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My 2014 Challenge

I know I usually write about children’s party ideas etc but I thought I would share with you my challenge for 2014….. to run the London Marathon!!

As soon as you tell people you are running the London Marathon, most people’s reaction is ‘Why? or ’Are you crazy?’, but for my daughter Hannah and I, the answer is a very simple one:

We are running for the ‘Man with the biggest Smile’- this is all it comes down to for us.

But why now? And why the Marathon?

2014 is a special year for our family- I will be turning 50 in March and Hannah, has just turned 21. These are big milestone ages for anyone, and as a family of course we will be celebrating. But it is with such sadness that Dad, or Grandy as Hannah affectionately called him, will not be with us. So we thought that this year seemed the best time to do something in his memory, to honour his bravery and to make him proud.

Now, I am not a natural runner, and neither is Hannah.  Some people love to run, I would say a lot of people are obsessed with it…not me, not Hannah. This is a big challenge for us, but the reason we will be running 26.2 miles on the 13th April through the streets Of London? Because this is the space we feel closer to Dad, he is the force pushing us on when the miles get tough, when the aches and pains kick in, and when every part of our body is telling us to give up, he is right behind us. Quite simply, this Marathon challenge is nothing compared to what my dear Dad went through.

But there are two parts to this challenge, not just the physical aspect.  We will be raising money to support a cause very close to our hearts, a place that enabled our family’s last few days with Dad to be as special and peaceful as they could possibly be, Farleigh Hospice.

Farleigh Hospice is a charity providing hospice care and support to the people of mid Essex which includes; Chelmsford, Maldon, Braintree & surrounding areas. Caring for the lives of people affected by life-limiting illnesses, whether directly or in-directly, it is at the heart of what they do.

They provide palliative care, totally free of charge, to around 1,400 local people affected by life-limiting illnesses. Their support services also extend to carers and family members, including children and bereavement support.

This is them in a nutshell- but what they do, and what they did for my family is so much more. Dad spent his final few days in Farleigh Hospice, he had cancer and on 8th October, 1998 the time eventually came to say goodbye, but because of Farleigh we were able to do this in the most dignified way possible. Particularly for my Mum Eileen- it was the little things they did that made his passing so much easier.

On their very last night together Mum and Dad were able to share a bed, they could be together one last time, and this, to all of us means the world. Mum was also able to lay Dad out once he has passed- a job nurses usually do. But it was so important to my Mum to be able to do this last thing for my Dad, so she could be with him right until the end. Farleigh Hospice allowed her to fulfil this wish. This just simply would not happen in a hospital.

There were happier memories shared at Farleigh too, my middle son Ashley celebrated his 2nd birthday at the hospice with Dad, we bought in presents and he opened them with Grandy, and although very young, this is a memory that he will always treasure.

Everyday we were able to visit my Dad, stay with him, talk to him in a calm, peaceful environment. The nursing staff provided the highest level of care and they treated my Dad as if he were their own family, they showed such compassion and dignity, and for this we are truly grateful.

This is just my story, everyday they are providing this palliative care to thousands of other families like mine, not only in the hospice itself, but at home, in their day care centre, in their outpatient centre and across the whole  community. Not only do they support those with life-limiting illness like my Dad- they also provide care and support to those left behind. The care doesn’t stop when a person passes away. My family was also able to benefit from their amazing bereavement support- which made the grief process a much smoother one for us all. Quite simply we didn’t feel alone in our grief, they were our support network.

So when Hannah and I pound the streets in April, it will be these things we will be thinking off, and knowing that with the generosity of our friends, we are able to pay back Farleigh Hospice in some way for all they have done. With your help they can continue to touch other families in the same way they did ours. We are asking you to sponsor us in any way you can so that we can raise as much money possible for the bravest, most loving Man I have ever known- the man with the biggest smile.

Thank you in advance for your support.

http://www.justgiving.com/Hannah-Beverley-Pile

Fun Halloween Party Games

Fun Halloween Party Games

Having thrown a halloween party every year for as long as I have had my children I know how hard it is to come up with different and fun ideas year after year to keep your children enthralled on Halloween. So I have decided to give you a list of some of my favourite and most successful Halloween party games.

Pop Goes The Pumpkin!

I came across this game on pinterest, created by the very talented Martha Stewart. Not only does it make a great feature decoration to any Halloween party but your guests will love popping the sweetie filled balloons getting your party going with a bang not a boo!! It is so easy to create and full instructions can be found onmarthastewart.com

Spider Chopsticks

This one from funsational.com is probably best played with older children as we wouldn’t want anyone getting a poke in the eye!

Two teams line up, and each child gets a chopstick. One spider ring for each team is started with the player on the end.

Without hands, each child passes the spider to the next person in line, on their chopstick. If you drop the spider, you start over.

First team to get the spider to the finish line, wins.

Mad Scientists Box

Definitely the favourite Halloween game in our house! I have made this every year and it is always a winner! The mad scientist has left his laboratory unlocked after working on his experiment to build a monster out of human and animal body parts. You have to guess what body parts he has left behind.

