This personal challenge followed a recent poll by Mum’s Show Live 2013 revealing that UK parents spend on average £300 on their child’s party. I tried – and succeeded – in creating a memorable party for under £30. That’s 10% of the average child’s party spend in the UK.
Okay, so this £30 party doesn’t graciously unfurl into a parade of dancing fairies with outstretched sparkly arms ready to bounce little imaginations into enchanting adventures. No glittering wands, oversized crowns, wire wings or even pretty napkins here. No loaded treasure chests, island maps or eye-patches to evoke the pirate in us. No rows of crisp party loot bags, or endless polka dot platters of M&S two for one treats. No fat-faced, glazed-looking, face-painted man in grandma’s house dress around the corner waiting to show his tricks. And no shiny helium balloons reined in by 1,000 colourful ribbons. What we have achieved is something that I can’t easily put on the table and photograph. Apart from all the stuff we made, what we really achieved was four days of ‘specialness’. The kids and I planned, made, walked, talked, discussed, cut, folded, laughed… and laughed. We did and shared so much in a short space of time.
I didn’t expect the ‘unseen’ fun to be the true essence of this £30 party challenge. We walked around the village picking wild flowers for the small glass vases – which were recycled spice jars. The pinwheel decorations were made around the table as we chatted and laughed while folding, folding and folding. Making the table confetti equalled an hour of togetherness, where we discussed Mozart and One Direction. Creating the cupcake picks (or toppers) was another hour together while talking about our all-time favourite puddings. And Saturday morning I will bookmark for always: my daughter and I in our pjs on the sofa making pom-poms for the party hats.
Here I am encouraging you to throw cheap ‘n cheerful parties when I run a children’s party shop. Isn’t that daft? You decide that one. For now I’ll leave you with one sweet thought: it’s not all about the day of the party; making the party also counts towards the memory.
See my recent post about why I decided to do the £30 party challenge here
A sneak preview during the making of the giant pinwheel here