Kids Party Idea: *Bugs*, *Reptiles* & *Bunnies* - a great idea for any age!
We were back in the UK over the boy's birthday this year. He was to turn the grand old age of 3 and become officially a "big boy". Every time we go back to the UK we always rush around trying to catch up with as many people as we can. This time, we decided to have a big party one Saturday, the actual day of his birthday, so we could catch up with everyone. Our age range of children was from a few weeks old, to early teens. So we needed an idea that would appeal to all, and we wanted our adult friends to have some fun too.
What about some sort of animal party? Everyone loves animals so it would work for all ages. There are companies out there who will come to your venue and bring all sorts of bugs and reptiles for everyone to meet. So I had the idea, and next I needed to find the company.
Whilst searching for a venue the company “Bugs ‘n’ Bones”, that covers the UK Midlands, was recommended to me (someone else had used them for a wedding). I found their website at www.bugsnbones.co.uk and filled in their online enquiry form. I heard back quickly from the owner, Amanda, who confirmed that they were available on the boy’s big day! So I booked for the 1 hour party at £95. An hour felt like a sensible length, considering this was aimed at 3 year olds in the majority. It was to be fancy dress too, because what children don’t enjoy dressing up! I made my own invitations on the computer and emailed them to everyone … the RSVP’s started rolling in. We were excited!
We hired a local village hall too for £50. This worked extremely well. We had a contained space with a kitchen and tables and chairs. All I needed to buy were tablecloths, snacks for the adults, and party food for the kids. I kept this simple - cheese and strawberry jam sandwiches (not together!), cheesy wotsits, cocktail sausages, party rings, chocolate crispy cakes, that sort of thing. There were plates and cups at the village hall, but to save on washing up I bought paper plates, cups, cutlery and napkins. At the end, with the village hall we had a tick list of things to have put away and tidied and locked up - it was very easy. Much easier than it would have been hosting it at home, and we wouldn't have been able to invite as many people. We had about 35 children in total, plus parents.
The party was a HUGE success with all ages. Bugs ‘n’ Bones sent Laura as their expert, with all sorts of bugs and reptiles: Screeching Cockroaches, Giant Millipedes, Geckos, Tortoise, Bearded Dragon, Snakes (a highlight for me), and a token bunny Rabbit!
They were brought out one by one (or in pairs where there were a couple of each) and Laura explained a little about them and they were passed around with her assistance. I got to help a little too, as I am used to handling lizards, since my sister has owned various different ones over the years. It was such fun. Even lots of our friends got involved too in having a hold and helping and encouraging their children. It was cool to see some friends overcome personal fears, in an effort not to transfer those feelings to their children. It was quite a big group with varying attention spans and noise, so most of the information given was on a one to one basis during handling and when questions were asked. Laura seemed very knowledgeable.
After the hour was up and the animals had left, we played pass the parcel and did the birthday cake - my first character cake effort. I made a Gaston the Ladybird (from Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom) cake. Fortunately the birthday boy recognised who he was instantly and was delighted. Gaston successfully super charged all the kiddies with red food colouring before they headed home, probably for a crazy hour before bedtime!!! (sorry).
I really hope it was a memorable experience for our friends and their children. It certainly was for our family, and it was a lovely way to catch up with everyone.
I would highly recommend holding a party like this for any age child.
There are similar companies all over the UK, but if you are in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, or parts of Leicestershire, then Bugs ‘n’ Bones gets our Five Little Stars. (If you are further afield it is still worth making an enquiry though). It also seems that Theo Paphitis from Dragon’s Den’s has given them a thumbs up too as they have won a Small Business Sunday award from him! They visit schools and do weddings and other events as well. Such a fab idea!
p.s. If you don't want to have a party quite like this or go to the expense of hiring a company, but you are inspired by the Bugs theme... then you should definitely have a read about the superb home made Bugs party that Alison threw for her 3 year old here (that's why we work so well together - great minds - and I also used Jitterbugs in the party bags!!).
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