How to Host a Birthday Party Both Kids and Parents Will Love

We all want to give our children birthday parties they’ll really enjoy and remember. But aren’t the best parties the ones where the parents also have fun? Especially if you’re the parents hosting!

Here’s how to hold a Birthday party that satisfies everyone:

Keep it simple and focused on the children

It sounds obvious, right? But a lot of parents focus on the decorations and making the table look amazing when really I don’t think children care too much about that bit! The best party I’ve entertained at was organised by a dad who did no decorations and simple food in a box. He set it all up in 2 seconds then came and played with the children and got stuck in with their Oglee Poglee fun! Younger children especially love it if they see their parents getting involved too.

When it comes to themes and activities, chat with your child and see what they’d really like (rather than guessing based on what friends have had or wanting to do something more impressive). What do your children really enjoy? What do they get lost in for hours? Whether it’s crafting, playing football or imaginative play – any interest can become the basis for a party!

Prepare ahead

Try to cut out your stress by getting prepared well in advance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re keeping it simple or you are planning a immersive theme – have a plan, have the help you need, and try to have thing sorted so that on the day you can enjoy really focus on the children.

Get your child involved beforehand

Children love to be given a sense of responsibility and to be part of the excitement and build up to their party. Let them be as involved as possible. Encourage them to pick the party theme, come up with activity and decor ideas and then help you set up on the day.

Talk with the entertainer

If you’re booking any suppliers or entertainment for your party, talk to them in advance and ask for any tips to make the party run as smoothly as possible. What do they need from you? Is there anything they need from the venue layout? Is there anything else you want to know from them too, it’s always best if you know exactly what to expect on the day so you’re not having to rush around helping them find electricity sockets or having to re-jig furniture to make space for their set-up.

Pick the right venue

The right venue can really boost the fun factor, so think carefully. What sort of space do you need for the party you have in mind? Do you feel comfortable letting 20 children descend on your home or will you need a nice village hall or similar? Again have a chat with any entertainers and see what they’d need and if they have any local recommendations.  Our blog post on Finding the right party venue also has some top tips.

Keep the parents refreshed

If you’re expecting parents to stay while the children celebrate, don’t forget to have the fridge well stocked for them too. Food and drink always makes any small talk easier!

What are the best kids parties you’ve been to? We’d love to hear over on Instagram.

Plus, if you liked this blog post you may also like our blog post about bespoke birthday parties: Martha’s Bespoke Birthday Party

Martha’s Bespoke Birthday Party

What is a bespoke children’s party I hear you say?  Well it’s the wild ideas and make believe adventures that your child dreams of brought to life by the Oglee Poglee team of arty adventurers.

Martha was turning 7 this year and her mum approached me looking for a party that would make Martha’s dreams come true.  The brief was simple, to make sure Martha was the focus and that she could wear her favourite blue dungarees!   So we got our thinking caps on.  After discussing a few possible ideas with mum the party theme was set and friends were invited to “The Giant’s Tea Party”.

The party started with Martha reading out loud a letter written  to her by the Queen. The royal letter announced that Britain was in danger and the Country needed her help. A giant was on his way and the only way to prevent him trampling the land was to distract him with food.  Lots of food!  The queen was hosting a tea party for the giant and it was Martha’s job to discover what the giant liked to eat and get everything prepared.  Cool hey!

After a quick fact finding game we discovered that our giant loved cupcakes, cocktails and sandwiches.   So Martha and her friends got to work straight away making foam clay cupcakes, paper sandwiches with ketchup and some very frothy cocktails.

Naming your cocktail was a highlight and made us all giggle.  I wonder if giants like “poo powder”, “sprinkle drink” and “caramel fizz”!

I loved designing Martha’s party, the children loved the theme and worked together as a team to create a table of pretend food that any giant would have eagerly  gobbled up.

“A brilliant party from start to finish, thanks Claire!  Martha and her friends had a great time and I enjoyed putting my feet up watching you do all the hard work!”  Helen, Berkhamsted

 

To have an Oglee Poglee party designed for your child do get in touch.

