How to throw a stress-free kids party
Whether you decide to give Martha Stewart a run for her money or you prefer to take a more laidback approach, the basic requirements will be exactly the same: food, drink, music, and lots of cake
✦ Clear the decks. Make sure all breakables, wires and pens are well out of reach.
✦ Prepare as much of the party food as possible the night before.
✦ Arrange all the music beforehand too, and make sure it's easy to turn on and off for games.
✦ Don't plan too many activities. Dancing and a few games followed by tea should be plenty.
✦ Don't stress about sumptuous goody bags. A balloon and a slice of cake will keep most kids happy.
✦ If you do go for take-home presents, make sure you've got a few spares for surprise extra guests.
✦ If you're worried about spillages give the kids juice cartons with straws.
✦ A bubble machine is a great investment. If the atmosphere is flagging it never fails to get them leaping to their feet.
✦ Have an adult food and drink station. A few easily accessible jugs of soft drinks and some nibbles means you won't have to look after the grown-ups as well as the young party-goers.
✦ Don't forget the candles – or the matches!