At home party activities for little ones!

You’ve chosen your party theme, the invites have been sent, the tableware and decor purchased, and you now turn your attention to what happens when everyone is at the party.

Activities for parties taking place at home can be challenging, especially in these strange times we find ourselves living through. Wouldn’t it be great if you could order everything you needed to provide a fun activity and have it delivered to your door, just like you can with our tableware party box? Let us introduce you to a company that recently caught our eye, who is providing exactly that.

Littlehandskeptbusy started as a blog with lots of fun, simple, educational, and stimulating activities for your little ones. The blog is going from strength to strength, and they now sell Littlehandskeptbusy activity boxes too.

With mix and match pottery boxes including 2 ceramic/porcelain pieces of your choice, 4 pots of paint and a paintbrush, just add some jars of water, and you’re ready to go!

We think they work particularly well for birthday parties. When everyone’s finished eating, clear the table, provide each child with a box, and let them enjoy painting and creating a lasting party memory to take home! Priced at just £6.95 per box, they are beautifully packaged and decorated with a ribbon in your choice of colour, so they’ll make a great addition to your party table.

If your party theme is unicorns or cars, you’re really on to a winner as they have both in ready to paint coin banks, and there’s even a pamper box too. When the painting is finished, leave the items to dry while you play some traditional party games, and when it comes to home time, place them back in the beautiful boxes they came in, pop some cake in cake bags, and you’re done! No stressing about activities and no stressing about party bags either.

Add our tableware party box and a Littlehandskeptbusy activity box to your shopping list, and you’re well on your way to having your party all wrapped up!

The Littlehandskeptbusy blog is available on Facebook and Instagram, and the activity boxes are available to buy online using the following link.

https://littlehandskeptbusy.bigcartel.com/products
https://instagram.com/littlehandskeptbusy

How to create a Hey Duggee party!

Hey Duggee is incredibly popular with children and adults alike, so we’re not surprised how often we get asked if we sell Hey Duggee themed tableware. Unfortunately, no such licensed items seem to exist, and there’s not a huge choice of licensed, themed party decor either, so we’ve decided to put together our top tips to help you create your Hey Duggee themed party!

Where to Start
We’ve mentioned the Hey Duggee website in our posts before, and it really is a great place to start. It’s packed with tips a
nd inspiration to help you plan a Hey Duggee party at home. We’ve picked some of our favourite ideas from the website and added a few of our own too. Read on to find out more!

Tableware & Decorations
You can cre
ate a big impact with a well put together party table and some simple but effective decorations. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take months to make or organise.
Start by choosing your colour scheme. Try to stick to two or three primary colours and add others where you have lots of one item, for example, balloon bunches, napkins, and straws. A yellow tablecloth with a blue backdrop (if you’re having a backdrop) works really well for Hey Duggee. Layer up the colour with paper plates, cups, napkins, and straws in the other logo colours; green, orange, and red. Party tableware in assorted colours is cheap and easy to buy, so have fun with this. Make sure each place setting has at least one item in each different colour and mix up the combinations, so they’re not all the same. If you feel like getting your craft on, add a touch of Hey Duggee magic to your cups by sticking character cut-outs to them. You can download character templates from the Hey Duggee website.  Go to the last two pages of the shoebox theatre link below and you’ll find the downloadable characters. 
https://www.heyduggee.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Hey_Duggee_Shoebox.pdf
If you don’t have time to make your own, check out the Iconic Greats shop on eBay. They have fabulous, licensed, pre-made cut-outs for you to buy with 12 cut-outs from just £9.99. They come in all shapes and sizes so, if you really want to go to town, you can order a life-sized Hey Duggee to add to the party magic!


Hey Duggee bunting, and foil balloons are available from online retail sites such as eBay and Etsy, but we recommend the fabulous free downloadable bunting template from the Hey Duggee website. All you need is a colour printer, some paper or card, some string, a pair of scissors, and glue or double-sided tape.
https://www.heyduggee.com/make/hey-duggee-bunting/
The website also has free downloadable templates to “Hey Duggee up” your balloons. Use balloons in the logo colours, along with some in brown and purple to make Duggee and Betty, some card, a pair of scissors, and double-sided tape. Print the templates and before you know it, you’ll have the whole squirrel gang in balloon form! https://www.heyduggee.com/make/hey-duggee-balloons/