 

 

 

 

We Won! Best Children’s Business in Hertfordshire

We are thrilled to announce that Oglee Poglee won “Best Children’s Business” in the 2018 Muddy Stilettos Awards.  Thank you so much to everyone that votes for us, it really does mean a lot.

What a weekend to win on!  There was a royal wedding and a 70th Birthday celebration for my mum so I was surrounded by friends, family and Champagne most of the weekend which made in extra special.

In true winners style I would like to thank a few people who without their support Oglee Poglee would just not work.  Mainly my husband and children who put up with cardboard everywhere, sequins stuck to their socks and long nights in front of the TV helping me to cut out paper shapes or box up orders.

I also have a fantastic team.  Clare, Helen and Rebecca make all the party bags whilst Jo and Bizi entertain children at our parties.  They are an amazing bunch who bring so much to the company and put up with my creative ramblings and mad moments. I couldn’t do it without you all.

Another big mention is to Rachel for her amazing Pr, everyone at the Design House for their graphic work and our new website, the team at Neal Brothers Packaging who like cardboard as much as me and last but not least Maxine and Saskia who have brought my marketing and web copy into the 20th Century at last.

Thank you for making 2018 an amazing year for Oglee Poglee

Children’s Parties – Finding the right venue

Your child has big birthday plans; they’ve picked the party theme and you have discovered a brilliant party entertainer, it’s just the venue to sort out!

A party at home is a great idea for small gatherings but what if you have invited a whole class of energetic children? Finding a suitable venue to host a children’s party can be a bit over whelming. As a party entertainer I have partied in lots of different venues from large conference centres to small village halls. All have their pros and cons so here are Oglee Poglee’s top tips for choosing the right venue for your children’s party.

Focus on your top priorities

The venue you chose needs to work for the type of party you are planning. Does the venue need a stage, is a carpeted floor a benefit or a hindrance? Do you want outdoor space for a summer party or a venue with loads of space for a soft play set up.

Plan early

The best venues will get booked up quickly so plan ahead and get your date secured as soon as you can otherwise the choice of venues will be limited.

Good parking

Even if you party guests are local and can walk to your party make sure there is a parking space at the venue for your party entertainer and yourself. You will have a car load of stuff (food, decorations, kids and presents) and there is nothing more stressful then not being able to park when time is precious.

Kitchen facilities

Whether you are planning hot or cold food, a clean well equip kitchen is a saviour. Even the most organised of us can forget the cake knife or the matches so if there are some at the venue it’s a great help.

Tables and chairs

Does the venue have tables and chairs that you can use? Most church halls do and if the venue is also used by a preschool or toddler group there might be children’s sized tables and chairs available.

Cleanliness

Some venues are spotless whereas others have seen better days and could do with a good scrub. If you have really small children that will be playing on the floor a nice clean venue will put your mind at ease.

Costs

The cost of hiring a venue can vary depending on the size of the venue and its facilities. Do check what the hire fee includes when you book to make sure there are no hidden extras. Some hired halls are now asking the hirer to have public liability insurance. Do ask whether it is a requirement when you book.

Space

Choose a venue that can cater for the amount of guests coming to your party. Remember that you need to give the party entertainer some space and also seat your guests around tables to eat. Venues that have two or more rooms can work really well with the party entertainment in one room and then food in the other. Younger children love to run around a bit more so go for the biggest space you can find.

Decorations

If you have big decorating plans do check with the venue to see if you decorate the room for your party. Some halls don’t like you to put anything on the walls. If that’s the case you can focus your decorations onto the party table or go for free standing decorations like balloon sculptures for the wow factor.

