Julia Clements, mum of three, party planner extraordinaire and craft genius from Kids Craft and Stuff shares her tips for choosing a party theme for you kids, and where she gets her ideas.

I LOVE to plan parties for my children. I start thinking and planning about them months, and yes sometimes years, in advance. So in between changing nappies, loads of washing and entertaining the chublets, I’m ploughing through Pinterest, surfing the net and borrowing (stealing) ideas from other clever mummies. Some days I can feel overwhelmed and saturated by the internet and social media, there are so many photos. Photos of food, parties, and anything you could ever dream about making. So sometimes the first step, the hardest part to planning a party is just choosing a theme (and sticking to it)!

This year I chose party themes fuelled by my kids’ obsessions. My four year old daughter loves nothing more than setting up tea parties for her toys and dolls. And my two year old son spends his days playing and galloping around with his “neighs”.

For Annabelle’s tea party we invited only a few little girls, which meant they got very fancy favour bags (tea cups) filled with lots of goodies. I went from shopping at Vinnie’s to find an old tea set to visiting a party planner place and hiring chair covers with luscious pink bows. The teacher in me set up a craft table and I had the girls making headpieces with pink feathers and sticker diamantes. They also made silver decorated handbags, to collect their lollies during the lolly hunt. And as for the tea party, we couldn’t go past marshmallow teacups, chocolate dipped strawberries, watermelon wands, soda pop cupcakes and cups of strawberry tea!

For Jacob’s party a simple country theme was easy to create. A few hay bales in the backyard, a rocking horse for pony rides (I was tempted to hire real ponies) and plenty of country style cooking with some cheese scones, spinach cob loaf dip, fresh fruit and vegetables (appealing and healthy for the kids) and we can’t forget the ‘Womens Weekly Cake Book’ farmyard cake.

It’s so sad I know but I’m already thinking about next years’ parties! A “Wreck-it Ralph” party for my soon-to-be one year old – who is affectionately known as the “game wrecker” when he knocks over a block tower or crawls through a tea party. Perhaps a Cowboys and Indian party for Jacob’s third birthday? And perhaps a baking party for Annabelle’s fifth birthday? The ideas are already bubbling away!

I am no expert in party planning and I have discovered since having children I am actually quite chaotic. There really is nothing methodical about the way I work. I can’t give you any advice on planning a party as I make multiple trips to shops, change my ideas all the time and have made birthday cakes an hour before guests arrive! But while there are birthday parties to be planned each year, I’ll keep on creating fun and easy ways to keep the stress to a minimum and my three kids smiling!

Julia xx