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Tips for Planning Children’s Parties

When I was growing up, I remember the most epic birthday party I had was when I was 8. Growing up in Malacca in the 80s, it wasn’t really common to have major parties for children my age, but my parents had organized my birthday at the new McDonald’s restaurant (the one and only in Malacca at that time!). It was totally memorable for me, especially since my mom baked a gorgeous cake for me, and my friends and I packed into the walk-in freezer to see how long we could stand the cold. I am grateful to my parents for organizing such a party for me.

Now that I have children of own and with the growing influence of Pinterest, DIY groups on Facebook etc, I feel a little ‘pressured’ to do something fun. So a few years ago when my daughter turned 5 and my son turned 3, I organised 2 parties – a unicorn party for my 5 year old and a fireman party for my 3 year old. It was quite fun doing some of the DIY stuff on my own, but unlike my mother, I can only bake instant cakes from those pre-mixes in the supermarket. (Needless to say, I didn’t bake these cakes).

It was a little stressful, but after all that organising, here are some tips to share with other mums who intend to plan their own child’s birthday parties.

1. If you are not good at something, hire someone to do it.

I realised that I was putting additional stress on myself in making some of the decorations myself. I went shopping for goody bags, was busy sorting out the guest list, planning food, AND thinking of how to keep everything under budget. Unless you are the kind of mum who truly enjoys this process, the best way to avoid unnecessary stress is to hire someone to do things for you. There are many great decorators / stylists who are great at what they do! (For my son’s 1st birthday, I had an Up themed party and hired Moments). For his 3rd year party, all I did was call the local fire station, do a site visit, and then let the firemen entertain the kids! (You need to give a donation to hold the party at the local fire station. Some fire stations do not allow parties)

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Magnus’ 1st Messy Birthday Party


Magnus’ 1st birthday party was a blast! Sharon and Paul’s little guests were treated a day of messy play with lots of opportunities for the children to get down and dirty! Everything was carefully thought through! We especially love the edible paint section, where the kids can just get totally messy, eat the paint if they wanted to without getting a tummy ache. We love all the different stations that were prepared for the children – from the mini pool to the animal farm! Parties like these are as much of fun for the kids as it is for the adults!

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Grace’s 40th Birthday


It took me a while to decide whether I wanted to have a birthday party for myself to celebrate this huge milestone – reaching 40. I’ve been planning my kid’s birthday parties, so organizing one for myself seemed like another tiring task on the plate. In the end, I contacted Rachel of Pretty Little Things to assist with the decorations for the party and she did an amazing job setting everything up. Alex helped to source and sandpaper all the wooden pallets you see here. And I added stress to myself thinking about my guests and what I could do to make it really fun for everyone, yet filled with things that were meaningful to me. So this was what I came up with:

1. A 15 minute massage station for guests

2. A personalised photo frame with all my guests’ names calligraphed by a friend, Cherbreena

3. A photo corner where my dedicated photographer, Chi Yin, took photos of all my guests who walked in and then Abel printed it out and placed it in the personalised frame

4. A pre-loved book section for my guests to adopt some of my personal book collection for their reading pleasure

5. A corner where guests could choose an air plant or succulent to bring home as gifts

6. A station where people could buy Naam.asia products (a social enterprise) and essential oils from Oilees (a business started by a friend, Michelle)

7. A soap making workshop corner, made possible by Esther & Elizabeth

Honestly, halfway through planning this party, I was wondering whether having a birthday party to celebrate yourself seems very narcissistic! I had to remind myself that it is ok to pamper yourself once in a while and to just enjoy the process. In the end, I truly had a blast on that day with all my precious friends. Seeing them happy made me truly happy too.

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1st Birthday Portrait: Zoe, Calvin & Queenie

When you have a birthday party that has awesome props, why not reuse it for a family portrait session at the studio the next day? We love this pastel theme, perfect for a little girly-girl. If you would love to have a styled portrait session at our studio but do not have the capacity to decorate it like these, you can contact us – we do have some props at the studio, or we can point you to a planner that can help bring your vision to reality. The only thing we definitely cannot do is whip up a cake from our fridge! You would have to order one for your session if you are interested in having a cake smash session too.

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Korean Birthday Boy & Family Portraits: Vincent & Hanna


Now, isn’t this just the cutest Korean boy? Traditionally, a Korean boy who celebrates his first birthday (doljanchi) will wear the hood but this cutie pie kept insisting on taking it off! One part of the celebration is the¬†toljabee ceremony, where various objects are placed before the child for him or her to pick. This could be food items, books, money, etc. Depending on what the child reached out for, these items would represent his future! For example, if he picked up a book, he would be a good scholar; if it was money, he would be wealthy.

For Hanna’s child, he picked a ball, though I wonder whether that meant he would be a good sportsman in the future! It was my first time witnessing Korean traditions for a child’s 1st birthday. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, Vincent and Hanna!

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