Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Planning An Encanto Themed Birthday Celebration

It seems that every time my children's birthdays roll around, there's a brand new trend that they're utterly besotted with and want to theme their birthday celebrations around - over the years I've found myself organising everything from Minecraft and Fortnite themed video game parties to Princess & Pirate celebrations. 

This year for my daughters 7th birthday, that trend was Disney's hit movie Encanto. Ever since we first watched the movie, my daughter has been enamoured with the colourful characters and charming music - so I wasn't surprised when she asked if her birthday party could be Encanto themed.

The problem is - as much as I LOVE to pin lots of party inspiration ideas and tell myself that I'm a creative, party-planning Mum - the truth is, I'm not! I don't have the patience, energy or desire to spend weeks prepping for a party and it doesn't help that all 3 of my kids birthdays are within weeks of each other! I don't have the head space to throw myself in at the deep end with handmade party decor and beautiful birthday bakes - I wish I was a Pinterest mum, but I'm just not!

What I a cheat. I want to give my kids a birthday that LOOKS like I made a bit of an effort, but actually involved minimal fuss and didn't cost the Earth.

So here is how I created an Encanto themed birthday party the lazy Mum's way...

Don't Try This At Home

Birthday parties at home are my worst nightmare for many reasons.

Our house is too small, for a start. The parking is terrible. But mostly? Parties at home mean that all of the mess is in your house..and since when do kids ever stay in one designated party area?! They don't! They run around the bedrooms and destroy the entire it means a whole evening of tidying up afterwards. No thank you.

We  hire a hall to hold the party because for the sake of approximately £30 for 3 hours hire - it means I don't have to worry about kids running wild in my house and things getting broken, plus it's so much easier to clear up after a party in a hall and then I get to go home to a nice tidy house!

I also find it really helpful to use a party planning checklist to make sure I'm not forgetting things.

Keep The Invites Simple

I always think the best way to set a party theme is with the invitations, and in recent years I've chosen to go fully digital with our invites - creating them online gives me the freedom to theme them well thanks to all of the great images available on the web and I think it's easier for parents too as they can simply screenshot the invite on their phones to avoid losing it. I usually just keep it simple and create the invites in the Paint app! It takes moments to create them, then I can send them via Whatsapp or Facebook and I have responses immediately - no remembering to hand them out in person or waiting for people to bother to RSVP by call or text! 

Store Bought Decor Is PERFECT

Choosing decorations for the event was really simple for this, as Encanto is set in South America and is all about bright vibrant colours, music and flowers - so that's what we went with! I used brightly coloured banners and streamers to decorate the hall, as well as brightly coloured balloons and Encanto themed partyware for the table. All of this was available in supermarkets or from Amazon, and it was all pretty cheap.

Themed Food Doesn't Have To Be Complicated - Just Cheat!

I always prefer to set out a buffet table to display the food on offer as I think this encourages the children to try different things, and it also looks cute and makes for a nice focal point in the room too.

The Encanto themed cake was made by a local cake maker and got pride of place in the centre of the table - the cake topper was from eBay and cost about £2 but really added a nice finishing touch to the cake.  As for the rest of the food I stuck with the colourful vibe but made sure to save myself prep time by cheating wherever possible - instead of spending time cutting up fruit for the fruit cups, I bought the pre-prepared stuff so that all I had to do was open the packets and stick them into cups. 

There are always ways to make store bought treats look more special by adding a personal touch - for example the cupcakes were store bought from the budget range and cost 99p for a pack of 10, but adding the little Encanto themed toppers from eBay made them look a bit special! 

Adding some cocktail umbrellas made the simple jelly cups look more impressive too. These little finishing touches that cost pennies and take seconds are my favourite way to cheat at a party!

As Encanto is set in South America we added in some foods such as churros - I served them in little cups with some chocolate sauce in the bottom and, yep you guessed it, they were store bought churros too.

My favourite thing on the buffet table was the sweet kebabs - they added a lovely splash of colour and were so simple to make! All you need is some kebab sticks and a few packs of brightly coloured sweets such as heart-shaped marshmallows and rainbow belts. They look adorable, cost about £4 for a load, take 30 seconds to make and the kids loved them!

Keep Activities Simple

There's no need to go over the top with elaborate activities as I always find that kids at a birthday party mostly just want to run around together and dance anyway, but having one or two games or crafts planned can be helpful.

For this party, I decided that making flower crowns sounded fun - mostly because I found a DIY Flower Crown pack on offer via Amazon two days before the party! Isabella Madrigal from Encanto has the gift of creating flowers - so it worked well with the theme and the kids enjoyed it! It was also minimal fuss as it didn't require any glue or scissors, the kids didn't get messy, and there was nothing to clean up after plus the kids got a cute flower crown to take home!

For other games, I bought a Pinata (brightly coloured and in keeping with the South America vibe!) and I brought along our karaoke mic as one of the main themes of the movie is music - so the kids had a great time performing songs from the film together!

All in all, our Encanto birthday party was a big success - it didn't break the bank and I didn't break a sweat with the prep! Party perfection if you ask me!

Do you have any tips to share for making kids birthday party planning easier? I'd love to hear them!

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