Monthly Archives - April 2017


Pirate Parties

Pirate Parties and Party Bags

Pirate parties are one of the most popular themed parties for children up to seven years. We have attended many pirate parties over the years for birthday girls and birthday boys. They are always a fun party the children thoroughly enjoy.

I think Pirate Parties work really well particularly with pre-schoolers and the early school years. Pirate Parties work well for mixed age and gender groups. To ease the burden on parents the pirate theme can be extended to accommodate a few princess dresses.

Pirate Costumes and Cake

Pirate costumes for girls and boys are easy to source. They can be as simple as a pair of trousers and a t-shirt or an eye patch to very reasonably priced costumes with hats, swords and swashbuckling skirts or trousers. Supermarkets and shops regularly include pirate-themed birthday cakes and Pinterest is awash with easy to make (….& not so easy) birthday cakes and party food.  Pinterest also lists free, printable items to add to little cakes and sandwiches for your pirate themed party food.

Pirate Party Games

Most young children love an excuse to dress up, mix it with a party and the children throw themselves into the theme. Traditional party games are easily given a pirate theme twist. Gold chocolate coins are a popular and relevant addition as well as being a cheap gift to reward winning individuals and teams. No matter how small your venue may be a treasure hunt is always popular and they are easy to adapt to the age of your guests.

Naturally, if a pirate party is a popular party theme there are many party accessories and party bag gifts to suit all age ranges. Pirate themed party gifts are available in many designs suitable for very young children through to older children

Pirate Party Bags


Jake and Never Land Pirates Party Bag             Pirate Skull Party Loot Bag


Pirate Party Gifts – Unisex

Pirate-Pencil       Pirate Sticker Activity Book   5 Piece Pirate Stationery Set  Pirate Skull Tattoo    Skull & Bones Tattoo  

Pirate Party Gifts -Boys

Pirate Bath Duck        Pirate Mask      Pirate Notebook    Pirate Stickers

Pirate Party Gifts – Girls


Pink Pirate Ring    Pink Pirate Stickers   Pirate Bracelet.   Gem-ring



Pirate Pre-filled Party Bags


Pirates-pre-filled-party-bag      pirate-and-sea-monster-pre-filled-party-bag       Pirate-Mask- pre-filled-party-bagPirate-skull-pre-filled-party-bag


A fun alternative to a party bag a treasure chest with a lucky dip for “Pirate Treasure”. Storage boxes in the pattern of treasure chests are available from discount stationery shops. Or, if you have the time and skill a cardboard box can be styled as the base of a treasure chest. Alternatively, cheat and cover a cardboard box in bright jewel coloured wrapping paper.











Easter-and May-Day-Delivery-Dates

Easter and May Bank Holiday Despatch and Delivery Dates

Easter and May Bank Holiday Despatch and Delivery Dates.


For full details on our delivery policy please visit our General Terms and Conditions

and our Delivery Policy

We also have a Blog Post we regularly update with honest information about the Delivery Services we use.…ther-information/

 At all times our General Terms and Conditions and our Delivery Policy takes precedence over all other information


Easter Collection and Delivery Dates.

There will be no collection of parcels from us by either the Royal Mail for our “Standard” and “Express Parcels” or for our “Next Day Deliveries” using DPD local on Good Friday 19th April and Easter Monday 22nd April 2019, as neither company is working on these days.

Next Day Deliveries

The last working day for a delivery to be despatched from us to be with you before Good Friday will be Wednesday 17th April 2019 before 11am using the Next Day Delivery option only .

We will still despatch Next Day deliveries received with us between 11am on Wednesday the 17th April 2019 and 11am on Thursday 18th April but DPD Local will not attempt to deliver these parcels until Tuesday 18th April 2019 they will still charge a Next Day Delivery fee. As Tuesday will be there “Next Working Day”

Any “Next Day” delivery orders received after 11am on Thursday 18th April will be despatched on Tuesday 23rd April 2019 for delivery on Wednesday 24th April 2019.

Normal collections will resume on Tuesday 23rd April for parcels to be delivered on Wednesday 24th April 2019.