You will need a large cardboard box. Put it on its side with the flap left open. On the top cut a small hole, just big enough for a hand to pass through. You could cover or paint the box white and I usually add a large red cross and labels saying ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ and ‘ORGAN DONATION’.

Place the ‘ingredients’ on plates and keep them hidden from view.

Each child has to put their hand in the hole, guess what the scientist has been using and write it down on a piece of paper without telling the others. Its a good idea to supply each child with a damp facecloth or piece of kitchen roll as it can get very messy!!!

Some ideas for ingredients: warm noodles – small intestines, skin off the top of custard – skin, Olives – eyeballs, flaked almonds – finger nails, tomato sauce – blood (save this one till last), jelly lips – mouth.

Last year as my children are older we went to the butchers and got the real thing!!! Pigs ear, sheeps eyeball, pigs nose – it was hilarious listening to the squeals and they loved it – I would only suggest this for teenagers and adults!!

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt requires a little preparation but it is sooo much fun and very authentically halloween! Your first clue could read like this –

Out in the dark and under a tree
Look for a graveyard skeleton key
Don’t be afraid of guts and goo
For on that key is your next clue

Attach your next clue of choice to a skeleton key in a sealed plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap several times. Make a batch of oatmeal or pasta mixed with some red food coloring and put it in a container. Hide the skeleton key in the gooey mess and put the container under a tree.

They say that bats come out at night
But don’t be overcome with fright
A bat hangs in a tree somewhere
And your next clue is hidden there

Attach your next clue of your choice to a bat.

Continue with as many clues as you would like but make sure the last one leads them to some lovely halloween treasure.

‘Witch’s Stew’

Make up some templates for bats, mice, bones etc to cut out for your Witch’s brew ingredients. Place all the shapes beside a bowl/cauldron. Using a straw as a ‘vacuum’ each child has to try and pick up a shape and pop it in the bowl to create the Witch’s Stew. You can either time the players to see who can get all the shapes in the bowl the fastest, or set a goal for a prize, ‘Put five in to get a prize’

‘Doughnut Chomp’

A great alternative to apple bobbing. Thread doughnuts on long pieces of string with a good space in between and then let the children race to eat the doughnut’s with their hands behind their backs. Use the orange iced doughnuts that can be found at this time of year!

Hope these games have given you some inspiration for your halloween party 🙂

Happy Halloween!!

Did we Win????

As many of you know Kidz Krystals Parties were nominated for the ‘Whats on 4 Juniors Awards 2013” under the ‘Best children’s party entertainment’ category and, as you are all probably aware, I was asking for votes to see if we could get to the final 3.

Well the votes have been counted and unfortunately I am sorry to say, we didn’t win 🙁  The three shortlisted companies were Enjoy-a-Ball, Gymboree & Jo Jingles.  We would like to say a big well done to them all 🙂

However, I would like to share with you an email I received from the “Whats On 4 Juniors” team and some of the lovely emails and comments they received from my clients 🙂

“You did really well for a newly formed company and only covering a small part of the UK.  Kidz Krystals came 32nd out of 76 so well done you!  There were some great comments on the nominations forms, so please find these below:-“Kids Krystals provide great parties- my daughter had a lovely time with her friends designing their t-shirts with crystals- I would definitely recommend Bev for her patience and great ideas : )

Beverley makes each and every party individual and puts in so much time and effort making it perfect.  Her parties are amazing – they create a lifetime long memory of what a birthday party should be.

Unique party ideas- very professional staff.

Bev’s patience and enthusiasm added to some great ideas are sure to make any birthday party a great success.

I would not hesitate to use Kidz Krystals Children’s Parties for a party.

Beverley is dedicated- creative- efficient & provides a great experience for little ones and parents alike!

Very unique & great value for money!

Fantastic innovative parties with passionate staff

What a fantastic party experience- Beverley so so good with the children and they were delighted with the end products. Fantastic

Beverley provides a fun and friendly party experience at affordable prices

These comments made me so happy 🙂 and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for me!! After all, 32 out of 76 isn’t bad for a small business competing with the larger nationwide companies that were nominated! Here’s to next year!!

Thankyou Bev x

If you are interested in having a Kidz Krystals Party please contact me on bev@kidzkrystalsparties.co.uk for further information.

Macaroons ‘Divine little bites of Bliss’

Last week my daughter, Hannah, took me and her grandmother to London for a special Birthday treat.  We headed out after getting the younger ones off to school.  Hannah had arranged everything!  Our first stop was to see, for the first time, where Hannah works, although I hear about it daily, I had never visited her store.  Hannah is a Visual Merchandiser for Ted Baker and at the very young age of 20 she already has her own Knightsbridge store. I had a very proud mummy moment when I walked in and realised that she has the responsibility of laying out the whole store, mannequins, shop windows and ensuring that the store is visually suitable for potential customers and to ensure products sell.