If you’re making a backdrop for your party table, fabric is a great choice to make it from as it’s not too expensive and hangs well. You don’t have to be a master with a sewing machine; just hand sew a top pocket, using any kind of stitching, and thread through some string to hang your backdrop with. If the long edges need tidying up, you can hand sew a pocket on each side too. Add your bunting either directly to the backdrop or hang over the backdrop. Print out the Hey Duggee logo along with a Happy Birthday message for the birthday boy/girl and add both to the backdrop too. Free apps like Canva are great for creating lettering, logos, and images for both your backdrop and other items, such as themed food labels and a welcome poster for the front door. Complete the look with balloon bunches positioned on either side of your backdrop.
But don’t feel you have to have a backdrop. You can create a similar effect by hanging bunting behind your party table, so you’re sure to get it in any photos. Next, hang colour-coordinated honeycomb decorations from the ceiling and place balloon bunches on either side of the table. Add a coloured runner to your table, along with some more character cut-outs or mini action figures, and you’re on track for an Instagram worthy party table.

Cake and Sweet Treats
If you’re a whizz in the kitchen or you just enjoy baking, then making your own cake will probably be the route you want to take. Bake a sponge, rainbow if you’re feeling adventurous, cover with icing, and then really go to town with the decorations.

Add some height with a personalised cake topper, available from both eBay and Etsy, and decorate with Hey Duggee character cut-outs or mini action figures.


If baking isn’t your thing, don’t panic. Pop to Tesco or Asda as they both have amazing Hey Duggee themed cakes for just £10 – job done.
Cupcakes make great party food, party bag fillers, and will add to the overall look of your table. Use bright coloured cases and place on a coloured, tiered cake stand for maximum effect. Recipes for Hey Duggee, Norrie, and Betty cupcakes are all available on the Hey Duggee website. Want an easy option? Buy some pre-made cupcakes with buttercream icing on top and add Hey Duggee rice paper toppers to each cake. Toppers are available from eBay.
The website also has recipes for Mr and Mr Crab macarons, Duggee jam tarts and Duggee and Sticky Stick biscuits, to name but a few.

Party Games
Pass the parcel is a firm favourite at many young children’s parties. Use Hey Duggee wrapping paper with coloured tissue paper and include Hey Duggee gifts such as themed stickers.
Colouring is a lovely party activity for young ones, so download some Hey Duggee colouring sheets for free from the Hey Duggee website. Add individual mini boxes of colouring pencils that can be taken home by each guest in their party bag, along with their masterpiece!

Music
Create some Hey Duggee atmosphere by downloading the Hey Duggee greatest hits album, to really get the party started!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Duggee-Greatest-Hits-Badge-Woof/dp/B01MFDECSV

Party Bags
You won’t be surprised to hear that you can download Hey Duggee party bag templates from their website, and there’s even a video tutorial to show you how to make them. You will need a colour printer and some sturdy paper.
https://www.heyduggee.com/make/hey-duggee-party-bags/
Paper party bags in bright colours are readily available online from sites such as eBay so as an alternative use them as your base, then print and cut out some more of the balloon character downloads from the website and stick them to each bag to make a collection of character party bags using the same technique as for the balloons.
Fill your bags with Hey Duggee themed edible treats.

You’re now on the road to creating your Hey Duggee party, and we’re sure you’ll come up with many more ideas so, it’s time to get creative. And when you’re done, please share your Hey Duggee party table photos with us; we can’t wait to see them!

For more ideas visit the Hey Duggee website party page
https://www.heyduggee.com/make/tips-for-planning-a-hey-duggee-party/

We can help with coloured party tableware and decorations. Send us an email with your chosen colours and numbers, and we’ll get right back to you with a price.
Email: info@partyboxbydesign.co.uk

Activity Centre Party – Our Top Tips!

If your child is getting older, a birthday party at an activity centre is a great idea. These parties may seem hassle-free but there are usually several different options to choose from and if you’ve not made a booking like this before it’s worth reading our top tips!

Invites

  • As with any party, it’s best to avoid date clashes with other events. Chat to parents to check the date you’re planning is free before you make your booking.
  • Most activity centres offer downloadable branded invites. These are a great idea as they include all the essential information regarding the activity. It’s also worth setting up a WhatsApp/Facebook group so you can easily send updates in the run-up to the party and you can share the venue website.
  • Allow parents to let you know about any special requirements their children may have e.g. dietary requirements, allergies, medical conditions. As you will be paying for the activity per person and activity centres cannot guarantee extra places on the day, make it clear who the invite includes. It’s also worth noting if parents are expected to stay as spectators.

