Birthday Party Tips

Fun birthday party ideas go beyond picking a popular theme. In fact, the theme for your child’s birthday party is one of the least important elements. Organizing the party well in advance can ensure that everyone enjoys a good time.

  • Girl's First BirthdayGet help. The more kids attending and the younger their age, the more adults you’ll need. You don’t have to hire pros. Consider recruiting a couple of parents of your child’s friends if you’re close with them, even if all they do is photograph the birthday party or help serve food. But don’t just assume the parents will stay and help. Ask while planning the birthday party.
  • Plan no-fuss food they can manage alone. Prepare as much ahead of time as you can. Insert straws in the drink boxes in advance, for example, or serve cupcakes so you won’t have impatient kids waiting for you to cut the cake.
  • Keep a Sharpie marker handy to label drinks and goody bags with kids’ names.
  • Go easy on sweets. Scientific literature states sugar doesn’t make kids excitable; however, my observation of actual children finds the opposite true. Of course have cake, but send home the candy in a goody bag.
  • Plan less. Many kids would rather play instead of slog through back-to-back structured games. Unless your attendees have frequent play dates together at your house, just playing with your child’s toys may prove captivating enough for most of the party. Plan one or two simple games, but otherwise stay out of their way.
  • Consider game stations. Herding the whole group together to play a game likely means waiting. Instead, setting up several game stations let kids join in whenever they want. A five-year-old’s party may have a Whack-A-Mole game on the coffee table, plastic bowling set up in the hallway, a foam basketball hoop in the dining room and a craft table in the kitchen. All of these activities require little attention span.
  • Boys first birthday BlueTake it outside. A yard or park party keeps the mess manageable. Plus, active, outside games help kids spend more energy. (You may need to reserve space at the park.)
  • Use signs. It may seem obvious which is trash and which is recyclable, but incorporating some themed signs can help everyone find what they need. Put out a couple additional trash cans for all those plates, cups and napkins.
  • Mix it up. It’s okay to invite boy classmates to your girl’s pink princess party; however, offer props that would likely appeal more to them, such as foam swords and shields and a knight-themed goody bag. Who knows, maybe some little princesses attending may want to save someone in distress!
  • Take photos. Snap planned birthday party photos and spontaneous shots. Get down at the kids’ level, among the cake crumbs. In addition to the birthday child, take pictures of birthday party guests, too. Don’t forget to share the birthday party photos with their parents, too.

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