Our next stop was a little macaroon shop called ‘Laduree’.  All I can say is WOW!  Hannah had mentioned that she wanted to take us there as the macaroons were simply beautiful and she wasn’t lying!  Not only were the macaroons beautiful but the flavours were divine. We decided to try a selection, and between us we ordered Marie Antoinette, Melon, Pistacchio, Berry, Citrus and salted caramel.  Marie Antoinette had to be my favourite they were simply divine little bites of bliss!!

After my visit to ‘Laduree’ I am feeling kind of inspired to have a go at making macaroons although, I have always been put off as I know that the process is a very delicate one and not one for the novice.

In my search for the perfect recipe I stumbled across ‘Givers Log’ and she has a perfect tutorial written with a great recipe and she also shares her tips and tricks with you.  So if you would like to have a go at making these divine little bites yourself follow this link for a perfect tutorial http://www.giverslog.com/?p=1089 

The rest of our wonderful day was spent shopping in Selfridges, lunch, more shopping, dinner and then off to see ‘Top Hat’ at the Aldwych Theatre! We all had a wonderful day and to all you mummies struggling with teenage daughters, it is all worth it in the end!!!!

Thank you to my beautiful daughter, Hannah for a wonderful Birthday 🙂

Capturing Magical Memories

Its your child’s birthday and you have everything planned right to the finer details.  It has taken weeks, you have made a beautiful themed birthday cake, booked your party entertainment, everything is ready…. or is it?  All of that effort and forward planning is great but have you missed something?

The guests arrive and the house is filled with excitement, you watch as your child and his/her friends have a wonderful time, playing lots of games, watching their magical expressions as they play ‘fairy freeze’ or search for ‘moon rocks’.  Its time for tea and cake…..you help blow out the candles to the sound of all the children singing ‘happy birthday’ thinking to yourself what a wonderful day you have had, filled with memories that you and your child will remember forever….

Its home time and as your child is handing out the party bags your heart sinks……..DID ANYONE REMEMBER TO PICK UP THE CAMERA!!!!!

How many times have you got to the end of your child’s party realising that whilst the camera was out no one had had time to pick it up!!! And if you have picked it up how many times have you looked at your pictures only to think that they don’t quite show what you remember, because the pictures are blurry and the room is too dark.

As a party planner/entertainer I know just how important your child’s party is to you and the wonderful, magical memories that it brings. You want to be able to relax, enjoy and get involved with whats going on and for many parents, grabbing the camera to take pictures can become a hassle because it is something extra to think about and it can cause you to miss out on being involved in the excitement.

Having a photographer at your child’s party to shoot those candid photo’s that make for magical memories is a must.  Long after the party has finished, these will be you and your child’s memories for a lifetime.

Kidz Krystals have been working in partnership with Fairweather Photography for a few months now on some great projects, photoshoot’s and parties.  Its just Stephanie and her camera no bulky equipment or backdrops.

Whilst the party flows Stephanie will capture those magical memories and can retell the story of your wonderful party in pictures long after the balloons have burst and the party is over.  Pictures that you and your child will treasure forever.

Last week Stephanie and I worked on a photoshoot for a superhero themed party and here is just a peak and some of the wonderful moments Stephanie captured on film.

If you would like further information or to have a professional photographer at your Kidz Krystals party please contact myself bev@kidzkrystalsparties.co.uk or Stephanie info@fairweatherphotography.co.uk

Do you remember when…….

Have you forgotten all those good old fashioned party games you used to play? I can still remember playing pass the parcel, musical chairs, ooh and the chocolate game (my favourite) and then there was the birthday tea with jelly and ice cream, if you were lucky!  The simplicity of the old fashioned birthday party is fading away….why?  From my experience children still love these traditional games.  But its not the kids its us!!!! Life is so busy we think its too time consuming to arrange a home party with traditional games and party fun! Is it not us parents who moan that our children spend too much time on computers, xbox’s and don’t have enough physical activity? Lets bring back the classics before they get lost in our computer generated world!  They give the children a sense of camaraderie, intellectual stimulation, physical activity and most of all lots & lots of fun and laughter.

The joy of organising a traditional party with classic party games is that it doesn’t take a lot of planning and it is extremely inexpensive, all you need is time and creativity!! I have been planning parties for quite a few years now and I can guarantee children never get bored when playing traditional party games.

Traditional party games really work. I have listed some of my favourites below and some idea’s on how they can be adapted to suit any party theme.

Treasure Hunt:   A treasure hunt is exactly what it says it is, a hunt for treasure but the great thing is with a little imagination the treasure can be anything you want it to be.  If you are having a fairy themed party then little fairies will love hunting for stolen fairy feathers or magic fairy dust, a pirate party could be following a map to find the secret treasure or digging in sand for hidden jewels.  If you are having a space party then why not get your ‘astronauts in training’ searching for moon rocks!