Choosing your activity

  • Your child may enjoy rock climbing, as an example, but if none of their friends do and they’re not interested in trying it, it may not be the best choice of activity. Again, it goes back to keeping it simple. Choose something that everyone can get involved with regardless of their ability and likes/dislikes. 
  • Visit the venue before you make your booking. They may have a good website but if you turn up and you’re not impressed it’s not worth booking it. Other things to consider when choosing a venue are its location, parking facilities, viewing area for spectators, and independent reviews (see next point).

Check independent review sites

  • In addition to your impression, independent review sites are a great way to judge a venue, check out TripAdvisor before confirming a booking. Asking for recommendations in local discussion groups on Facebook is another great source of information.

Packages

  • It depends on the activity, but most will include approx. 1 hour of activity with 30-40 mins for food at the end. Prices vary but expect to pay around £15-£20 per child for the activity with food an additional cost, usually around £8.50 per person for hot food. As the time allowed for food is usually limited, we recommend booking an early morning or mid-afternoon session. That way you will not need to provide a meal for the party guests, instead, you can use the 30 mins post activity for blowing out the candles on the cake, cake cutting, and eating and handing out party bags

Booking 

  • Read the booking form carefully and check exactly what is included. Is your post-party area shared or private? How long do you get for setting up/clearing away? Are there any extra costs you had not budgeted e.g. will children be expected to wear special gloves for the activity that come at an extra cost? Some venues allow one free adult per child so make sure you check this out, it should be detailed in the terms and conditions.
  • Read the terms and conditions fully, paying particular attention to the cancellation policy.
  • Make sure you advise the venue of any special requirements any of the group may have including dietary requirements and medical conditions.

Health and Safety

  • You are placing your children’s safety in the hand of others so due diligence is always advisable and will give you peace of mind. Most activity centres detail their health and safety guidelines on their website, if not ask to see a copy. A short safety briefing should take place before the activity commences with instructors present throughout the activity.

Liability

  • Disclaimer forms will be required to be completed for most activities. For under 18’s these need to be completed by a parent or guardian so check if your venue provides a downloadable copy that parents can complete in advance and hand in when they drop their child off. Some activity centres will expect you as the booker to sign for the group. If this is the case, make sure you make the other parents aware of this and ensure they are happy with it. For some venues this information may be included on the downloadable invite.

Set up considerations

  • If you have a private room for food and you decide to set it up yourselves check that you have at least the time of the activity for set up and time after the allocated food time to clear away. Remember, if you are setting up the room you will not be able to watch the activity. Most activity centres can set the room up for you however it’s usually only included in the cost if you choose the food package otherwise it may come at an additional cost. Local party planners also provide set up and clear away options.
  • Keep food and drink simple; birthday cake, cupcakes, and/or dry snacks are easy to transport, don’t need refrigeration, and are quick to set up.
  • Check what you need to take with you, if you are setting up the room yourself you may well need to take the following items with you: bin bags for rubbish, recycle bags for items that can be recycled, white tack or drawing pins for attaching decorations, paper cups, plates and napkins, cups and drinks for parents, jugs for juice, bowls/platters for snacks/food, tablecloths, food and drink, a present table/area for people to deposit their gifts, balloons and banners, party bags! Even if the venue is setting up the room you will need to remember the birthday cake, candles for the cake, matches or a lighter for the candles and a knife for cutting the cake
  • Finally, music always helps to create atmosphere so check if the room you are using has a music system you can connect your phone to so your child can enjoy their favourite tunes while eating their birthday cake!

Decorations

  • If providing your own, keep it simple; remember set up and clear up times are limited. Choose a theme and reflect that theme in your tableware, banners, and balloons – sometimes it can be as simple as napkins branded with your child’s favourite them accompanied by colour-coordinated cups, plates, and tablecloths. Balloons are a simple and cost-effective way of adding colour and creating a wow factor and you can take them home after the party to decorate your house. You can do the balloons yourself (invest in a good hand pump to save your breath!) or work with your local party shop who can help suggest designs within your budget. They can also provide helium-filled options.

On the day 

  • Make sure you arrive early to meet your party host so you can run through the details for the session with them. The person you made the booking may not be the person there on the day so a quick recap of what you are expecting is always advisable.

