Want to throw a kids party that is kinder to the environment but also fun, practical and completely awesome? We can show you how! It may take a little planning, but that's the fun bit too isn't it!
A few tips to consider; aim to create as little waste as possible, reuse and re-purpose wherever possible and any waste you do create should ideally be compostable or biodegradable.
I'm a big fan of virtual invites. companies such as Greenvelope have a huge selection of invites that can be personalised before emailing directly to your guest list, replies can all be managed online. Virtual invites are not only environmentally friendly but also a super-efficient way of inviting your guests and keeping them informed, you can even send thank you cards this paperless way.
Flowers & Plants: Using natural materials as decorations is standard for a wedding or an adult celebration, use flowers and plants at children's parties and I guarantee the kids will love them too. Cut tropical leaves from your garden Cordyline or Palm to create a jungle vibe or use pretty cut flowers and Ferns for a tea party or fairy theme. If possible use flowers straight from your garden or alternatively consider buying whole plants and then transfer to your garden afterwards.
Girls vintage glamping party, making floral arrangements to take home with them.
For this kids Easter party we lined the party table with primroses and the children took them home as gifts for their Mums.
Home Made & Re-purposed Decorations: Children love to get involved in making decorations so let them help create some for their party. Re-purpose old fabrics to make your own bunting. Old magazines, books and comics can create bunting perfect for your party theme. Traditional party decorations are fun to make, strings of popcorn make cute natural garlands and was once a popular Christmas craft, we think they look great at any party. Pompoms, paper chains and Mexican papel picado are all easy to make and can add a huge splash of colour to your celebration.
I found some paper doily's in a kitchen drawer and repurposed into this pretty garden party bunting.
The kids help to create this one off tablecloth. We used an old roll of parcel paper and decorated it with paper washi tape from our craft cupboard. Bright and funky yet completely biodegradable.
Use items from around the house, we scattered cushions and used roughly cut pieces of floral fabric as tablecloths to create this pretty vintage glamping party.
Hay bales provide seating for large numbers, cover them in vintage tablecloths.
Bought Decorations: Consider buying non-themed decorations that you can use again and again for all kinds of parties. Paper fans, honeycomb balls and party garlands can be folded and put away, letter banners can be used to spell different things again and again, even foil balloons can be flattened, stored and reused. Each year people pack up and put away their Christmas decorations, you can do the same with party decorations too! why not collect your own box of party decorations that you can reuse, your children will delight in seeing them again each year.
Hire Props & Furniture: If you need furniture for your party such as tables and chairs, a useful solution is to hire. Event and party hire companies have stacks of furniture to choose from, this can be a cost effective way to furnish a large venue. Party props can be hired too, we hired the bell tent in the above images.
Better still create your own 'party cupboard' like this one belonging to Victoria from A Subtle Revelry, full of pretty party decor and crafting supplies to create a party whenever the urge takes her!
FOOD & FOOD PACKAGING
When it comes to party food try to buy as little pre-packaged food as possible. Drinks can be served in jugs and poured into glass jars. If you use paper cups then consider labeling them with the children's names, this way you will use less cups. Save any left over paper tableware for other events.
This drinks dispenser looks great and will be used time and again, the children can even help themselves!
Collect a range of tableware and glassware to use at all of your parties. These little pots make gorgeous little strawberry and cream treats and can be washed, kept and reused.
Serve finger food on platters to reduce waste, these fruit kebabs can be hand-held and the wooden sticks and palm leaf plates put straight onto the compost pile.
For parties away from home, outside or even at a hired hall using little deli boxes can be really handy. Use these Bio Deli Boxes to make little individual picnics, add perhaps a sandwich, piece of fruit, cheese and a cookie. These can be packed up and are easy to transport to your venue.
Ideally try to use partyware and packaging that can either be washed and reused or is compostable or biodegradable. We have a large selection in store.
There are an endless amount of party games that need no equipment at all and are completely environmentally friendly. When it comes to dishing out prizes I promise you that kids are quite content with a huge high five in place of a plastic toy or sweet.
A scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt is a great game for kids of all ages, you can make it tricky or simple depending on the age group and the amount of time you have. I like to use a treasure hunt as a trail to find something special like the Birthday candles or even a pinata!
On the subject of pinata's, they can be Eco-friendly too. We made this pinata from recycled tissue paper and papier mache (old newspapers, flour and water).A low-waste party can be fun and incredibly festive! I hope that we have shown you that it is possible to throw a completely awesome kids party that is also environmentally conscious!
Recycle Now - The national recycling campaign for England, supported and funded by Government
Green Education Foundation - Creating a Sustainable Future Through Education
NIEHS National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - Reduce Waste Tips for parents and environmental games and activities for kids