Step away from the fast food and ball pens and go traditional for your children’s birthday parties. Choose a classic story and use it as the theme for your child’s event, such as an Alice in Wonderland inspired Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. There’s enough material in the books to allow you to be really creative with food and decorations, but stick closely to the theme for a consistent look.
Start with a Red Kettle
Make sure the details hang together neatly by working around a base colour. Red works well for both boys and girls. As a tea party, make sure you’ve got the basics covered with a red kettle, teapot and some pretty, polka dot cups and saucers – the children will probably prefer lemonade but serving it in a cup and saucer from a red kettle will be a fun novelty that will make the kids feel grown up!
Along with the red kettle a red cake stand is a must for the essential birthday cake or a selection of cupcakes and other treats. A selection of red and pink mixing bowls is useful to fill with jelly beans, Smarties and miniature marshmallows, but reserve the largest for a game of bobbing apples.
Keep it traditional
Apart from bobbing for apples, try some other traditional games to keep the kids occupied. Pin the tail on the donkey (or maybe on the Cheshire cat?) and musical chairs are endless fun and will probably be quite new to many modern children. A Twister board is always popular and has a calming effect towards the end of the party.
Classic children’s party food will also be original to kids used to fast food – finger sandwiches, cheese and pineapple hedgehogs and toffee apples are all simple but effective. Label the food with little ‘eat me’ signs and serve drinks from small individual bottles decorated with ‘drink me’ labels.
There’s no limit to how creative artistic types can get here. Make your child’s party stand out from others with red queen of hearts style playing card invitations, plus teapot and playing card shaped cakes and lollipops. Decorate the venue with red gingham bunting and frame some prettily transcribed quotes or illustrations from Alice in Wonderland. Arrange ‘Happy Unbirthday’ signs and set up a game of lawn croquet or giant chess in the back garden. Hang a mirror on your front door to represent the looking glass that guests have to go through to join the party. Give each guest a coloured top hat to wear as they arrive. Decorate some eggs as Humpty Dumpty and organise an egg and spoon race.