DPD Local do not deliver on a Saturday unless you have paid a “Saturday” delivery premium. Paying the “Saturday” delivery premium does not guarantee your parcel will be delivered on a Saturday. Should you need a Saturday delivery please contact us and we will advise you of the premium charges and services available.

We are yet to find a delivery firm with a 100% success rate for Saturday deliveries. Office support staff for delivery firms do not work Saturdays so if there is a problem you have to wait until the next working weekday to try to sort out the delivery problem.

Standard Delivery

Our “Standard Delivery” option uses the Royal Mail’s “2nd Class Signed For” service this takes an average of 2-4 working days which may not include a Saturday delivery. Easter and Bank Holidays are peak delivery times so your parcel may take a few extra days to be delivered we would recommend you consider the inconvenience if your parcel is delayed by a few extra working days and choose a faster delivery option. We may be a little cautious but if your parcel is delayed and you have to spend time contacting us and then driving to find an alternative and then paying the postage to return the item to us, spending the extra for a faster delivery option may be worth the reassurance. Unfortunately, the Royal Mail only update the status of a parcel once it has been delivered and have a huge network of premises and parcels to check to find a missing parcel.

Delivery timescales vary widely between areas. The Royal Mail charge a premium for a specified Saturday delivery and do not count weekends or Bank Holidays as a working day.

Our last working day for despatch of parcels before Easter will be Thursday 18th April 2019. We will resume despatching parcels once again on Tuesday 23rd April 2019.

Express Delivery

Our Express Delivery Option uses the Royal Mail’s “1st Class Signed For” service. The average delivery times for this service is 1 to 3 working days. However, we find this the hardest service to predict and there is no way of knowing how long it will actually really take for your parcel to be delivered. When this service works well parcels are with the customers the Next working day, however as a HUGE note of caution they can also take 4 working days and we have had parcels despatched on a “Standard Delivery “ option on the same day being delivered a day earlier than a parcel despatched using the Express Delivery option on the same day.

As before, delivery timescales vary widely between areas. The Royal Mail charge a premium for a specified Saturday delivery and do not count weekends or Bank Holidays as a working day.

Our last working day for despatch of parcels before Easter will be Thursday 18th April 2019. We will resume despatching parcels once again on Tuesday 23rd April 2019.

May Bank Holiday Collection and Delivery Dates.


We are based in Shropshire in England, Monday 6th May 2019 is a Bank Holiday neither the Royal Mail or DPD Local will collect from us on Monday 6th May 2019. Our last collections by the Royal Mail and DPD Local before the Bank holiday will be Friday 3rd April 2019, collections will resume once again on Tuesday 7th May 2019. Monday 6th May 2019 is a Bank Holiday neither the Royal Mail or DPD Local will count this day as a working day and deliveries covering this period will incur an additional day to delivery.

If you are uncertain about any of the information relating to deliveries spanning a weekend or Bank Holiday please contact us on 01952 253033 or email



How to choose your wedding activity bags

Our 5 Step Plan for Choosing Wedding Activity Bags For Children.

 The aim of wedding activity bags is to provide children with entertainment and activities to keep them busy and amused whilst still participating in all of your wedding celebrations without distracting others. They add to the celebration of your marriage in the same way as the food, drink and entertainment you have organised for your adult guests

Wedding activity bags are relatively inexpensive and can easily be tailored to the individual child. When choosing your wedding activity bags you need to consider the style of your wedding and your other guests. This will ensure they complement your day. Follow our 5 step plan to help you in your decision making.


Consider your special day.just married

To start with consider your wedding day, will it be based at one location or will your ceremony and celebrations be based at a number of locations? How much indoor and outdoor space will you have at your venues and how much will you envisage using?


If you are having an informal wedding with lots of outdoor space your choices will differ to a more formal wedding or those in a luxury setting. In all instances it is not a good idea to risk annoying other guests with noisy toys or risk a trip hazard by having too many toys which can be played with on the floor in a confined space.


