Birthday Party Etiquette – 7 Things to avoid doing when an invitee
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Here we provide candid (but truthful!) insight into frustrating occurrences that

tend to happen at children’s birthday parties. We’re shedding some humorous

light on things to avoid doing as a parent and to display good party guest

etiquette. Are you guilty of any of these bad party manners?

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Imagine you’re the parent of the birthday girl/boy and after a few weeks or organising and

planning the date is finally set! You breathe a short sigh of relief as preparations for your

child’s birthday are now underway. But little do you know that great frustrations await you…

Planning a birthday is stressful as it is, but the process is exacerbated by the following

parent exemplars:

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1. The Parent who Takes forever to RSVP

The invitations have been sent and a few days before the party only 10 out of the total of 15

parents have replied. The party planner has been emailing you for final numbers and sadly

you do not have the parents contact details to verify if their children will be attending. In a

desperate bid to confirm numbers, you resort to asking your daughter or son to probe their

friend to know whether he or she is attending the party. How annoying is this!

Birthday party etiquette: Always put yourself in the other person shoes. It’s no fun having to

chase parents. Avoid being the parent who takes an eternity to RSVP or doesn’t reply at all –

it’s simply a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’!

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2. The late comer

It’s the day of the party. Balloons are up, preparations are proceeding, and excitement is in

the air! Before you know it, the party is underway – laughing, crafting and soapmaking! All

(but one) of the guests are engaged and crafting away. 40 minutes later the doorbell rings.

The parent of the party guest is at the door dropping off their littlun. Several questions race

through your head: is it too late for them to craft? Will there be enough time for them to

start and catch up with the others?

Birthday Party etiquette: Arriving late means your child is missing out on a great learning

and an enjoyable time. It can also interrupt the party and can be an anxious time for your

daughter / son walking in and being the last one to arrive. Life happens and unexpected

delays occur but communicating with the party host is key. Sadly, in this case “better late than never” attitude is incredibly frustrating!

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3. The No-Shower

As a party planner, I have seen this case too many times to recount. A bit like the scenario

above, but even worse!! Picture this… there are 20 minutes left until the end of the party.

Then guests are settling down, and birthday songs and cake-cutting is taking place.

However, amongst the joyous bellows coming from the guests, there in the midst is: 1 empty plate,

1 lonely party bag, and 1 empty space on the table. This is combined with the

recurring questions from the birthday girl /boy of “Mummy, when is ‘so-and-so’

arriving?”. Frustrating right? A complete and utter no-show!

Birthday Party etiquette: Parties are far from cheap and the host has invested both time and

money to prepare the array of food, goodies and engaging party activities. The situation is

especially worse if a party entertainer is hired. If you know in advance that your child will

not be able to attend, please be courteous and just ping them a text let them know!

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4. The empty hander

I have been to a few parties where a child has come empty handed – not even with a 59p

‘HBD’ card! Each situation (and pocket) is greatly different. Ends can be hard to meet

especially when your child has attended several parties back-to-back, week after week.

Birthday Party etiquette: A little something is better than nothing and even a birthday card

is a thoughtful gesture of gratitude and a memorable birthday wish. No need to break the

bank!

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5. The party gate-crasher

Bringing a plus one without prior permission is a no, no. Children’s birthday parties can be

very pricy and it’s no fun at all turning up unannounced with an extra party guest (who maybe a

sibling or a family friend). Asking if “so-and-so can join in?” is super awkward for everyone

involved and your request and the plus one might be politely turned away.

Birthday Party etiquette: Everything has a price tag people! For this etiquette tip, it’s

probably just best to steer clear of any gate-crashing plans!

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6. The early bird

While lateness is frustrating, the party guest that arrives 30 minutes ahead of the 2 pm party

time, might be as equally annoying. Just imagine the parent doing the ‘eleventh-hour’

preparations. The last thing they need is an extra child to babysit. Unless the party host has

asked for your child to come early, then 5 minutes early is totally fine!

Birthday Party etiquette: “Right on time is just fine!”

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7. The late picker-upper

Yes, parties are fun-filled occasions but be mindful of the parents who have had their home

invaded for 2 hours or more. Respect their time by being prompt to pick up your child. This

is even more important if it’s a hired venue with an agreed departure time. It’s also not nice

for your child being the last one to be collected once the music is off and the party is over.

