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Kids Party Trends UK

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UK Party Trends 2013

Party Styling is becoming ever more popular in the UK, not only for big events and weddings but for smaller occasions, childrens parties, and get-togethers! Some of the trends are truly modern, others I feel definitely harp back to past decades, I hope you like them!

1. Non-Branded Patterned Tableware

The UK trend is following those in the US and Australia away from character/cartoon based themes. The trend towards non-branded partyware has allowed a greater variety of party themes which can be better and more uniquely personalised to the child/occasion (Beach Party, Parisian party, arty party, western parties, Sweet Shop Party, Construction, automobiles… the list is simply endless!).

Patterned tableware in particular has been hot this year, polka dots, stripes and chevrons continue their popularity, in addition look out for more patterns such as houndstooth, plaid, harlequins and other printed shapes!

Patterned Tableware for Parties

2. Colour Combining

It is becoming the norm to consider colours when styling a childs party. Rather than the usual explosion of multicoloured balloons and ‘last thought’ paper plates parents are now approaching childrens parties as if styling an adults celebration or wedding (albeit on a much smaller scale). Choosing a palette of two or three colours to fit their theme is a simple idea with a big impact, producing a more cohesive look.

Colours for Parties 2013 Trends

Pretty Little Party Shop  – Deasogmia Blog  – My Little Day  

3. Photo booths and Photo Backdrops

Photo booths have become increasingly popular at weddings and adult celebrations and fast becoming a regular addition at childrens parties. From professional hired walk-in photo booths to a simple string of coloured bunting, a defined photo area provides guests with an everlasting memory of the party.

Photobooths and Backdrops for Parties

4. Cute Accessories

There are so many gorgeous products on the market currently that can be used to transform your party table into something unique and wonderful. Paper straws, disposable cutlery and drinkware can be prettied up even more with some glitter tape, bakers twine or charming stationery.

Party Accessories, Tape, String, Washi, Bottles

Mason Jars – The TomKat Studio, Milk Bottle Labels – Torie Jayne Blog, GlitterTape – Papermash, Carnival Tickets – Thatch and Thistle, Divine Twine – Cutetape, Rainbow Bakers Twine Box – Pinterest,Wooden Cutlery – Etsy, Washi Tape Napkins – Hello Happiness Blog, Cake FlagsHerriott Grace

5. Personalised Touches

As party styling has become more creative it has also become more personalised. There are plenty of talented individuals and companies specialising in producing products that give that extra personal touch. For the more creative amongst us we can get personal with the help of a little washi tape or a laser jet printer!

Personalised Party Crackers – Tille Mint , Industrial Letters – The Letter Room , Personalised Cup – Papermash Personalised Bag – Bags Buttons & Bows , Persoanlised Badges – Edamay , Personalised Napkin DIY – A Subtle Revelry

6. Fun Food

Modern parties are about more than just the decor! Childrens parties inparticular are a great opportunity to get creative with Food. Bento style food*  is becoming really popular in the US and I think we’ll be seeing more of this trend on British shores soon. Children go crazy for food that looks great, a sandwich train or a cucumber caterpillar, it really is true…we eat with our eyes!

*Bento a Japenese style of serving food where the food is prepared as much for the eyes as for the palette, traditionally served in a Bento Box, a box with compartments.

All images from Pinterest

More Party Trends Coming Soon….

Big Balloons and Beach Party

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Beautiful Party Balloons

I have a bit of a balloon obsession and I am not ashamed to admit it!

Balloons are such a great way of styling and party celebration. They give bags of impact for very little cost and make perfect decorations, photo-props, gifts and play-things.