Musical Chairs:  This is a great classical game but try to avoid any tears by making sure that you have little jobs and prizes for those that are ‘out’.  Adapt the game by simply changing the chairs and music to suit.  If you are having a fairy party why not change the chairs to toadstools (use pieces of red felt with white felt dots), for a space party use cushions as moon rocks at a princess party use chairs but decorate one of the chairs as a throne for the winner!!

Pin the tail on the donkey:  This is such an easy game to adapt simply pick a character or object from your theme and let the children pin on the missing part whilst blindfolded.  Some simple ideas are pin the …….. patch on the pirate, crown on the princess, wand on the fairy, rocket on the moon, gate on the castle……..

Balloon Bust: Possibly one of the simpliest, funniest games.  Place a small prize in each balloon before blowing up.  The idea of the game is that the children take it in turns to burst the balloons with their bottoms.  To adapt this game, simply change the name and prizes, for example ‘Dragon egg bust’ We play this in my ‘Knights, Dragons and Castles’ party and the children love it.  Simply fill the balloons with clues and add some music to the game, the children can only bust open an egg (with their bottom) once the music stops.  Once all the clues have been found the children work together to find the hidden treasure.

Pass the Parcel:  Again a very simple game that can be adapted to any theme.  Always make sure you put a small prize in between each wrapper to avoid any tears.  Some simple ideas are pass the royal box, pass the magic parcel, pass the pirate hat (with this one I use a pirate hat full of clues. The hat is passed around, when the music stops the children pick a clue, once all the clues are taken the children work together to find the pirates treasure) Everyone is a winner!

Remember you can adjust any game to make it age appropriate just by changing the props to match the theme of your party.  You will be surprised how many big kids will join in just by a simple name change.

Top Tips for a Perfect Party

When it comes to planning your little ones birthday party it can easily leave you with a feeling of stress and worry.  ’How many children should I invite’,  ’where shall we hold the party?”, “what games shall we play?’  ”what if I can’t control the children?’   These are the questions I get asked on a daily basis.  REMEMBER it doesn’t need to be elaborate!!  Deciding on the theme, decorations, and activities should make the days leading up to the party seem like part of the celebration itself and should be fun for both you and your child!  Your child will be happy whether they have a big or small party as long as they are made to feel special.  The key thing to remember is that a perfect, smooth running birthday party, big or small needs PLANNING and plenty of it!

So today, I thought I would share some of my party planning tips to help you create the perfect party for your little one.

