1. Invites: If you want to invite one person  to a birthday party from a group/club/class/clique, you must invite the entire group/club/class, no exceptions, so nobody is left out.
  2. Birthday Cake: It should be bigger than the cake at the last party you went to. The birthday girl/boy’s parents must spend at least 48 hours hand sculpting and baking the biggest and most beautiful cake Mary Berry has ever seen.    We’re talking rainbow layers, hand-carved unicorns flying out of the icing, Elsa singing “Let it Go” as the candles burn, and most importantly there must be enough cake to be wrapped up for all your guests and their families. Remember the more layers, the better the parent you are. Fact.
  3. Co-ordinating themes: Once a child has decided on a “theme” – the whole party must follow that theme and all the children must embody that theme. No slacking, or re-using previous costumes, banners and props. Oh no, we have the World Wide Web at our finger tips, therefore, one has the ability and must source everything to match at ones party.
  4. Pass-the-parcel: Must be played. Every participant must open at least one layer of the parcel and win some form of a prize. The host must not win the main prize. And in large circles of children, thou must provide two parcels so the kids don’t get bored waiting for their turn.
  5. Musical bumps/chairs: is a no due to “health and safety”
  6. Musical statues: The first few goes are all just “practices.” Then it’s up to the toughest parent to decide who to disqualify. But by “disqualify” we just mean they’re out of the running to win the game, they can still dance and participate in the game to avoid any self-esteem issues.
  7. Pin the tail on the donkey: It might scare kids if you blind-fold them, and by spinning them around might cause motion sickness… we must trust our youngsters simply to shut their beautiful eyes. And it doesn’t matter where the kids end up sticking donkey’s tail, it’s all just an “interpretation” so everyone must win a prize. Oh, and parents, the new donkey… is a Piñata. Every party now needs a Piñata. Ideally you will have created an animal over the last 3 months to contain enough sweets to rot every single tooth of every child attending’s mouths.
  8. Entertainment: What? You thought some feeble games were enough?! Yes every party must have a child entertainer or a party planner (the new wedding planners) or a mascot.
  9. Party food: No longer will oven food (pizzas, sausage rolls & nuggets) cut it. Oh no, kids these days need humous, olives, crudités and gluten-dairy-sugar-free options. Don’t even think about buying non-organic fruit and vegetables either. You will be judged. Goodbye beige and hello expensive rainbow food. NB/ the only pizza looking thing which is allowed is watermelon slices.
  10. Party Bags: Unless you never want your guests to leave, then party bags are a must. Every child attending is lured in and out of the party by the promise of a shiny bag full of shiny junk. After all, we all need more crap toys and bits in our house, right?

Obviously these rules are tongue-in-cheek but there’s some truth in them too… I’ll let you decide!

We’d normally adhere to most of the rules but it often ended up with my husband, family and I being super stressed out, forking out lots of time and money and just wishing for the mayhem to end. Plus the kids would just be totally overwhelmed by it all.

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So this year we went against the grain for Arianna’s 2nd birthday party, to have a small and intimate affair, doing what she loves… painting.

Crafty Owls Pottery Barn

We booked the upstairs of the pottery barn in their party room and rather than just inviting everyone we see and their friends, we just stuck to the ones closest to Ari.

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After setting up the food and crafts, the kids started arriving with their parents.

There was a kids table of paints and an adults one.

So all the kids, as part of the party package, could choose a pottery animal to paint.

And if the adults wanted to purchase something to paint, they could, such as plates, butter dishes, plaques and figurines.

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I’d thought that us parents would have to squirt the paint and help the kids but the staff did that so we got the pleasure of watching on, ordering coffees and taking photos.

The party was really well structured… they’re obviously experienced in kids parties!

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When the kids had finished painting they helped to decorate a memory plate for the birthday girl… Arianna.

Then it was time for cake and singing happy birthday before sitting down to eat.

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I had made up lunch boxes for the kids and grown-ups to devour before some party games. I had also brought along some simple crafts such as colouring in and sticking stickers to avoid any gaps in who finished their lunch first etc (I always have back-up crafts on me!).

By doing the cake first, meant I could cut it up and wrap it whilst everyone was eating.

Next up we cleared the tables to make way for a humongous pass-the-parcel (I always outsource/ delegate the task of making the parcel to my dad).

And yes we did it diplomatically so everyone was happy.

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Then we played musical statues and musical bumps which was loads of good fun plus obligatory prizes.

Before we knew it, it was time for party bags and home.

What a fantastic stress-free time we had thanks to Crafty Owls.

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We then left our pottery creations to be glazed in the kiln and they’ll be ready for collection after a week.

Crafty Owls have got lots of activities on for adults and children and of course you too can hold a party there, go to: www.craftyowlspottery.com

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