Sindy Hammond from The Party Company offers some general advice

Every child is different and has certain views on their perfect party. My 4 year old wanted a mermaid/unicorn/shimmer and shine party for all of her friends, so we compromised on the theme and thankfully not all her friends were available.

As a mum of two and an independent party shop owner, here are a few hints and tips I’ve picked up along the way.

The 5 Ps:
Prior preparation and planning provide the best party! Having a list on the go is essential, so you know that everything is covered, including guests, food, decorations etc and with any party there is always a budget, stick to it. After all there’s always next year to do another theme.

So let’s get the party started….

Make sure you have enough space for all the children whether it be at home or you hire a venue. Don’t forget to always look around you, there are so many scout huts, village halls, schools that rent out their venue at reasonable rates, plus they will have all the amenities you need, such as toilets, kitchen and running space. An added bonus is it doesn’t make a mess in your house.

Food and Drink
Make it easy on yourself. Many parents have said to me packed lunch boxes are an easy alternative to a buffet. You can pre-pack these on the day or in advance and then hand out to the children readymade. It also makes it easier to deal with any dietary requirements you have.

Individual bottles of water or drink cartons help with reducing the spillages but have a jug of water and cups to hand to quench the thirst of all the kiddies running around.

A tea station (maybe even a biscuit) for the parents is always a lovely touch too, it means they can relax, natter and help you out when needed.

Ah the theme – the integral part to any party. Pinterest is brilliant for ideas, but don’t get sucked in to thinking you can do everything, just do what you know you can do.

With any theme you can have themed banners, cups, plates, napkins, table covers, party bags, bells and whistles, but why? Mix it up a little – use plain colour table covers/napkins, after all they mop up the mess and compliment everything nicely and these can be more cost effective.

Decorations and Party Bags
Balloons are an easy way to decorate any venue and you have so many options. Put loads on the floor to kick about, tie up bunches, get some super shape foils and even large confetti balloons. Literally any budget can be met.

The best part is you can always give them to the children at the end of the party, simply tied to cake, attached to party bag or a simple gift.

Bunting is also brilliant and many venues these days already have hooks in the walls so you can hang it easily. Any colour suits and it’s brilliant for in your garden afterwards.

There are so many ways you can decorate a venue, but always remember the children will do a brilliant job of filling it with their joy and noise.

Lots of options here. Bouncy castles, old school games, kiddies’ disco, soft play, zoo lab with their bugs and insects or book a brilliant, crazy entertainer. Do what you are prepared to do and what you are happy to pay for.

The Birthday Cake
We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many cake makers these days, so use them. Many are reasonable priced and incredibly adaptable to any dietary needs you have. Failing that, the supermarkets always have a brilliant range too for something quick and easy.

I recently came across a good idea at a couple of parties. The parents creatively did their own baking, making the main birthday cake and then also a tray bake on the side with the same icing as the birthday cake. This was usually then pre-sliced and already packaged for the children to take away, meaning you’re not having to dash around to get the cake all sliced up at the end of the party. Plus it means you get to taste the fruits of your labour at home later!

And finally… timescale
Out of everything, my advice would be to go back to where we started with a list, but have a timescale of how you plan to do everything, especially the week building up and the day. It doesn’t have to be a full on spreadsheet, just a note of when you plan to do your party bags, make food, bake a cake and of course set up.

At the Party Company in Godalming we pride ourselves in being able to help with any questions or queries you may have for your party. We may not know the all the answers but we can always send you in the right direction for someone that can help. Pop us a like and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see the work that we get up to on a weekly basis, you never know, it might help inspire your next party. Please feel free to drop by at 115 High Street, Godalming, call 01483 424542 or email