When do you want to provide entertainment for your younger guest?watch the time

What purpose are the wedding activity bags meant to fulfil? Do you want to provide entertainment for the times between the organised ceremonial parts of the day and food times or, do you want to provide something to occupy children for a specific part of your day. This may be during the photographs, a meal or whilst the adults enjoy a special part of your wedding.Considering what you adult guests will be doing will help to integrate the children’s activities


How old are your guests?Children at wedding

This is not as tricky as it seems and do not add another major job to the many you already have to do. Roughly and quickly spilt the children into age groups, this will help you decide what you want the wedding bags to contain.  We would suggest babies, toddlers, 4-6 year olds-ish, 7-11 years-ish and teenagers (or nearly there).

You may not want to provide anything for babies, they won’t be offended and most parents will carry a few toys and favourite items with them.

Depending upon how you want to tailor the wedding bags you may want to vary them slightly for girls and boys so in each age group it may be a good idea to note the number of girls and boys in each section.


kids playing at tableChoosing the contents of your Wedding Activity Bags

Now you have considered your locations, events throughout the day and the ages of your guests it is easier to decide what to provide.

You are not trying to be Father Christmas and provide sacks full of gifts to be treasured forever. Fun memories from your wedding will last a very long time. You do not need to spend a fortune and you do not need to provide a vast choice of items.

Know your budget and then choose a selection of items which will fit your budget. Children will be happy with a few items and will find many ways to play with them.

·         Place the names of your younger guests into age groups and possibly girls and boys.

·         Do you want play activities and/or items whilst sitting?

·         What is your budget?


Here is a list of some of the popular items ordered, split into age groups.

All ages

Bubbles, notepads, drawing, colouring items, sticker activity books.


Smiley Stars, finger puppets, bubbles


Mini windmills, mini tambourines, drawing and colouring pencils or crayons, colouring books, stickers, notebook (for stickers to go in!), finger puppets, foam animal or wild animal puzzle kits, wooden spinning tops, Dotty Sticker Art.

4-6 year olds

Stickers, drawing and colouring items, finger puppets, wild animal or foam animal puzzle kits, pull back aeroplanes and butterflies, mini cars, Finger Frights, Hairy Harry, Noughts and Crosses games, flying gliders, birds or butterflies, Connect Disc Game, wooden vehicle kits, wooden bracelet kits, necklace kits, Pick Up Sticks, colour swap pens, Fashion Designer Sketchbook, Wedding Activity Packs, mosaic picture art, Cat’s Cradle, Children’s card games, Finger Spies

7-11 years

Drawing and colouring items including Mini Doodle pads, Finger Frights, Hairy Harry, Noughts and Crosses games, flying gliders, birds or butterflies, Connect Disc Game, wooden bracelet kits, necklace kits, Pick Up Sticks, colour swap pens, Fashion Designer Sketchbook, Children’s Wedding Activity Packs, Cat’s Cradle, Children’s card games, packs of cards, Metal Construction Kits, Wooden Vehicle Construction Kits, Finger Spies


Hairy Harry, Noughts and Crosses, flying gliders, birds or butterflies, Connect Disc Game, necklace kits, bracelet kits, Pick Up Sticks, Fashion Designer Sketchbook, packs of cards, Noughts and Crosses, juggling balls, Metal Construction Kits, Wooden Vehicle Construction Kits.


gift bags funPresenting you Wedding activity Bags.

Once you have decided upon the contents you need to decide the following;

How you are going to present the items?

Popular choices to present the Wedding Activity Gifts are as a wrapped gift, in a presentation box or in a gift bag. Beware of boxes made from thin card, they look great, but can be small and may struggle to maintain their shape if too many items are added so it is important to be aware the sizes of your contents and have an idea how heavy they are.

When will you give the gifts to your guests?

Who will give them out?  You may be busy!

Finally, you may wish to remove all packing and wrappers from your wedding activity gifts. You may have some beautiful decorated tables, you may want to serve food, but if you were young and someone had given you unexpected gifts would the gifts or the table be more important? How tidy were you when you opened your birthday and Christmas presents when you were young?


Errr. 5+1.  If all else fails!im confused

If you are still struggling and would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer (01952 253033 or email


Alternatives to Children’s Party Bags

Alternatives to Children’s Party Bags.


Alternatives to Children’s Party Bags are an interesting consideration when organising your parties. Children may love and look forward to a party bag, parents may not share this enthusiasm. A party bag is now considered an integral part of most parties. No matter how many toys and luxuries children have at home the arrival of a bag containing small unknown goodies still grabs attention.

