Party Tricks

Kid’s parties have become a great big phenomenon.

When I was a little girl, I remember my parties – my mom had one for me every year. She would bake a butterfly or Barbie cake, or just have cupcakes in the shape of a number. And it was beautiful and more than I could have ever asked for.

The party packs were made from paper plates folded up into a square shape, or rolled up in a cone and stuffed with sweets.  It displayed creativity and originality.

She would buy a new dress for me to wear and I would sit around the table with all my friends, sing, blow out candles, eat and have the best time. The memories are all still there and when seeing some of those sweets and novelty cakes today; it still makes me feel nostalgic.

I have been to a great deal of kid’s parties with my boys, and they are nothing short of amazing. But it can be extremely daunting to arrange your child’s party, especially if you have never had the opportunity to attempt this before now.

So you are off to the shops, the décor is out of this world, you want the hats, bubbles, blowers and oh, those printed napkins! You grab everything together with the themed party packs! And then you see that 10 meter tall tower cake with all the fondant characters from Disney’s Toy Story and edible candles imported from France.  (I know, right?)

But this is costing you a fortune!  Day Ruined!

All of those items sound lovely; however, it most certainly shouldn’t have to break the bank. I am one that strictly works on a budget when it comes to arranging any sort of event.

In an interview I did with Lauren-Rae Petim, owner of POP-Events, she shares some great tips on where and how to start planning your child’s birthday party.

Tell us about your inspiration with your business?

I studied event management a number of years ago but only put my studies into practice in 2012. I knew my husband and I wanted to have a family in the next few years and I was looking for a way to work but still be flexible and be around for my children. I started off doing weddings and all types of events but the demand for unique and modern children’s parties just grew and grew. I loved the freedom of creativity and children’s’ parties fit perfectly into my lifestyle after my son was born in 2013 so I decided to specialise in them.

What inspires me day-to-day is the end result! I try to take themes and modernise them, make them unique and special and create something that will wow the client, the guests and of course the guest of honour!

What forms part of the typical responsibilities when handling an event?  

Depending on my level of involvement in a particular event my responsibilities can range from simply supplying stationery and décor items, to full co-ordination which would include arranging services with various suppliers such as bakers, entertainers, photographers and caterers, sourcing and hand making décor and setting up on the day.

How far in advance do you recommend that moms get in touch with you? 

Two months is ideal but if a date is still free I can work with one month notice.

What would you recommend is the average budget for party décor?

This can vary enormously. People all have different budgets and value they place on birthday parties but I try to accommodate everyone, no matter what their budget. I recently launched DIY décor packs, which include all the décor must-haves for a party. These are ideal for parties arranged on a low-budget or for creative moms who want to DIY their party décor but don’t have time to drive around sourcing items.

What would you suggest is the most important item to have at a children’s birthday party?

A birthday cake! It’s a great tradition and such a special moment when the birthday boy or girl is the centre of attention. I love how the whole party comes to a halt, everyone gathers and sings and claps and the cake is cut. Then the chaos continues!

I feel a photographer is also a must-have if you can afford to hire one. You are so busy running around all day that you need someone who is there specifically to catch those special and candid moments. You can use these professional photos to make a beautiful birthday book for your child to give to them when they are older.

What is your greatest piece of advice for moms planning their children’s party?

Think outside the box! When coming up with a theme, take your children’s’ interests into consideration. There’s so much more out there than the generic movie or TV characters. That said, if your child really wants a generic party theme, there are ways of doing it stylishly.


Pop Events

Photo Credit:

Carla Correia {}

Lauren Fletcher {}

Taryn Cerqueira {}

Like POP Events on facebook and contact Lauren on 072 901 9092
/ for any of your future events.


I have a few favourite ideas that I have used when arranging Jamie and Riley’s Birthday Party. These are also suggestions on what you can do to cater for a small party with a low-budget.

  1. Set up a table with all the chips and sweets in bowls, give each parent a party packet and let them choose sweets for their kids (This saves on waste) and the adults can help themselves too.
  2. Have age appropriate goods, this is important for moms that want to take what their child may have. (eg, flings for babies,  niknaks for older kids)
  3. Buy big bottles of juice with cups or personalised bottles, and allow the parents to pour their own child’s cool drinks (the juice boxes are terribly expensive, and sometimes the parents prefer to decant the juice in their child’s juice cup anyway!) and the adults can drink the juice too!
  4. Cut the cake! I say this because I find parents are reluctant to cut their cake because it is made so beautifully and looks too good to destroy (true! It breaks my heart too), however, by cutting the cake, it ultimately saves having to buy extra cakes for the children and adults.
  5. Offer a biscuit & coffee station, (maybe add a fridge tart (or two) of some sort), and you will find this should be more than enough. (After all, the guests are not attending the party for a gourmet lunch, so this should be sufficient.)

What you decide to cater will be season dependant, if its summer, its nice to add more healthy options like fruit cups, or just watermelon or strawberries.

Great idea to avoid a sticky mess
Great idea to avoid a sticky mess

Have fun planning and remember… Take it all in, and celebrate the true meaning of your child turning one year older. It’s the little details that really count!



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