London based Bonbon Balloons create “the most wonderful balloons you ever did see!” You can send one of their amazing balloons as a gift perfect for any occasion. On arrival it will float up out of the box and the strings will carry your own specially personalised message. They have a beautiful selection of colours and you can choose from a gorgeous range of hand-crafted garland strings.

big round balloons with tassel Tails

Big Round Balloons

Big round balloons have been seen gracing the pages of some fabulous wedding magazines lately and they do look amazing! I love these balloons more for their appeal to children, the big, soft, over-sized, dream-like nature to these giant balls is straight out of Fairy-tale Land. This shot from A Subtle Revelry is just so beautiful. These balloons look fabulous and when used for children I think they are far more fun without helium. Pretty Little Party Shop have a range of these perfectly round 3ft balloons for sale.

big round balloons on the beach

Photograph by A Subtle Revelry

Mini Balloons are one of my new finds although I am sure that balloon stylists have been using them for years. These little 5″ balloons are just adorable, I have seen them stuffed by the dozen into other clear 11″ balloons and have also seen them mixed in displays with other sized balloons. Here Oh Happy Day cleverly used them as oh so cute place-card holders.

mini 5" balloons

Photography by Heather Zweig for Oh Happy Day

Potter and Butlers lovely Etsy shop sell a beautiful cleverly designed kit for you to create this stunning cake topper using pretty coloured 5″ balloons…just add cake!

Potter and Butler Etsy shop mini balloons

Potter and Butler

Balloons can create a stunning backdrop for a party table of photo booth. My Little Day have mixed shiny metallic helium balloons with their range of pastel and bright tissue paper decorations to create a fun and fabulous display.

Mixed balloons and paper decorations

My Little Day

Styling a party with balloons is easy, inexpensive and fun. With thousands of designs, colours, shapes and sizes to choose from you can really let loose.  I love this display of marble effect balloons mixed with pretty fabric bunting with standard balloons and a pretty pink 3ft balloon.

Mixed marbleised balloons

photo Pinterest

Pretty Little Party Shop have a large range of balloons including tiny balloons, polka dot balloons 3ft balloons and diamond clear balloons

Ice lolly invites for summer

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Summer Party Invitations

My soon to be six year old has been desperate to make some Invitations for her Birthday Party to hand out before the end of the school term. We (eventually) decided on having a bright and fun summer theme and have everything crossed that it will be on a sunny day and we can host it outside in the garden.

Inspired by a recent blog post I spotted on the fabulous site Funky Time we decided to make some cute Popsicle (Ice Lollys here in the UK) invites. Funky Time have some really fantastic Free Printables and their Popsicles can be downloaded and simply cut out.

Popsicle Party Invitations

Printing out was not an attractive idea for my five year old today as she wanted to do lots of sticking! So we made our own out of scrap paper. We printed the party details on a piece of coloured paper, cut it out in an Ice Lolly shape and stuck it to another Ice Lolly shape with a 1/4 length piece of paper straw stuck between them to make the lolly stick, we then decorated them! They do look particularly cute in Glassine Bags.

Ice Pop Lolly Party InvitationIce Lolly Invitations

Lolly Pop Summer Party Invite

Summer Party Invite

childrens tea party

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Garden Tea Parties

Our pretty little shop has recently launched a Strawberry Tea Party Pack in support of Breast Cancer Care’s annual Strawberry Tea.

It has certainly put me in the mood to plan some outdoor parties this summer (including a Strawberry Tea). I hope this inspires you to take the party outdoors and put on the kettle.

Pretty Little Party Shop has put together a gorgeous Strawberry Tea Party Pack, £5 of each pack sold will go direct to Breast Cancer Care.

This pretty blousy blue tea party turns tea and cake into a pretty work of art!

Tea Party Themed Party

I love this colourful eclectic table by Mangacomplimenta. We particuarly like the wine coolers and will definitly be reusing the kids sand castle buckets as cute and colourful wine coolers this summer!

bright tea party

Adorable childrens outdoor tea party! From the bunting and the pom poms to mix and match chairs it?s whimsical yet simple. Now all I need to recreate this look is an orchard!

childrens tea party in the Garden

Perhaps not strictly a tea party but more of a picnic, this childrens party setting by World of Vieta is just so sweet. Hanging paper lanterns create a magical atmosphere.


Tea Parties are perfect for any occassion; birthday, anniversary. Mothers Day, Baby Shower, Hen Party and of course a wedding. Here is a beautiful tea party style wedding reception by Littlesootie.blogspot…utterly gorgeous!