Kidz Krystals Top Tips for a Perfect Party

  • The Date – Choosing the right day and date is probably the most important aspect of planning your child’s party.  A party isn’t a party if your little ones best friend can’t make it.  So, before booking the date make sure your child’s special friend or friends are available.
  • The Day – weekend’s are probably best as family and friends should be available.  Saturday’s are great as you have Sunday to recover although if you are thinking of having your party on a Sunday you would have the whole of Saturday to prepare.  An after school party is great for older children as they love spending all day in anticipation of going home together, plus your party won’t clash with weekend sporting activities.
  • The time of day – the time of day you decide to begin your child’s party really depends upon whether you want to serve a party tea/lunch or just birthday cake.  If you decide to serve a meal it is best to start the party between 11.00 – 12.30pm or 5-6pm.  Younger children would be better having their party earlier in the day so they are not too tired.
  • Choosing a theme – this is paramount in deciding the rest of the party.  The theme is the key to a successful unique party.  If you want to surprise your child then let their interests dictate the party theme.  Think about their favourite book or film character, activity, play dough, pirates, princesses whatever it is let it reflect their little personality. The first party I did for my daughter was themed on a storybook ‘A Castle in the Sky’ which was her favourite story at the time.  Try and take the theme to the max!  So if you were having a pirate party set up things like ‘walk the plank’, hand out bandana’s and pirate patches, send them off on a treasure hunt and make sure you get into the spirit yourself, dress up and only speak to the kids in pirate speak!!!  Once you have your theme this will provide the framework for the rest of the planning process. Decisions about invitations, decorations, party games and thank you cards will all start to feel clearer once a theme has been decided.
  • Venue –
  • Home parties are generally less expensive. If you have younger children then they usually feel much more comfortable in familiar surroundings so a party at home is a good choice.  Make sure you take into account the number of guests and if you are planning an outside garden party then always have a back-up plan in case of bad weather! Put away all breakable/precious items, keep your pets away from the party area maybe give them to a neighbour for the duration of the party.  If you have areas in your home that you don’t want the children to access then put pretty party ribbon across the doors so that the children can see these area’s/rooms are out of bounds.
  • Away from home – If you are thinking of having 20 – 30 guests for a pirate party then home is definately NOT the right choice!  Some themes work much better in a venue. Before booking check out cost (off peak times maybe cheaper, and whats included), parking facilities, timings (will it work with the times you would like? for example they may have another activity going on in an adjoining room, can you access the area prior to the party time to decorate), can you provide your own catering, insurance and what it covers and staffing (especially if you are thinking of a pool party).  If you decide upon a venue and it fits in with what you require then make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.
  • Invitations –  If you are having an entertainer/party planner then you may find they include themed invitations (I do).Make sure you send your invitations out in plenty of time, approximately 3 weeks before, make sure you have a list of everyone you have invited so that you can tick them once you have received the replies and make sure you chase up any non-replies as the children may still have the invitation in their school bags! It is important to know the final number of guests attending your party.
  • Games –They are all waiting with excitement..don’t panick…. Just remember the following :-
  • Old fashioned games work best for younger children.  Pin the tale on the donkey, pass the parcel, musical chairs are all very exciting for three to five year olds especially as they may be experiencing them for the first time.  Remember to theme the games,  ’pin the tail on the donkey’ may become ‘pin the crown on the princess’ or ‘pop the patch on the pirate’…. make sure you explain the rules slowly and carefully.  Never have winners and losers.  Everyone should be a winner, the last thing you want is tears at a party!!! Have a dressing up box as this is the age where they love dressing up superhero’s, princesses, pirates …. they love it all!
  • At 6 to 8 years they need a little more to occupy their imagination.  This is a great age for themed parties.  They love to let off steam and will be full of energy, so a mix of lively games with some calming craft activities works well.
  • 9 to 12 year olds They like to feel involved and will have plenty of ideas to input so let them help in planning all the party games and activities.  Always plan more games than you need as at this age they will get through your games very quickly!  I always make sure I have double the amount planned than I will need, just in case!! You will need to impress because they think they have seen and done it all! Make sure you have unique and unusual games, activities, food and decoration to win them over. Its all about the party experience not the party bag!! Research games on the internet there are hundreds!!!  This is also a great age for having craft activities such as jewellery making, cupcake decorating, decopatch, designing and lots more.
  • Decoration – this can transform a room instantly and it doesn’t have to break the budget.  Themed brands from party shops can work out expensive but making your own can add that personal touch.  So get creative! Research on the internet there are lots of  free printable downloads and inspirations to get your creative juices flowing. So get your family and the birthday child involved and start making!! Make sure you adapt your decorations to tie into your theme,   Top budget friendly tips – buy a roll of cheap wallpaper to make your banners/bunting, buy plain white paper plates and decorate with pretty doilies, don’t buy printed balloons make an impact with your colours/clusters of balloons and personalise with stickers and felt tip pens – printed balloons are so much more expensive. Buy plain white paper/plastic tablecloths and make a statement with a decorated coloured runner down the centre of the table.
  • Party Bags – These are one of the biggest headaches for parents and can be very costly.  They really don’t need to be!!  Here are some great alternatives to costly traditional bags filled with illuminous sweets full of e-numbers and cheap plastic toys which find themselves in the bin!!!
  1. Fill balloons with little sweets and gifts, blow up the balloon, tie with string and put a label with each childs name – they will love popping the balloon when they get home and seeing what’s inside.
  2. Put simple sweets such as marshmellows, jazzies, large strawberry chews or homemade chocolate shapes into clear or coloured cellophane, tie with pretty ribbon, attach a label with ‘thankyou for coming to …… party’ the children will love them.
  3. Have a lucky dip box, this way everytime you play a game each child becomes a winner and pops their prize into their take-home bag – you don’t double up with providing prizes and bags!
  4. Why not make some biscuits, cupcakes or fruit, give each child an icing bag filled with either melted chocolate or different coloured icing let each guest decorate their own treat to take home.
  5. Have a craft activity, each child gets to take home their very own creation nicely gift wrapped.
  6. Print off free ‘themed’ colouring sheets, roll up and tie with ribbon, add some crayons/pencils attach to a personalised balloon. A great take home gift for an art themed party.
  • Birthday Cake – The highlight of every childs birthday is the blowing out of the candles whilst everyone is singing happy birthday and admiring their wonderful birthday cake …. no pressure!!  Don’t panic  keep it simple and within your budget. Specialist shops will make a beautiful, elaborate, themed cake – at a price!  You could go to the supermarket they often have reasonably priced cakes that may fit in with your theme.  I think the best thing, if you have the time, is to either buy a sponge cake and decorate yourself with the help of the birthday child or if you can manage it make your own from scratch.  There are lots of different shaped bakeware that you can buy or hire  and your little one will love joining in, helping and licking the spoon after!  Again research on the internet for simple recipes and inspiration – it doesn’t have to be elaborate!
  • Party Food – If you are planning to serve a meal then keep it simple and make sure you check with parents for any food allergies guests may have.  The birthday tea is important but it isn’t a highlight at a child’s birthday and it doesn’t need to be a costly, lavish affair.  Children will love themed food i.e. sandwiches cut into shapes, shaped, iced biscuits, use cookie cutters for shaping pizza, themed jellies etc.