How to find a party venue near you:

  • Local Councils normally have a list of local venues to hire including Council owned and non Council owned, so check out their website.
  • A local Facebook group can be a good place to ask other parents for their recommendations
  • Church and village halls offer good local facilities and are a great starting point.
  • Look to see where other local groups hang out. Scout huts, meeting houses and preschools will all use child friendly venues that could be perfect for your party.
  • Alternative venues: If you are looking for something a little bit different why not try a local restaurant or cafe, garden centre, sports club or school. These venues might even be able to offer some catering or a space that will match your party theme.
  • Ask your party entertainer for advice: At Oglee Poglee we are happy to help you to find the perfect party venue, it’s all part of the service. We have explored most of the venues in the local area and so can offer first hand advice and guidance

Top 10 Gifts for Creative Kids

Do you find yourself wishing you could gift your child something other than more plastic? Here are 10 gift ideas to captivate the imagination of creative children and delight parents in something different:

Highly pigmented watercolour paints

Image: One Hundred Toys

Watercolours are a lovely choice if you’d like to give them paints but don’t want to hand over a potentially destructive set of poster paints. Since watercolours need water to use the pigment, they can’t be over poured or wasted in one spontaneous hand printing session! These high-pigment paints from Stockmar are made from all-natural gum arabic and colour pigments. They give a strong colour and are easy to mix and wash off brushes after use.

An art box

Their very own art box is another exciting gift option for children of all ages. You can include paper, pencils, pens, stamps, watercolour paints – any arts and craft tools that children can safely use on their own terms. Read our recent blog post for a full list of ideas on what to put in their first art box.

Paint sticks

Image: Brian Clegg Art

Paint fun that even the tiniest hands can enjoy! These chunky paint sticks are easy to grip and use like a crayon directly on paper or add water for painting – they’ve always proved a hit with my nieces, nephews and friends’ children. The metallic ones are particularly lovely.

Osthemier Creative animal set

Image: Babi Pur

Let them paint their own toys with this Osthemier Creative wooden animal set with paints. One you can sit down and join in with for a creative bonding session. Made from sustainable hard wood and finished with water-based colour stain.  Suitable for ages 4+

Art Workshop for Children (Book)

Image: Art Bar Blog

How about inspiring parent and child with a book designed to help foster original creative thinking? Art Workshop is full of process art ideas – artistic ideas that focus more on the process of creating (and having fun) then the finished work. You can buy this book from Blackwell’s bookshop now.

Makedo construction kits

Image: Makedo

For budding constructors, consider the ingenious Makedo kit! Not easy to get hold of in the UK, but so worth the cost if you manage to get yourself a set. Each kit contains handy screws that can be used through cardboard to join different elements of your creation together. Really easy for children to use to build anything out of cardboard!

Makedo is what we use to make our cardboard sculptures for workshops and parties – they’re so versatile and boost the joy of a simple cardboard box even further

Magnatiles

Another brilliant construction option, are these brilliant magnetic construction tools from Magnatiles. A great alternative to Lego. Quite expensive but a wonderful investment to creative play – providing hours of open-ended building opportunities; towers, doll houses, car parks… the choice is theirs.

Felt crafting set

Image: Baba Me

Felt is an often-overlooked crafting material, but this felt crafting set from Small Foot is a great way to introduce them to the traditional art of felting. It comes with colourful felts and wooden figures to decorate as they see fit. Great for boosting motor skills and concentration.

Stackable rainbow

For little creators who can’t yet master a screw driver, these stackable rainbow arches are a simple and charming option – very popular in our house. These lime wood shapes (painted with non-toxic wood stain) are designed to be used however their imagination sees fit! Balance boards, tunnels, sculptures – you can bet your child will find some other way to use them and surprise you. Great for imaginative and pretend play.
This Grimms stacking toy is available from Conscious Crafts who we love for their amazing collections of imaginative, creative toys and gifts.

A sewing kit

Image: Button Bag

Another open-ended option, gift them a sewing kit full of fabrics, threads, needles, beads, patches etc – it will provide another exciting invitation to create and give them a sense of responsibility to be trusted with sharp objects! You know your child best but probably most suitable for ages 7+

Does your child have a birthday coming up? Why not share this blog post with friends and family to give them some creative gift inspiration?