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Children's Birthday Party Tips
Planning a child's birthday party can be an overwhelming, yet fun and rewarding task! We've outlined the planning process, provided some party ideas and hopefully a little bit of inspiration to spark your own creativity. We hope your party will be a big hit with the kids!
Start Planning Early
A great party can take awhile to plan, so begin early. Be sure to include your child in the planning process, from creating the guest list, creating the invites, planning the food, to choosing the games. (They should also feel a responsibility for making sure everything goes well and that their guests will have a good time.)
Choose a Location
Choose a place that will accommodate the number of guests, the theme and activities. If you are hosting the party at your home, confine it to one or two rooms and store all breakables to avoid injury or damage. If you decide on an outdoor party, remember to have a back-up plan in case of bad weather. (See our outdoor party planning tips.)
Create the Guest List
When deciding who to invite, consider the location of the party and how many guests you can comfortably manage. A good rule of thumb is to use the child's age to determine the number of guests (i.e., a five year old can invite five friends). Invite the entire class only if you think you and your child can handle it!
Send the Invitations
The invitation sets the tone and theme for the party. Send the invitations at least two weeks in advance. Remember to include:
- Name of the child
- Location and map, if necessary
- Starting and ending times
- Whether or not parents are invited
- Activities that may require special clothing, such as swim suits
- An RSVP date and phone numbers where you can be reached or a message may be left
You can create your own, buy invitations to match your theme and tableware, or get custom invitations. Don't miss our custom Disney invitations.
Plan a Menu
Keep the food simple. Most children are happy with pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers or chicken nuggets. Of course, don't forget the birthday cake. A fun alternative to the traditional birthday cake is cupcakes so that everyone gets to make a wish and blow out a candle.
Welcome the Guests
Make sure the birthday child greets each guest and welcomes them. Ease guests into the party by starting them with a craft project. They can personalize their own party favor bag with stickers or markers, giving them something to carry their favors home in.
When all guests are present, start with a game that lets the entire group interact. For fun, you can rename classic party games to match your theme (i.e., tape the bone in Scooby's mouth). Don't forget to incorporate some quiet, non-competitive games such as a treasure hunt in which all kids work toward a common goal.
Hiring entertainment for the party can be well worth the expense! Kids love it and it will free you to prepare food or begin cleaning up. A clown, face painter, magician or puppeteer are just a few to consider. The entertainment can fit your theme as well. Hay rides or pumpkin picking in the fall, sledding or ice skating in the winter, or scavenger hunts, swimming or pony rides in the spring and summer are possibilities.
Favors and Prizes
These can range from a goodie bag with stickers, pencils, candy and small plastic toys to items that were created at the party such as decorated t-shirts or friendship bracelets.
Go With The Flow
Have a list of games and activities prepared to use as a guideline, but remain flexible once the party begins. Keep the party to a maximum of three hours and don't forget to include time for eating cake and opening presents.
Smart Party Tips
- Have your child greet each guest to make everyone feel welcome.
- Consider party games that let each child win, or have door prizes for those that didn't.
- Childproof all areas where the children might play.
- Do not let children inflate balloons. Discard any broken balloon pieces immediately.
- Do not include small items in goodie bags for children under the age of four.
- Send Thank You notes.
Pick A Theme
Kid's parties are fun when they reflect your child's personality or interests. A theme will also help when it comes to invitations, decor,food, favors and games. Here are a bunch of ideas to inspire!
- Arts and Crafts
- Scavenger Hunt
- Tea Party
- Book Exchange
- Princess Dress Up Party (see our Princess costumes)
- Pony Party
- Teddy Bear
- Miniature Golf
- Roller Skating
- Ice Skating
- Rock Climbing
- Fire Trucks
- Race Cars
- Police Cars
- Alphabet Party
- Color Party
- Mexican Fiesta
- Hawaiian Luau
- Karaoke Party
- Party At The Mall
- Party At The Zoo
- Party At The Aquarium
- Pizza Parlor Party
- Western Party
- Backwards Party
- Dance Party
- Garden Party
- Ice Cream Party
- Lego Party
- Mystery Party
- Slumber Party
- Favorite Character Party (such as Barbie, Spiderman, Blue's Clues, Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, Winnie The Pooh or any Disney character, Etc.)(See our custom Disney invitations.)
- Costume Party (See our costume selection including licensed characters.)
- Disney Princess Party (Snow White, Cinderella, & Sleeping Beauty) (See our custom invitations and costumes.)
Print out our Party Checklist.