Kids parties should be full of fun and laughter however busy the day may be.  One important thing to remember is be aware of your child’s and other children’s feelings during the party.  Young children can become a little overwhelmed by all of the attention so help the birthday child prepare for this by making sure they have an early night before the party so they don’t feel tired on their big day.  If you notice other children feeling left out during the party or seem a little quiet include them in the planning, maybe they can help judge a game or hand out prizes always make sure they feel included.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy creating some wonderful magical memories for both you and your child.

                                           Bev xxx

‘A Little bit of sparkle’

What little girl doesn’t like a bit of sparkle? Well Libby and her friends certainly do!  Last Thursday was Libby’s 8th birthday.  Libby wanted to make a rhinestone t-shirt but she also loves her jewellery so her mum asked us if we could combine the two.

Libby decided on fuschia pink for the t-shirts.  There is a large selection of colours available but its a good idea to choose a blanket colour for everyone before the party.

When all the girls arrived they chose from a selection of design templates for their t-shirts. There were animals, hearts, spirals, flowers, disney characters, and lots more.  I always do a template of each of girls name just in case they want to add it to their design.

If your child has a particular request for either a character, logo or design  we will always do our utmost to create a template/templates and include them on the party day.

Once everyone had chosen they set to work creating their designs and Libby’s mum got in on the act too – designing her own t-shirt!!

Libby’s mum, Jemma, couldn’t believe how quiet the party was and how the girls were enthralled with creating their designs.  After about 11/2 the girls were finished and ready for their party tea.  This is when I fixed all their designs to their t-shirts.  The girls were all so excited and couldn’t wait to have their picture taken with their finished designs.

Then it was time to make some jewellery!  The table was filled with beautiful glass beads, charms and ribbon ready for the girls to design their memory wrap bracelets.

The party was a great success and the girls were thrilled with the results!

< If you think your child would be interested in having a rhinestone design party, prices start at £20 per child.  If you would like to incorporate a little bit of jewellery making too there is an additional charge of £3.75 per child All materials, t-shirts, invitations, party bags and thank you cards are included in the cost.

What is decopatch?

Decopatch is a decorative fab and funky papercraft, a bit like papier mache only much prettier!  Its a simple, creative, non-messy craft with brilliant results.  The children love choosing from all the fun, decorative decopatch papers.  There is something for everyone from musical notes, animal prints, hearts, flowers the choice is endless.

You can decorate almost anything with Decopatch metal, glass, wood, paper maiche and as well as upcycling household items there is a fantastic range of items available online which are great for parties.

tumblr_inline_mk7zrjkH7h1qz4rgp

I love decorating the initials with the children, these are lovely for them to put on their bedroom wall, use as book marks or hang on their bedroom door.  A great piece of art and a lovely momento of their party.  The children adore this craft party as they get to take home something they have made that looks fantastic!

tumblr_inline_mk7zs6Q2ps1qz4rgpIt is so simple …..

  • Choose your object
  • Cut of tear your paper into small pieces (postage stamp size)
  • Paint some glue onto your object, be generous
  • Use your brush to pick up a piece of paper, place it on the glued object and hold it in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to stick.
  • Using the glue left on the brush, paint a thin coat over the paper, making sure all the edges are stuck down, this will dry clear, so don’t worry.
  • Repeat these steps until your object is completely covered and make sure there are no bare patches – these will become more visable as the glue dries.
  • You can use sparkles to enhance your object
  • Leave the glue to dry to a glossy, clear finish…..hey presto you’re a Decopatcher!!

Do you think your child would be interested in a Decopatch Party?  If so then i would recommend this party for ages 6 and above.

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Easter Egg Hunts – tips & ideas

 

One of my favourite things on Easter Sunday is our ‘Easter Egg Hunt’.  Kids love nothing more than finding brightly coloured eggs under bushes and shrubs or perched on the branch of a low tree.   This has become a tradition in our family and each year it is my job to come up with new and creative ideas to make our hunts more challenging.  So if you would like to make your traditional egg hunt into something a little more creative, here are some of my tips and ideas.

As with every party or game, planning is the key to success. Whether you are hosting an indoor hunt for 3 or an outdoor event for 300, things don’t always run smoothly and anarchy can break out!

The first thing you need to do is make your plan. Where and when will your egg-hunt take place? If you are planning to have your hunt outside, you will need a back-up plan in case of bad weather. Also think about location and be aware of hazards such as water and traffic.  An open space such as a park or football field is ideal.  Make sure everyone is aware of the boundaries and if you have a large number of children, make sure you have enough adults to keep watch.  If you are planning to have an indoor hunt make sure you spread the hunt over several rooms and only places where you want the children to look. How many children are you going to invite and how old are they? Whilst easter egg hunts are great for all ages, from toddlers to adults, the age of each participant is important.  You will need to determine which treats to put inside the eggs(if you are using plastic eggs), as well as where the eggs will be hidden. Make sure you have some adult help if you are planning a bigger event. You may think you have everything under control, but when the day of the hunt arrives there will always be too many things for one person to handle.  Make sure you ask for help from either your spouse, neighbour or a friend.  I am sure everyone will be happy to help as egg hunts are fun for everyone. Make a list – Always keep a record of how many eggs you have used and where they are hidden.  No one wants to find either a rotten smelling egg in July or melted chocolate all over your best cushions!

