Planning Kid's Parties

Published July 20, 2012


People are always asking me for kid’s Birthday party ideas and so I thought I would share a few planning tips this week. Over the years I have assembled some tips and ideas to help plan a successful and fun Birthday party for a child. Most of these ideas are passed on from friends, readers and family.

A typical at-home party for toddlers lasts an hour or so and for kids 8 and older three hours is usually plenty. The trick is too keep the party moving along at a nice pace without any delays.

There’s no question that having a good theme for your party is probably the most important element in the planning phase. Let your child be your guide for what he/she would like to do at their party. This theme should be reflected in your choice of invitations, cake and party favors. Boys themes can include movie night; a carnival theme or a favorite cartoon character. Young girls love spa themes, a “pink” party or perhaps an all- girls sleepover. The theme sets the tone for the party right from the beginning to the end. Have your child assist you in making the invitations and delivering them. If their whole class is not invited then be sure to mail the invitations so as to avoid hurt feelings at school.

Once you have a theme chosen, you should set a very simple schedule. Try to keep the kids busy for most of the party and not to let them get bored.  Start with a very simple activity while the kids are waiting for others to arrive. Musical chairs or playing in the yard on a nice day is always a great way to get things started. It helps them burn a little pre-party energy and get to know one another as well. Remember that activities do not always go as planned so have back up ideas ready just in case. It’s also a good idea to keep activities short and appropriate to the age group. Pre-wrapped game prizes are also a good idea to add some fun to the games.

Once the day winds down, it’s time for cake and thank-you’s. Not everyone is comfortable opening his or her presents in front of guests. This is up to you and your child to decide. Usually kids like to watch the presents being opened but if time is running short, this can be saved for another time.

At the end of the day, a “loot -bag” of some sort is always appreciated. With candy falling off the popularity wagon with Moms, I have found that sports items, bath products, beach toys and other inexpensive items from the dollar stores make wonderful take-home presents.

One other tip…do not be afraid to take on extra help during the day. Many times Mom’s of toddlers like to stay with their child during the party, if they offer to help be sure to accept the offer. Like the old saying goes, “many hands make less work”.