Party bags 

  • Most venues offer these at an additional cost but if you have time it’s worth doing them yourself as you can probably do them for the same cost, if not cheaper, you can include exactly what you want and you can personalise them. We like to try to avoid unnecessary plastic contents in party bags; seeds, colouring pencils, and pads, craft items, and books can all make good alternatives. We also suggest using a smaller pre-cut cake or cupcakes to save time.

Photos 

  • If these are permitted by the venue, take photos of the activity so you can send them out via your WhatsApp/Facebook group after the party. It’s also worth nominating someone to take photos of special moments like blowing the candles on the cake out, as it would be nice for you to be in these photos too.

Presents

  • When it’s time to open the presents, probably when you’re back at home, try to make a list of who gifted what so you can personalise your Thank You cards.

Most importantly 

  • Have fun making some great memories!

Home or Hall – Our Party Checklist!

We know there’s lots to do in the run-up to and on the day of your child’s birthday party, including looking after very excited birthday boys or girls so we believe in keeping things simple.  If you’re holding your party at home or hiring a hall check out our party checklist below…

Invites 

To avoid date clashes chat with other parents to check the date you’re planning is free. Paper invites still work well but so do Whatsapp/Facebook groups and that way you can easily send updates in the run-up to the party.  Make sure you include all the party details, so people know if food is provided and what the entertainment is.  Allow parents to let you know about any special requirements e.g. dietary requirements, allergies, etc. Make it clear if siblings are invited too and if parents are expected to stay or not. And make sure you follow up with everyone invited so you can plan well in terms of numbers expected. 

Directing guests 

Tying balloons on the front door is a great way to let people know where the party is. Banners and welcome posters work brilliantly too.  You can create some great simple, personalised designs welcoming guests using free sites like Canva and then all you need is some paper and a colour printer.  If your poster needs to be waterproof use either a laminator or a clear pocket to put the poster in before attaching to the door.

Venue or at home remember these items

Bin bags for rubbish, recycle bags for items that can be recycled, white tack or drawing pins for attaching decorations, candles for the cake, matches or a lighter for the candles, a knife for cutting the cake, paper cups, plates and napkins, cups and drinks for parents, jugs for juice, bowls/platters for snacks/food, tablecloths, food and drink, a present table/area for people to deposit their gifts, balloons and banners, prizes for party games and party bags!

Preparation

Do as much as you can in advance, blowing up balloons, preparing party bags, deciding on party games, and organising prizes will all help.  If using a hall, make sure you book it for at least 1 hour before the party for set up and at least 30 mins after the party to pack up.  Ensure furniture is included for your use. 

Timetable 

We’re not talking military precision here but having a loose idea of what time things will happen will help make sure things run well on the day.

Decorations

After the initial wow when they arrive, kids just want to have fun so keep decor simple but effective.  Choose a theme and reflect that theme in your tableware, banners, and balloons. Party hats and masks enhance your theme and provide both fun and great photo opportunities! Balloons are a really simple and cost-effective way of adding colour and creating a wow factor.  You can do them yourself (invest in a good hand pump to save your breath!) or work with your local party shop.  They should be able to suggest designs, work within your budget, and set up on the day, giving you one less thing to worry about. 

Entertainment

If you’ve organised entertainment, a magician, bouncy castle or disco, for example, make that the focus but it’s also a good idea to provide a few other activities for those children who may not be comfortable getting involved. A table with colouring books, jigsaws, or crafting works well. 

Music 

Make a playlist of your child’s favourite songs and be sure to have some saved for games like pass the parcel and musical statues! Don’t forget something to play the music on, Bluetooth speakers are perfect for connecting to your phone.

Photos 

Nominate someone to take pictures of special moments like the party games, blowing the candles out, etc. as you’ll probably be busy at this point and it would be nice for you to be in those photos too.  

Party bags 

We suggest using a smaller pre-cut cake or cupcakes to save time. Your celebration cake can then be enjoyed with family after the party! We like to try to avoid unnecessary plastic contents in party bags; seeds, colouring pencils, and pads, craft items, and books can all make good alternatives.

Presents 

When it’s time to open the presents, try to make a list of who gifted what so you can personalise your Thank You cards.

Parties are timeless 

Trends come and go but some things are timeless.  Remember what you enjoyed at parties when you were young and replicate them. Pass the parcel and musical statues are still enjoyed by children today, as are the cheese and pineapple hedgehog and jelly and ice cream!

Most importantly

Have fun making some great memories!

If you’re holding your party at an activity venue keep your eyes peeled for our next post!