Beautiful Balloons in a Greenhouse

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Balloons From Seed

What do you grow in your greenhouse?

We recently organised a photo shoot for some of the shops lovely new products. As it was due to be a sunny day and as I was emptying our rickety old greenhouse ready for its timely demolition I thought it would be fun to somehow include it in some of the shots. So what could be more apt than to fill it with balloons! I hurriedly started blowing them up (yes no gadgetry involved just plain ol’ puff) and was thinking what a super idea this was…an hour later with only the floor of the greenhouse covered, red cheeked and parched I wasn’t feeling quite so jolly!
I love the results though, well done again to the super camera action of Abigail Fahey.

Beautiful Balloons in a Greenhouse Balloons in a GreenhouseBalloons in  a greenhouse

Peppa Pig Pinata Game

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Top Ten Childrens Party Games

What is a children’s party without a party game or ten?

Party Entertainers are very talented, they have up their sleeves some amazing and ultra-fun games and activities for kids. For those of us who wish to get involved and host the games ourselves here is my personal top ten party games (in no particular order)

1: Scavenger Hunt or Treasure Hunt 

This is definitely a game for outdoors! A Scavenger Hunt is where a list of items is given to the children for them to run off and collect the list of items in bags and bring back to be checked off, this is great for younger children. You can easily theme these hunts to match in with your particular party. Here is a beautiful Scavenger list and collecting bag from a Woodland Fairy Party by Thecul-de-sac BlogSpot.

Kids Party Game Ideas Scavenger Hunt

Treasure Hunts generally follow clues (great for slightly older children). For a recent Rainbow themed party I rolled up clues in scrolls of paper and hid them around the garden, each scroll gave a clue that lead the children to the next and finally ending up at a Rainbow (I couldn’t manage a real Rainbow but they seemed happy with a tissue paper one) and at its end a crock of Gold.

I love hunts like these and so do the children, It is also a perfect time filler whilst you prepare the party food. You can make your hunt as short and easy or long as you wish it could even become the main event of your party.

Childrens Treasure Hunt, Kids Party Game Ideas

2: The Bean Game

A personal favourite of my eldest daughter. This game requires no music but plenty of space and is really high energy! It sounds a little odd, but trust me this is a true ‘crowd pleaser’!

The children begin by walking around the room in any direction, on your command they need to carry out the following ‘bean’ actions:

    Jumping Bean – Jump around the room

    Runner Bean – Run on the spot

    Broad Bean – Jump in a star shape

    Baked Bean – Lie on the floor in a foetal position

   Jelly Bean – Wobble around the room like a jelly

   String Bean – Stand on the spot reach for the sky make yourself as tall as possible

   French Bean – Hand on hip, strike a pose and shout ‘Ooh La La’

Come up with any other bean poses that you wish to throw in; Magic Bean, Beans on Toast, Tinned Bean, Mr Bean etc etc etc.

There is no winner in this game, it is a fun and fabulous warm up to the party or could be used filling in the time when the parents are arriving to collect the children.

3: Pinata

It is no secret that in our house we LOVE pinata’s. I make the children one every birthday and it is not unusual to come to our house and find one at Easter, Halloween, Christmas or simply just ‘because’!

The smashing of a Pinata excites children like no other party game I know. This activity does need parental supervision, I recommend making a line with some tape and ensuring that all the children (other than the child who’s turn it is) stay beyond the line. Once the pinata has burst open we let the children dive in and gather the contents but ask them all to put there bounty of sweets into a large bowl, we then share the bowl among the children or add it to their party bags.

Girls pink pinata, Childrens Party Games Pig PInata

4: The Pirate Ship

Along a similar vein to the Bean Game is The Pirate Ship, Obviously perfect for Pirate themed parties! The children stand in a line facing the adult ‘Captain’ and obey the Captains commands, A great way for the adults to get in role!

Whenever you call ‘Maindeck’ –  the children run back to the line

    Scrub the decks – Children crouch and mimic scrubbing the floor

    Climb the rigging – Children mimic climbing a rope ladder

    Man over board – Children run and jump

    Walk the Plank – Children have to walk one foot in front of the other with their arms outstretched

    Captains Coming – Children salute and shout ‘Aye Aye Captain!’

