain and have a back-up plan or tarpaulins to prop up and provide shelter.
How to make no mess Fairy Bread
Fill a plate with 100s and 1000s or whatever kind of sprinkles you are using, and butter the bread. Flip the bread butter side down into the plate, press firmly and voila. No more trying hard not to make a mess when sprinkling the stuff on top. For an extra magical effect, use shaped cookie cutters to make it even more special.