Next step is to create your ground rules so that you know the hunt will be fair.  There is nothing worse than tears because Charlie got 6 eggs and Molly only got 3!! Here are some tips I use:-

  • Always have a base and make sure each child returns to it once they have collected 3 or 5 eggs its up to you how many, and of course, depends how many you have hidden.  Keep them at base until all the children have returned with their eggs before setting them off on their search again.  That way everyone receives the same amount of eggs.
  • Have baskets, bags, buckets or boxes with each child’s name on.  These could be set out at base so they can deposit their eggs and you don’t have arguments over whose eggs are whose!
  • If you have children of different ages pair the younger ones with older ones.  Little ones can get upset when there are older ones and become a little overwhelmed.  It always works best to team up younger and older children.
  • Rules on chocolate consumption are essential!  Make sure the children are aware that they are not allowed to eat the chocolates whilst playing and that they will all get to eat a few of their eggs at the end of the hunt.  You don’t want a house or garden full of hyperactive children!
  • The most important thing to remember is that Easter egg hunts should be fun and enjoyable so as long as you have set out your rules, simple things like sharing, taking turns and being patient can make all the difference.

Now you have your plan here are some ideas for creating that extra special ‘Egg Hunt’.

Coloured egg hunt – Decide upon the designated egg colours for each child or team.  You can use plastic eggs with treats inside or painted eggs for this game.  At the start of the hunt, give each child a different coloured egg and tell them they have to find all the ‘blue’ eggs (if thats their colour) and any other colours won’t count.  Tell them how many eggs have been hidden (make sure you hide the same amount of each colour).  The first child to collect all their eggs will win a special prize.

Egg Word search – this is a great game for older children.  Start by deciding where the eggs will be hidden. Write down the letters of your first clue and cut the letters individually. Keep hold of the first set of letters but make 4 or 5 sets of clues cut into individual letters and hide in respective places.  Explain to the children that they will need to work as a team to unscramble all the letters to find the hiding place.  Give them their first set of letters to unscramble which will lead them to their first collection of eggs and their second set of letters.  The idea of the game is that as they find a collection of eggs they also find a set of letters which will lead them to the next hiding place and the next collection of eggs.  You can have as many word clues as you like it really depends on how many children you have.  Younger children can take part too, especially with a little help from you.  Simply make the clues easier.

Checklist egg hunt – 

For large hunts give each child a basket,pencil and checklist.  Tell all the children they must only find what is on their checklist and no more.  Make sure all the checklists are the same and that you have hidden enough eggs so that everyone can complete their checklist.  It would also be handy to have a note of where all the eggs are hidden, just in case you have one poor child who cannot find all of theirs.  Each child’s checklist should read something like this

___ find 2 x blue eggs

___ find 3 x yellow eggs

___ find 1 x pink egg

___ find 4 x orange eggs

___ find 3 x green eggs

___ find 2 orange eggs

Tell all the children that their will be a grand prize for whoever completes their checklist first!! Watch them go

If you are planning on an outdoor hunt, why not go to the woods, park or a football pitch – these are great places if the children are full of energy.  You could hide eggs in the woods and give each child a basket to collect their eggs.  You hide the eggs whilst either your spouse or another parent entertains the children – no peeking mind!  You can use clues or just let them roam free and collect as many as they can.  But be sure to tell them all, that the eggs will be shared equally at the end of the hunt.  Make sure you set your boundaries, you don’t want them wandering off and getting lost.  Take some string and mark out a section where the eggs are hidden.  Alternatively set up an Active egg hunt – you can set up different ‘activity posts’ that ask them to complete a challenge before searching for more eggs.  You could include bunny hops, a minute on the trampoline, star jumps, hoola hooping whatever takes your fancy.  It just adds a bit of extra fun and means that they will be nice and tired after the hunt!  Older children do like an extra challenge so you could incorporate prizes for the fastest runner, best bouncer or hoola hoop champion.  Making sure that all the children receive a special prize at the end.  You don’t want any tears.

You could even have a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt.  A great one for the older ones!  You could either give each child a torch, paint the eggs with glow in the dark paint or alternatively put glow sticks inside plastic eggs. When it gets dark give each child their torch and set them off on their ‘nightmare’ hunt – great if you have some sleeping over.

My favourite game of all is ‘Cascarones’  which are confetti filled eggs, a traditions that comes from Mexico.  They remind me of mini pinatas for your head!  Traditionally, hollowed out eggs are broken over the head of a friend, showering them with confetti.  One of the eggs is filled with gold glitter, and whoever ends up with the head full of glitter gets a prize and supposedly good luck.  This is great fun to prepare and brilliant to play with friends and family

 Will Easter Egg Hunts become your family tradition!!

