Stress Free Children's Parties

School’s out! Here's TOAST's ultimate guide to stress-free and stylish children’s parties this summer

School is officially out for summer and the kids are ready to party! TOAST talks to some of the UK’s leading children’s event experts and suppliers here to make your life easier when it comes to throwing a super cool kid’s bash this summer. We also get their thoughts on this year’s key kid’s party trends, plus their top tips on how to organise a stress-free children’s party like a pro.

Organising any kind of party can seem a daunting task, especially when kids are involved. There’s the guest list, the invitations, the decorations, the all-important activities and let’s not forget the show-shopping cake and bulging party bags too.

In 2017 expectations are high – does ‘pass the parcel’ or ‘musical chairs’ still cut the mustard? We’re not so sure. Filled with seemingly endless energy children want to be delighted, thrilled and amazed, which is not always an easy task in this digital day and age. The party may be about whoever’s young birthday it is, but these days parents also want a party that looks stylish and Instagrammable too – it’s a balance that’s not always easy to achieve.

So in short, organising and hosting a children’s party is no easy undertaking but never fear, TOAST is here! We’ve enlisted the help of some of UK’s leading children’s event experts and suppliers to get their thoughts on this year’s key children’s party trends, as well as their invaluable advice and top tips on how to organise a stress-free kid’s party like a pro this summer.


Fun Themed Party Decor 

Jo Kay founded The Humble Hostess in order to help busy parents quickly pull together a stunning themed party, just by opening a box. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Each carefully curated box contains all the party supplies required for 16 guests, all handmade, gorgeously colour-coordinated and themed, and even personalised with the birthday boy or girl's name. Genius.

The tropical theme continues to gather pace this year and of course works beautifully on bright summer days” explains Jo, founder of The Humble Hostess.

“This is a trend that has been picked up by high street stores so it's easy to grab a few bits with the weekly shop then dress it up with some special personalised pieces. I've recently designed a teddy bears' picnic themed party decoration pack with a tropical ice cream palette which looks fabulous outside for a birthday tea party

The Humble Hostess’ tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • Plan Ahead - Trying to get anything done while small children are 'helping' is a recipe for disaster, so I always suggest making as much as possible ahead of time.
  • Prep Ahead of Time - The party bags can be prepped and pass the parcel wrapped weeks before to really save time in the build up to the party.
  • Write Lists - In order everything for the birthday tea in one online shop a week before then, keep editing it as the party gets closer and have it arrive the evening before so I can make up sandwiches first thing in my pyjamas!

Humble Hostess

Creative Craft Parties 

The brilliantly named Oglee Poglee aims to help kids to explore their own creativity with fun-filled craft parties. Sticky fingers and rip-roaring adventures are the ideal environment for kids to be themselves, gain confidence and create memories. As well as their fantastical storytelling, art making and creative play, Oglee Poglee also offers a bespoke party service which includes invitations, unique craft party bags and extra party entertainment too!

Unicorns have been a big theme this year and it works really well when we mix it up a bit with some rainbow crafts, glitter and lots of colour!” explains Claire from Olgee Poglee

“The hunt for the unicorn poo has been a really popular game! Animal themes have also been a hit but with a focus on pets, particularly dogs and cats. We’ve designed a lot more bespoke parties this year as more and more clients would like unique themes”

Oglee Poglee’s top tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • Keep it Simple - Summer is a great time of year to have a party but as a summer baby myself I know that it can be tricky to get to host a large party as lots of families go away on holiday, but smaller parties can be really special as you can really focus on each child at the party.  
  • Go outdoors – some of the most memorable Oglee Poglee parties have been garden parties. A simple gazebo offers protection from the hot sun or a little rain shower and can be easily decorated to create a den like space and the main focus for the party. The real joy of being outside is you don’t have to worry about the mess so much. Our favourite summer activities are potion mixing, painting with ice cubes, mini assault courses and treasure hunts!
  • Have a plan B – sadly the British weather can let us down and so if you are planning an outdoor party it’s good to have a plan B just in case. Work closely with your party entertainer before the party and ask their advice - a good party entertainer should be able to work with most situations. 

Oglee Poglee

Get The Planners In 

Remember what we mentioned earlier about parties having to look good, as well as appealing to children? Well luxury party planning service Wild Things Luxury Children's Parties have got that nailed. The Wild Things team can help you design, plan and create the party of your children’s dreams to fit your home or chosen venue and they offer three tiers of party planning service - from a complete bespoke party design and planning experience to adding just a few stylish finishing touches and show-stopping props.

“This year we are seeing a LOT of unicorns and following home and decor trends lots of pineapples and palm leafs for decorations,” explains Sally from Wild Things.

“In terms of entertainment we are loving the trend of more interactive parties, we work with one company called Let's Make Art who will come and do a crafty art session based on real artwork. Also science activity parties are getting bigger, as well as cooking. I think people are getting more creative with their kids parties and using their kids own interests to go for something a bit different.”

Wild Thing’s top tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • It's all in The Prep -Get your lists and preparation meticulously organised. When we are doing a party we plan every last detail in advance.
  • Make Lists - We make lists and timelines so we can know we are doing when and in what order. It might sound over the top but getting everything done at the right moment means less stress and not running around like a crazy person.
  • Schedule Everything - For my daughters 4th I have a floor plan and a preparation tick list and a timeline for prep as well as the party. All of this means that nothing gets forgotten and I will be the picture of calm during the party - I hope! 


