When planning kid’s parties you should keep in mind the main priority: Fun! As adults we may tend to get overwhelmed while planning and hosting parties. When the little ones fall asleep at the end of the day, you know you just threw a successful party. Throwing kid’s birthday parties can be challenging and even chaotic, to help simplify the process we have compiled a party planning checklist based on our nearly 20 years of experience as birthday party organizers and performers.
When planning a birthday party, consider adding a party theme. Kid’s party themes are very easy to pick and can really add a level of excitement and atmosphere to a celebration. You can choose the theme based on one of your child’s interests. You can either choose the party theme with their involvement (and even have them help out with the decorations), or keep it a surprise.
Throwing a birthday party at home is the most popular choice. You can either decorate the living room/kitchen, your backyard or both! Be sure to also set aside an area for playtime/entertainment. You can also opt for a non-home option if you don’t want to go through the trouble of decorating and cleaning up your living room, or if you want to switch things up after holding the last few parties at home. Many birthday parties choose to rent a local hall or clubhouse, or hold it at a restaurant that will also cater the food. If the weather is nice, you can also hold it at a local park. This gives the kids plenty of free roam space for playtime, and allows you to take full advantage of the nice weather.
The decorations are chosen once you have decided on the party theme. Most popular kids party themes have a wide variety of party decorations based on theme series/character. You should be able find all of the basics: plastic silverware, balloons, banners and graphics, cake designs, and everything in between! Most party stores should carry these.
If you’re a bit crafty then consider making your own decorations. Home made decorations are a great way to save money and can be made to look exactly the way you’d like. You can even make this a hands-on process with the birthday child, and get them involved in making the decorations. If you do decide to make your own decorations, make sure that you leave enough time before the party to avoid any last minute stress.
When scheduling the date and time for your party, check your calendar to ensure that it doesn’t clash with any extra curricular activities you may have scheduled near your child’s birthday. Make some cute/funny invitations that revolve around the party theme that you’ve chosen and send them out. This can be done with snail mail or evites. You may want to consult with the parents (and the party entertainer if you will be having one) before finalizing the date and time, to ensure that it works for everyone. This will help you avoid having to reschedule after the invitations have already been sent.
As tempting as it may be to go all out with cupcakes and candy, you may want to switch it up and not just feed the kids a bunch of sugary foods. Include some healthy foods in the mix, this adds variety and tones down the sugar. Less sugar means less hyperactive kids wildly running around. The same goes for drinks, so you may want to avoid serving soda and store-bought juice by themselves. These drinks are usually loaded with sugar and can have the same results as cupcakes and candy. Water, milk, and natural juice with little or no additives are good alternatives to consider.
There is a wide range of party games available to choose from, and enough variety to find party games that are perfect for your theme. Just Google “kid’s birthday party games” and you will find a huge list of party games that may work for your celebration.
You can also hire party entertainment in place of, or in addition to, the party games. There is a wide range of birthday party entertainment options, including clowns, magicians, puppeteers, ventriloquists, face painters, balloon twisters, bounce house rentals and more! Check around on Google and Yelp to find party entertainment that works for you. Some party entertainment services even offer options that are tailor-made for popular party themes.
Party favors are a nice token of appreciation to leave your guests with as the party is winding down. These are usually handed out in goodie bags that are designed with the party theme. Party favors usually include: small pieces of candy, lollipops, small toys, a “Thank you” card from the hosting family, a bubble-blowing bottle, and any other small trinkets you would like to include. Even a balloon animal or face paint design can be considered a party favor, although these are of course done during the party and not included in the goodie bag.