You child’s birthday party, be it their 1st or 21st, will be one of a parents most memorable moments. How you remember it is important. The memories of the joyful celebration and fun or the panic of organising the details.

Navigating all the social issues and demands around party planning can be daunting. What is currently the “IN” thing to do and the “MUST HAVE” to guarantee a successful occasion, can result in parents feeling intimidated, especially when more and more families have two working parents. I think we need to remember that if we break it down, we simply want our children to have a memorable and happy day.

So where do you start?

Here are my pointers for you to consider when navigating the waters of planning the perfect party:

  • Embrace your inner child! You need to make the decision from the outset, that you will enjoy the intricate minefield that is planning a child’s birthday party (including what the Jones’s are doing, who makes the guest list, the budget and originality of one’s theme etc. etc.). To do this we need to embrace our inner child and create a magical moment in time that your little one will remember throughout their lives.


  • The cake. There are various considerations one has to make when planning a child’s birthday and as a mother of two now adult women, 21 and 24, I have to honestly say the cake ranks right up there at the top of the list. The cake defines or enhances the theme and blowing out the candles is the culmination of all that went ahead and all that is to follow.

  •  The guest list. When you start this journey of party planning, decisions need to be made on the size of the guest list, will the day be a child only experience or will parents, family and friends be asked to join in celebrating the momentous occasion. The trend, is to include young and old.


  • Location, location, location! The guest list will determine the venue, with parents having choices of hosting the event either at home or at an alternative venue. This decision is determined by theme, type of entertainment, as well as one’s budget and will certainly enhance or negate the parents experience as well as the child’s. My advice is simple, don’t overthink or over plan, children will love anything you plan for them as long as everyone has a good time with as little stress as possible. This is where a well organised venue can take all the mess and the fuss and put it squarely at someone else’s door. For top venue choices in your area as voted by Living and Loving click here –
  • The entertainment. We also need to remember that children naturally play and enjoy the simple fun activities, that is how they learn social as well as developmental skills. Try not to over entertain children at parties, sometimes the ball that was a gift becomes the soccer match between all age groups whilst the elaborate party games are forgotten on the side-lines. Simple is sometimes key and with Clamber Club, one need look no further!


  • The Food. Now this can be a contentious issue and fraught with potential trigger points for arguments between spouses. The golden rule to remember is that children having fun FORGET to eat, so a few chips, sweets and some healthy snacks are all you need. Rather focus on hydration: lots and lots of water. Adults, on the other hand like to snack, so some savoury and sweet items usually suffice, but depending on your audience, feel free to spend your energy providing good food and beverages to the older crowd. Remember that there are various options available to you with regards to external catering which doesn’t need to break the bank. Pick n Pay and some venues will provide platters leaving you free to sort out the rest of the details.


After considering the above and with a childlike determination to enjoy the process remember, all children need is love, laughter, lots of friends and physical fun to ensure a memorable and happy day!!

Contributed by Jacqui Jordaan of Clamber Club Party Venues – Ferndale
Tel: 082 410 4546