The Cake 

An integral part of any successful children’s party is of course the all-important cake, but if you’re not exactly Mary Berry in the making (and quite frankly, who is?) then Craft and Crumb’s genius cake kits are a must. Choose one of their brilliant, on-trend designs and they’ll deliver a kit that contains everything you’ll need to re-create it at home, from disposable pans, cake mix and icing sugar for your buttercream, to colouring, the cake board and all the decorations, and a step-by-step guide of course!

“Flamingos, pineapples and all things tropical are huge and perfectly appropriate for this gorgeous summer we’ve been enjoying!” explains Louise of Craft & Crumb.

“Our cake kits match many of the popular themes and current trends so there’s always a kit to suit your party”

Craft & Crumb’s top tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • Timing - Have the party in the afternoon so there’s no rushing around to get the place decorated and food prepped - give yourself plenty of time as there’s always a hefty to do list.
  • Host the Party with a Friend - not only is it half the cost but the planning is done over sociable cups of coffee and that to-do list is immediately cut in half!
  • Check and Double Check that you have matches for the candles  - we left them at home for my daughters’ Trolls party last month - lucky 'Princess Poppy' had a backup box in her boot and nipped out to get some. Phew!


Under The Sea Craft And Crumb

Mini Pampering Fun  

Dinky Do Dah is one of those things that I wish had been around when I was a child. This brilliant, pop up nail bar (exclusively for kids!), is a unique way of adding a seriously cool and creative element to any children’s party. Forget mediocre manicures – Dinky Doo Dah can dish up fun, themed nail art designs that all children will love as well as a host of nail art-related activities. 

"The current big trends this summer for children’s parties seem to be the mermaid theme. I think it fits in well with the summer vibe and the weather allows you to go all out!” explains Ashema of Dinky Do Dah.   

“We were at a party last month and they had actual live mermaids swimming in the pool, it was incredible! And we were able to create a mermaid inspired nail art menu for the little guests to choose from" 

Dinky Doo Dah’s top tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • PLAN PLAN PLAN! It’s easier to manage unexpected hiccups if you’re five steps ahead.
  • Make Lists- From the point of planning, make to-do lists your new best friend.
  • T-E-A-M! No matter how super us mums feel, no (wo)man is an island! So band together a team (of merry men - no one likes a kill joy!) and get assigning. This will release the load and make the day more stress-free!

Dinky Doo Dah

Party Bags 

And last but by no means least – the party bags! Party bags can take ages to source and put together – and that’s where The Curious Caterpillar can help. With the aim of encouraging imaginative play, The Curious Caterpillar source high quality and original party bag fillers and bags at affordable prices and deliver them straight to your door and you can either select from their range of prefilled and themed party bags or build your own from their vast range of fun and imaginative fillers. Everyone remembers that feeling of excitement when handed a party bag, and The Curious Caterpillar ensures that little guests will not be disappointed when they leave!

The big trends this summer have to be superheroes, unicorns and rainbows!” explains Liz Page, founder of The Curious Caterpillar.

“Superheroes have always been a firm favourite amongst our customers and the trend seems set to continue. Unicorns and rainbows are more recent and are a perfect addition for our younger audience”

The Curious Caterpillar’s top tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • Invitations & RSVPS - Numbers seem to be people’s biggest cause of stress, so get your invites out well in advance if you can. Without knowing who is coming you can’t plan everything you need to buy well in advance, so try and get the numbers finalised early in your party planning.

  • If numbers suddenly shoot up the day before don’t panic - there is always next day delivery! 

Curious Caterpillar

Fun & Creative Childcare

Hosting a party this summer and need something stylish to keep the kids entertained while the grown-ups let their hair down? Well look no further - Pitch up and Play provide bespoke childcare and gorgeous play spaces at events such as weddings, private parties and festivals, so that your guests can relax and don’t have to leave early for the babysitter! The team create stylish, fun and unique play dens filled with pretty much everything a child could dream of, whilst their energetic team ensure that the ‘mini VIPs’ are kept busy.

Balloon installations are pretty awesome this year and instantly transform any venue.” explains Danielle, founder of Pitch Up and Play.

“Face painting has also made a bit of a stylish comeback; children are now opting for glitter faces, festival tattoos and delicately painted flowers. Unicorns are also huge right now, I even had a unicorn cake for my own birthday!”

Pitch Up and Play’s top tips for throwing a stress-free children’s party

  • Planning is Key - Our top tips for keeping the kids happy at events is to plan plan plan. When we host wedding crèches and birthday parties we plan in 30 minutes instalments so that there is no risk of boredom!
  • Know Your Guests - It’s important to really know your age group so that activities are age-appropriate. If you decide to host your own children’s party, choosing a theme can make everything much easier because you’ve got a starting point and you can quickly source decorations. If you are stuck for inspiration then head to Pinterest, we are shameless fans!
  • Don’t forget the basics - an awesome cake, party bags and games, you could also hire an entertainer so they can put on a show whilst you enjoy a well-earned glass of fizz! Or of course you could just bring in the professionals and we’ll just melt all the stress away!

For information on all of the brilliant suppliers featured above and more see the links below or have a flick through TOAST’s Little Black Book, and don’t forget to tag @ToastLifeUK in all your summer celebrations – we would love to see your photos! 

•Cover images by Pitch Up & Play 


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