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Friday, Jun 27, 2014

Taking the DIY route for your kids' parties

The Star/ANN | Friday, Jun 27, 2014

Aliza Yasmin Yahaya and her family at her eldest son Aidan's pizza-themed party. Azliya enjoys throwing together DIY parties for her children.

Some parents would rather not leave their precious ones' parties in someone else's hands.

Azliya Yasmin Yahaya, 31, organised her four sons' birthday parties. She celebrated her first-born, five-year-old Aiden Irfan Ahmad Siddiq's birthdays every year with themed parties inspired by Disney's Cars, the beach and even pizza.

"I had hired a party planner for Aiden's first birthday, but they didn't quite meet my expectations. While the party went well, I felt no one would care more about the party than the parents.

"So, I decided I'd 'DIY' all of my children's parties from then on and prepare my own favour bags, cake, decorations, table centrepiece, dessert table and balloons," says the mother-of-two, who blogs about her DIY parties at lizzieasamummy.blogspot.com.

The offshore structures project engineer finds inspiration from Pinterest, a virtual pinboard.

"I have pinned approximately 1,900 picture inspirations to my boards. Being the perfectionist that I am, I usually have the theme for Aiden's birthday party a year in advance - when Aiden celebrated his first football birthday, I knew his second birthday would be on Cars, and his third birthday, a pool party. Planning that far ahead allows me to form ideas and even slowly collect props and decorations related to the theme," she says.

As Azliya has discovered, DIY parties require tremendous efforts and costs. Azliya spends an average of RM3,000 (S$1,160) on each of her son's parties.

"Party planners give you the peace of mind that someone out there is organising your party for you. But with DIY parties, you are taking on that responsibility. When one is accountable for so many things, one may drop the ball especially on the minor details."

That said, Azliya believes that her son appreciates his parties better when she's the one organising it.

"I always work on his parties three week in advance, and that helps to build up his enthusiasm as it gets closer to the date. I also let him help out with the preparations, especially in arts and crafts. The cutting and pasting improves his fine motor skills and he enjoys showing off to his friends the decorations he did. I also ask Aiden for his opinion to get more involved with the party planning," she says.

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