Birthday Party etiquette: Time flies when your kid-free and having fun. But in those two

hours or so of running errands, staying closer to the venue will allow for a

comfortable and a timely pick up.

What experiences have you had that you find really annoying?







Top tips for Planning the Best Kids Home Party Ever!

A quick checklist of handy tips and suggestions for helping you make your child’s birthday celebration as memorable as can be!

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1. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

So, your child’s birthday is on the horizon and you have decided to have

a ‘chez-moi’ home party.

Here are some things to consider and decide upon before starting official party preparations.

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  • Decide on a convenient date and time for the party.

  • Decide, with your daughter or son, on the number of party guests to invite.

  • Based on the number of guests, choose which rooms in the house to use.

  • For summer parties, consider whether the garden would be an option – also having a backup plan for cold/rainy weather. If you decide to have a garden party on a hot

day, ensure to have the right shelter or garden canopy so the children do not overheat.

  • Choose a theme for the party. Discuss with your child and take to Pinterest for inspiration!

  • Decide on whether you will be hiring an entertainer/crafts specialist, or whether you will be organising the games yourself.

2. Let the Preparations Begin!

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  • Send out the invitations ensuring to include a reasonable RSVP.

  • Once a party theme has been decided, begin researching and sourcing where to purchase the party-themed props: balloons, banners, table confetti etc.

  • Research and contact a birthday cake supplier to place an order for the cake,based on the chosen theme.

  • Begin thinking about food and whether you will be cooking yourself or if you will be getting pizza / a takeaway. Ensure to find out if any of the children

have any special dietary requirements.

  • Arrange who will be helping out at the party – a family member / a friend.

  • Confirm with the party entertainer or begin planning the themed party agenda yourself.

  • If planning yourself, have an itinerary ensuring to schedule what the children will be doing and when – making sure to include a time slot for food. Also, make

a small contingency plan for ‘time-filler’ crafts / activities that party guests can do if they finish the activity quickly or arrive ahead of schedule.

  • Order items to put in the party bags.

3. THREE Days to go!

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With only three days to go, reflect and make a note on whether there are any other last-minute things to get/organise. Here are some things to

do a few days prior to the party:

  • Prepare music and a party playlist. Ask your child of artists/songs they like. Ensure to check out the latest chart music. Ensure the music is child-friendly– opting for the ‘clean’ song versions.

  • Decide on what the party girl/boy will wear for the party – if the crafts are quite messy, having an apron would be ideal!

  • Follow up with unreceived RVSPs (ideally 3 – 7 days before the party).

  • Once parents have confirmed, create a list of the parents’ names and phone numbers, especially if the parents are not staying and if the party guests are relatively young.

  • Prepare and wrap up all of the party prizes for any activities.

  • Fill up the party bags

1.    ONE Day to go!

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  • Ensure you have bought all the food needed.

  • Have a final check on party props, table coverings, napkins and balloons etc. (don’t forget the candles!).

  • Make sure the photo camera device is charged up and that there is enough storage space.

  • Write a to-do list of all the things you will need to do on the day.

1.    THE BIG DAY!

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They key to having a smooth and organised birthday party is to start early and allow yourself plenty of time to get the decorations in place. Once everything is set up and ready-to-go it’s just a matter of time before the guests start to arrive. If you fail to plan you plan to fail .

  • Blow up the balloons and put up decorations / organise the table

  • Pick up the birthday cake if one has been ordered.

  • Organise your party helpers.

  • At the right time, prepare the food and drink.

  • Make sure any pets are in the right place before the guests arrive.

  • Start the music and welcome the guests.

  • Don’t for forget to relax and have fun!

 

Children's Guide for an Ultimate 2018 Summer Holiday
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 The Seeming Mare of the Summer Holiday!

“School’s out”, and the kids are excited to have six-weeks (or so) free from the routine of school and lessons. For parents, however, coming out of the convenient humdrum of school, with the need now to plan, organise and entertain the kids, can seem like a perplexing and arduous task. 

At the end of this short article, we have provided links to some great deals and locations for the children this summer! 
We, at Luvlybubbly, have thought through a variety of fun and entertaining ideas, that will allow the children to have a fun and exciting summer!