The decision to have party bag is entirely yours. It does seem a little funny that you buy your child a birthday present, pay for a party and then thank your guest for their present and attending the party with a small gift. A man in a red suit with a white beard flying all over the world and sliding down chimneys is a little strange too.

Why do we need alternatives to Children’s Party Bags?

Apart from the additional cost to the party, a dislike for party bags, or the want to do something different.  A major problem seems to be getting replies from guests. Small parties are easier to manage. Once you have 10 or more guests getting a response to the party from a hard-core group of people can be a frustrating task. Despite all of the communication methods at our disposal we receive regular last minute phone calls from parents who are trying to guess how many children will attend a party in a few days’ time

I always put an RSVP date well in advance of the party date onto the party invitations but it has no effect.  I now keep all parents phone numbers from party invitations just so I have another means of chasing up responses to party invites.

In the last three years I have had a party where 7 additional children turned up unexpectedly. A few had earlier declined due to other commitments, some had just ignored the invitations and text messages. This is not too bad if food is a general buffet but if you are having a party at a venue I am not sure why the parents think you want to spend the party trying to sort out last minute additional meals and gifts.  I am also mystified as to why the really late responding parents think it is okay on the evening before or the morning of a party think you have the time to spend on the phone listening to how busy they are, how they would love their child to now attend the party, how excited their child is to be coming to the party, oh and by the way they have special dietary requirements!


So, if any of these factors are affecting you what are the alternatives?



Food  & Party Boxes   

If you are catering for a party on your own using a party box for the food, naming it and including a gift with the food can avoid the last minute scramble with party bags. You can add a piece of cake to the box, children take their party box, gift and cake as they leave. The party boxes still meeting the expectation of a gift at the end of a party. If you have children like mine who like to hoard everything, the party box will be used to store all sorts of things, until you can sneak it away.


Lucky Dips

Just as party bags still bring an air of anticipation to a child so does a lucky dip. Pre-wrapped presents sitting in a box, bin, bowl, basket, anything you can find, match the expectation of a party bag. Wrap your gifts in colour coded paper or buy generic gifts. Unwrapping a gift is always a treat and the contents do not all have to be the same. If you are sharing the birthday cake with your guests you will still need something to safely transport the cake home.

Pick your own gifts.

On the hottest Saturday in September I can ever remember, a friend and I sat in a garden soaking up the sun and drinking tea (drivers!). The children were playing organised games at a party. Points were awarded for each game. At the end of the party instead of the usual party bag the children were given an empty party bag and then chose their own gifts according to the number of points they had earned. The gifts were arranged onto plates on a table with a point score on each plate. The children then picked their own gifts according to the points they had earned. A few parents hovered and checked the additions. Sweets were not included with the gifts.

This worked well for older children but could work just as well for younger children. The points were not really that important, the children chose pretty much what they wanted. I did think the children would all want the same things. The reverse actually happened as the children all chose different combinations and seemed to enjoy having different gifts.   I think to simplify things I would skip the points and just let the children choose four or five items.



Win your gifts.

In a similar style, we had an Olympic themed party last year. The children were put into teams of mixed ages and capabilities, they were then “awarded” gifts for coming first, best trip, any excuse to ensure everyone won.  The children put the gifts into their own labelled party bag. The older children ensured the younger ones put their “winnings” into the correct party bag. The children were not bothered that the first prize box became the second or third prize in another race.  At the end of the party I dropped a few extra leftover items into the party bags.

The party came at the end of a busy fortnight. The party was in the summer holidays, there were lots of yes..but as people were coming back from holiday, seeing friends etc. As time was tricky I knew the majority of the party organising would be last minute. It was easier to put a name on the party bags and then put a few gifts into a box, rather than trying to deal with a mixed age group, siblings. I also avoided organising party bags in the early hours before the party.

The rain just about stayed away. All food disappeared and the children all ensured they had their party bag to take home. Job done! I am not sure whether the party was more or less of a success than normal. The party happened in the school holidays, not two weeks before or 4 weeks late but on the actual birthday so a prize to me. The only problem is what do I do this year?