Birthday parties for little people are all about keeping the kids happy and impressing other big people. Here are 5 easy ways to do both.

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Image: a birthday cake filled with sweeties

Mae Noelle / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: maenoellefoto

Inviting an army of children into your home can be a bit of a daunting prospect. Even if you can handle the off-the-charts kiddy energy, the judging eyes of other (more organised) Mums are hard to ignore. But never fear, here are five ingenius ways to make the whole thing a breeze.

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lucyfrench123 / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: lucyfrench

Single Serves

Give each child their own plate of food rather than a buffet of options. Less to prep, less waste and just turn a blind eye when they start trading food with each other.

 

Boozy bribery

Have drinks (like these irresistible clementine proseccos) on hand for the adults and present them as soon as they arrive. They’ll stay and help rather than dashing off for a few hours of child-free peace.

 

Anything can be a face

Now is the perfect time to release your child and remember anything can be a face. Anything you want: vegetables, cupcake toppings can all be arrange with imagination. Also remember Smarties will be your decorating friend.

 

Keep it sweet & simple

Lightly butter sliced white bread, cut off the crusts and dip butter-side-down in multi-coloured hundreds and thousands. Cut into triangles. Call it 'fairy toast'.

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fairy bread

Via Soerfm / wikipedia

Get dippy

instead of elaborate desserts make up fruit kebabs with chunks of pineapple, strawberry, blueberries, kiwi (not apple or banana, as it will discolour), then present each child with a pot of melted chocolate and a little plate of popping candy to dip them into.

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Finish with a surprise

Get a shop-bought sponge cake and cut a hole from the middle. Fill with smarties, top with a little disc of cake to seal the top, and cover the whole cake with buttercream so you can't see the join. When you cut open the cake it’s full of hidden treasure! If you're feeling ambitious, make this recipe for a birthday surprise cake, above.

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Use your jelly moulds

Is anything more thrilling than the wibble wobble of colourful jelly? Well maybe only if it's in the shape of their favourite building blocks. Pop your premade stuff into spare, sterilised Duplo and Bob's your Uncle gorgeous jelly.

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jelly

David Stephen Ball-Romney / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: davidballromney

And there you have it: happy kids, impressed Mums. 

 

Enjoying cashing in that the brownie points cheque!