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1)  Things to do at Home – “home is where the heart is”. 

A few, relatively cheap and simple suggestions: 

Arts and Crafting are bespoke/ timeless ways for the children to get creative and explore different crafting methods and creations. This can vary from easy puppet-making or be creating paper Mache creations. 
See the link here for some great inspo!’
Baking sweet treats & Cooking is ideal as it incorporates the practice of maths – through weighing and measuring – while at the same time creating something tasty and delicious. Depending on the children’s age – as well as your own oomph and kitchen expertise – baking and cooking can range from whipping up a three-tier cake, or simply add toppings to a premade pizza base. 

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Growing fruit / Vegetables is a great way to have the children learn about agriculture in addition to where our food comes from. It allows them to be miniature farmers and join the process of sowing and harvesting. Having to water and maintain the plant can give them a great sense of responsibility and ownership of the crop!
Treasure Hunts are great to get the children up and engaged. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish – excluding or including clues for ease or for added complexity (for example the ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ method) … the choice is yours. Treasure hunts can take place inside the house or in the garden, with the ‘treasure’ being anything you decide, from sweet treats to healthy snacks, to small toys. 

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Summer scrapbooks allow for the creative juices to flow and to have a colourful and detailed account of the summer. Getting the tools for a scrapbook is simple and can include popping down to your nearest Wilko and getting colouring pens, paper, stencils and sticking-and-glueing craft bits. It could also be a great opportunity to document and include photos of all outings for the summer scrapbook. 

2) Out and About Activities – great fun and fresh air! 

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Cinema / Bowling are timeless outing ideas. Summer is typically the time when there is an abundance of great kid-friendly movies. If planned and timed well, you will be able to find great cinema discounts for matinee or weekend viewings. Additionally, bowling makes for great fun and an idea for meeting up with other parents and kids for a fun day out. 

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Indoor soft playgrounds & Trampoline Parks allow the children to blow off steam for a few hours. Undoubtedly, running and jumping around all day is tiring, and the mix of the indoor playgrounds and the arrival of evening-time is a recipe for a potentially earlier night’s sleep for the kids! 
Museums & Heritage Sites are fantastic ways to get the children learning about history as well as having fun. Museums and heritage sites can range from those located in the city centre to small interesting museums found locally. Detailed at the end of this article, are some suggestions to where you can take the children and the opportunities they have on offer.

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Indoor soft playgrounds & Trampoline Parks allow the children to blow off steam for a few hours. Undoubtedly, running and jumping around all day is tiring, and the mix of the indoor playgrounds and the arrival of evening-time is a recipe for a potentially earlier night’s sleep for the kids! 
Museums & Heritage Sites are fantastic ways to get the children learning about history as well as having fun. Museums and heritage sites can range from those located in the city centre to small interesting museums found locally. Detailed at the end of this article, are some suggestions to where you can take the children and the opportunities they have on offer.

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Parks & Picnics go along greatly with a mix of hot and amiable weather. If the forecast gives the all clear, a lovely time can be spent at the park. If you wanted to spruce things up and make picnic that little bit more exciting, kite flying could be an activity to do on the grass. Don’t forget, the children can give you a hand in the food and sandwich preparations!

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Theatre Musicals are both exciting and memorable experiences – with productions being incredibly engaging. The matinee showing can prove helpful if you are hesitant about musicals finishing too late and travelling in the evening/night. The link ahead provides some guidance on the types of theatre productions and age suitability and restrictions. Don’t be put off by the seeming idea that the theatre might leave you significantly out-of-pocket, the links below provide some good and reputable ticketing sites as well as an August 2018 ‘Kids-go-Free’ deal– don’t miss out!

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Visiting a local farm & Fruit Pickingallows children to see the process of good and trusted farming. At these farms, the children can potentially see the animals, select and buy their own eggs, pick their own fruit and veggies, as well as purchase fresh milk and produce.

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Swimming is a great way for your children to strengthen their swimming skills and enjoy their time in the pool. As well as allowing them to enjoy a range of aquatic activities it can also be a chance to cool down for from the hot and humid weather.

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Great Discounts / Vouchers

 Cinema (UK-wide) – ‘Mini-Morning’ deals with Vue Cinema. 