If you would like more tips and easter ideas or you would like to know how to make ‘cascarones’ sign up to this months Newsletter. You can sign up using the sign up box on either my facebook page /kidzkrystalsparties or on my website www.kidzkrystalsparties.co.uk

HAVE A FUNFILLED EASTER

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Rhinestone Party for 18 lovely girls!!

I have been doing my Rhinestone Design Parties and children’s workshops for a few years now and it is still one of my most popular parties.  The idea came to me whilst designing some templates for a dance costume for my daughter, Hannah.

My party on Sunday was for two lovely 9 year old girls, Katie and Charlie. Poor Katie and Charlie had been waiting 6 weeks for their party to arrive, as disappointingly their original booking had to be cancelled in January due to the snow!!

Katie and Charlie live in Buckhurst Hill which is about 40 minutes from us.  They were so excited when we arrived to set up and couldn’t wait to see the designs that we had brought.  We could hear them chatting about which colour t-shirt they had chosen and the ideas they had in mind for their t-shirts.

We put up the design boards and set out the table’s ready for the guests to arrive.

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Once everyone had arrived we had 18 very excited little girls.  We introduced ourselves, gave a brief explanation of what they were going to do and how they could achieve a beautiful, lasting design. Once they had all chosen their templates our budding designers then began creating their very own unique t-shirts.

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With 18 girls you would imagine chaos but they were all so busy concentrating on their designs that time just flew and the mum’s couldn’t believe how quiet they all were.

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The girls did two different designs, one for the front and one for the back of their t-shirts.

Once finished it was time for Pizza.  Concentrating is hard work you know!

Whilst the girls were eating I began fixing the designs to the t-shirts and Shannon, my colleague cleared everything away and then played some party games with the girls.

All the t-shirts were wrapped and packaged ready for them to take home.

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Katie, Charlie and their guests were so excited and couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw their finished t-shirts and I am sure you will agree, the results were fab!


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Creating Magical Memories

Hi and welcome to Kidz Krystals Parties Blog.  I am Beverley, founder of Kidz Krystals Parties and with my first blog I just want to tell you a little bit about why I began Kidz Krystals and my passion for creating magical and memorable parties for children.

I have always believed that children’s parties are a really special part of a child’s life but I found it extremely frustrating that the trend for children’s parties had become the boring soft play area parties, where children were fed beige food, left to play for an hour and then taken home all for an extortionate cost.  What could I do differently for my children?    I wanted something more, something stimulating and memorable. I decided to create my own parties.  I knew my children better than anyone.  I knew their dreams, the things they loved, stories that inspired them.  Surely I could create a party that brought all of their dreams together and made their day special.

For Hannah, my eldest daughter’s 5th birthday I took my inspiration from her favourite storybook ’A Castle In The Sky’ which was about a little girl who lived in a flat and dreamed of having her very own castle.

I began creating a huge castle background painting, which would cover our lounge walls with the castle entrance over the lounge door.   Having a nearly 5 year old and 2 year old at the time, meant late nights sitting up painting and creating but I loved it!  I couldn’t wait to see their faces on the big day!! I made various Kings & Queens costumes and accessories for all the guests to wear and a special outfit for my own prince and princess!!
The morning of Hannah’s birthday arrived. Excitedly she ran downstairs, the look on her face when she saw her castle room was magical and a moment I will never forget!

When the children arrived she was so excited.  All their costumes were hanging on chairs around the banquet table with their names on.  Once they were all dressed up we began our activities.  It was such a brilliant party and when Hannah was crowned queen we played ‘Queenie Queenie who’s wearing ….’  which lead us out of the room to the tea table all set up like a royal banquet with a beautiful castle cake and crown cookies.  Everybody had had a wonderful time and soon the word spread and it wasn’t long before I was doing the same for friends and family.

Every year I would create different themes for the children’s birthday parties.  I began creating yearly Halloween and Christmas Parties.   Watching how much everyone enjoyed themselves, appreciated the work I had put in and the fact that I loved every moment from planning to party to home time inspired me to create Kidz Krystals Parties.

A child’s birthday party should be stress free and fun, a time when magical moments and beautiful memories are made.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about why and how I created Kidz Krystals Parties.  Please come back and visit again when I will be sharing lots of ideas, inspirations and pics of our lovely parties.

Hannah ready for her guests! (15 years ago!)

Hi Bev, I really enjoyed my party and so did all my friends. This is a very BIG thank you from me to you! I hope I can have another one of your parties very soon.

– Love from Rhianna

(Halstead)

So Bev, thank you for such a great, fantastic, enjoyable and relaxing birthday party. I can assure you, you will be hearing from us again in the future. Who knows, maybe us mums will have a “get-together” party!

– Susan Brown

(Buckhurst Hill)

Just a note to say that Freya thoroughly enjoyed her party. All the girls had a great time and were very happy with the jewellery they made – as were the mums very impressed! We would definitely, and have already, recommend the party to friends. Thanks again.

– Tracey, Pete & Freya

(Chelmsford)