    Port – Run to the left

    Starboard – Run to the right

    Captains Wife – Everyone courtseys! (causing lots of laughter, especially from the boys)

    Hit the Deck – Everyone sits down (and like in musical bumps the last to sit down is out of the game)

Once the children have mastered the commands you can shout them out at some speed, throwing in ‘Hit the Deck’ to try and catch them all out!

5: Charades

Charades is played very little these days by Children but it can be a superb party game for smaller groups and ideal for children aged over Six. If you are hosting a Childs Movie Night, Picnic or Sleepover a game of Charades is sure to result in squeals and giggles a-plenty. Its a very simple game to teach the children and once they start it will keep everyone entertained for hours. You could make you own charade cards using simple films, TV shows, books, or words.

6: Musical Statues 

A classic! Children can dance their hearts out and when the music stops they have to hold their pose like a statue. The first to move is out! Make it a bit harder for older children by making them stand on one leg when the music stops! Tip: to stop the children getting bored when they are ‘out’ let them help by being your referees!

7: Balloon Pinata

Pop little wrapped sweets inside big 3ft balloons (you could also add tissue paper confetti). Place the balloons around the room and the children can chase them around, sit on them, squash them until they burst releasing there sweeties. A great pinata alternative for young children.

8: Musical Islands

Musical Islands or Musical Pumpkins/Toadstalls/Teddy Bears/Bunnies etc. This game is based on musical chairs, I often have more children to cater for than I have chairs! Using A4 or larger paper or card cut out shapes to suit your party. (I last did this for a halloween party and made orange pumkins). Make the same number shapes as children and spread them out onto the floor. When the game starts the music will play and when it stops playing the children need to find an island/pumpkin to stand on. Each time the music stops take away a pumpkin this will leave one child with no island, that child is out of the game, repeat until there is only one island left. Tip: if you have a large amount of children take away two or more islands at a time or this game may go on a bit too long!

9: Pass The Parcel

Children have come to expect pass the parcel at parties, and it is as popular as ever. In recent years it has become the norm to put a prize in every layer and this has the added complication that you have to remember which children have and have not had a prize yet! If you choose to do it this way a solution is to put a badge or sticker in each layer as a little prize and ask the children to put them on (indicating to you who has yet to win one), I have also seen pass the parcels containing paper hats and sunglasses which can work in the same way! Tip: pass the parcel can become a little boring when there are more than about 10 children, so get the children to form two or more pass the parcel circles and prepare more than one parcel, it will help if you get an extra adult or older sibling to help you with each circle.

10. Limbo

Limbo is still a much loved party game for boys and girls (and adults!). You can create a simple limbo game by getting two adults to hold the Limbo stick, or get a bit more creative and build one out of some bamboo, tape and string, add some coloured tissue paper and voila! It’s so simple, the children take turns under the Limbo stick, with every round the stick is lowered and if they knock the stick they are out of the game. Tip – proper limbo-ing is difficult for younger children and they end up bending or crawling under, make things a little more interesting for the younger children by making them go under the Limbo; really quickly, with their eyes closed, holding hands with a partner, wiggling, whilst singing etc etc. There really doesn’t have to be a winner, the children won’t mind at all because they will be having so much Fun!

DIY Limbo Party Game Ideas

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Childrens Party Boxes

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Pretty Party Boxes

Kraft Party Boxes are great for spring and summertime. These cardboard deli-style party boxes have a real British Picnic feel to them whether used indoors or outside. Just plain they are simply stylish or you could pop some baking twine around them to match the food boxes into your colour scheme or party theme. Remember these boxes are leak-proof, microwavable and you can freeze food in them!

For children’s parties I like to let the kids loose with stickers and washi tape or felt-tip pens, they love to personalise their own little picnic box and my ulterior motive is that it also keeps them entertained for a few extra minutes. Here are some my children and their friends made earlier…

deli boxes  kids party boxes  party food boxes

childrens party boxes