Theatre Musicals: For competitive theatre ticket prices see the links below: Ticketmaster, Lastminute.command of London Theatre Direct. Kids Go Free Deal.

Indoor soft playgrounds - Kidspace Romford / Owls Play Centre / Trampoline Parks.

Fruit Picking – London-based fruit picking farm

Museums & Heritage sites – Click here for museum attractions

Parks & Picnics (London) – Click here to see some of the best London parks and picnic spots.

Visiting a local farm (London) – Click here to see great London farm suggestions.

Other Great Ideas – Click the link

Chocolate making

Ice-skating / roller-skating

Lama walking

Also, check out the Day Out with the Kids website to find other great adventures.

 

 

Summer Heatwave - Fun Ways to Keep the Children Cool
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A few creative ways for you to make the most of – and keep cool in – this HOT weather!

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First off, Sunny weather precautions!

  • Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated

  • Sun hats

  • Sun tan lotion

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Now that precautions have been stated, here are the great ideas:

1)  Fantastic Cool Down Foods  

o  Ice-lollies / Ice-cream 

o  Refrigerated watermelons 

o  Fruit salads 

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2)  Cool Down Activities

 

  •      Apple bobbing – an activity usually associated with winter, but ideal within the hot weather. Depending on the size of your bucket, you will need enough apples to fill the surface area, as well as enough water to get the apples floating to the brim. Once this is done, the children will use their teeth (with strictly no hands) to bite and catch the apples.
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  •      Flat Water Slide – You can pick-up an inexpensive flat water slide from Argos, Wilko or a local supermarket – for around the £20 mark. The children will retreat to the garden and love this newly added outdoor feature. 
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  •      Ice skating – is not just an activity for those chilly winter days or one solely for Christmas festivities. Visiting your local ice-rink is a fun way to practice those balance and skating skills, as well as helping yourself and the children cool down to take a break from the sun. Don’t forget, when going into the ice-rink, do layer up!
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  •      Paddling pool – unlike the giant full-size pools, paddling pools are quick and easy to assemble – and are pretty inexpensive. So, why not put on your swimwear and join in with the kids in splashing about!
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  •      Swimming– visiting your local leisure centre or swimming pool is a great way for your children to strengthen their swimming skills and enjoy their time in the pool. As well as allowing them to enjoy a range of aquatic activities, it can also be a chance to cool down from the hot and humid weather.
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  •      Water Balloon Piñata – You guessed it. Water balloon piñata is like the usual game but instead of the piñata being filled with sweets, several balloons will be filled with WATER! Once the water-filled balloons have been pegged on the clothing line, the blind folded participant will attempt to hit and burst the balloon with the baton. When the balloon is struck and bursts the spray of water will be a nice way to cool down. 
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  •      Water Bucket Race–You will need two large buckets, each placed at separate ends of the garden. Fill up one of the buckets with water. Yourself and/or your children will stand at the other end of the garden. Using a smaller bucket/container you will race to see who can transport as much water as possible from one bucket to another, in the shortest amount of time. Try not to spill the water! The trick is: Fast and Steady Wins the Race!
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  •      Water Contest–At first thoughts, the idea of a water fight/contest might appear to be chaotic and out of hand. However, if regulated, playing this game can be a great way to cool down. Instead of forking out on water guns, you can swap these for cool cost-effective squirty / spray bottles that do the trick – plus, you won’t be as drenched as with the water guns. 
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Kid's fashion party
Girls in their fashion jackets

These gorgeous seven-year olds had the opportunity to be fashion designers and models for a few hours. They were spoilt for choice with a vast collection of rhinestone gems and templates to embellish their jackets with. Each guest was given a step-by-step demonstration of how to use the tools and materials, the girls got to work - designing their individual masterpieces.  

Once each child had finished their designs, the sparkling gems were hot-pressed into place using our pressing machine - the girls did an amazing job on their jackets! 

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Next, comes the fashion show, the red carpet was rolled out and the girls had a quick practice of rocking the runway before putting on their designer garments.

After a few practice rounds of the fashion catwalk, the young fashionistas’ were eager to put on their rhinestone jackets. 

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This was such a special moment as each child walked down to rock the red carpet with pride as they paraded their beautiful masterpieces. 

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These beautiful fashion jackets have been competed designed by these awe-inspiring 7 & 8-year-olds!