Kids' Birthday Parties Tips

Read these 30 Kids' Birthday Parties Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Birthday tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I start my kid birthday party out well?

Kid Birthday Party: Guess the Number

A good way to start out a kid birthday party is to a large see-through container or jar filled with small items or candies. Have each child guess how many items are in the jar as they arrive. They can write their guess and their name on a slip of paper and drop it into a nearby shoe box with a slit cut out of the top so the guesses remain private. At the end of the party, whoever has the closest guess gets to take home the jar as their prize! You can fill the jar or container with candy, small toys, marbles, beads, or other small items. Make sure you count the items before the party and hide the answer somewhere so you don't forget!

   
How many children should we invite to a kid birthday party?

Kid Birthday Party: How Many to Invite

Deciding how many guests to invite is a classic challenge for a kid birthday party. The traditional rule of one guest per age works well for many folks, so if your child is turning 5 they can invite 5 guests. Some people alternate having one large party one year with no party the next or have a special outing with one special friend rather than a large party. If your child has a friend whose birthday is close to their party and they wouldn't mind sharing, have a joint birthday party and split the work load with the other parents.

   
How can I help prevent meltdowns during a party?

Kid Birthday Party Ideas To Prevent Meltdowns

With so many new faces, activities, and situations to consider, a birthday party for kids is bound to have a meltdown or two. Read our list of kid birthday party ideas to prevent meltdowns from happening. This list of kid birthday party ideas, will not only keep kids in a good mood during the festivities but will help make your job as host, stress free.

1. Keep parents involved. Let parents of younger children know ahead of time what food, games, and activities will be involved so they can plan accordingly.
2. Don't go over-the-top with activities. Kids have a lot of energy, but they need down time too. Don't stress yourself out and the members of the party by trying to squeeze in too much entertainment.
3. Know when to call it quits. All good parties must come to an end. With children's parties, sooner is better than later. It's better that everyone goes home happy, than stays tired and cranky.
4. Have enough for everyone. Make sure you have enough favors, drinks, and food to pass out and feed everyone with. Hungry bellies means irritable children and not enough favors means hurt feelings.

   
What kinds of games should the kids play at a kid birthday party?

Kid Birthday Party Games

Picking age appropriate games is important for the success of your kid and birthday party. You don't want to frustrate younger kids by playing advanced games. Nor do you wan to bore the older kids with games that are too easy or simple. Want some great child birthday party advice?

Toddlers can enjoy Duck Duck Goose, Simon Says, Musical Chairs, Red Rover, and Mother May I. Older elementary school kids like treasure hunts, races, balloon games, and blind man's bluff. Middle schoolers can play Who Am I, 20 Questions, and active games like a three-legged race or water balloon toss if your party is outside.

   
How can I make my teenager's birthday party not too much like a kid birthday but still feel fun?

Kid Birthday: Suddenly They're a Teenager!

Teenage birthday parties are quite different than a young kid birthday party. While your teenager may be content to just call friends, their parents will probably appreciate a written invitation with your phone number and address along with an idea of when the party ends. As well, if party crashing is an issue in your town, consider noting that they must bring the invitation to get into the party. That will discourage uninvited guests from trying to intrude.

While your teenager may not want you to be a part of the party like you were when they were younger, make sure your child understands the rules and limitations and is willing to communicate and enforce those rules with their friends. You can help this by pointing out that if they do not handle this task, you will have to be there and that really won't be as much fun!

Most teenagers don't really want organized activities but are content to listen to music, watch movies, and talk. Make sure you are there to greet each guest as they arrive so they (and their parents) understand you will be there to supervise. Check in periodically throughout the party by offering snacks and such and stay unobtrusively within earshot.

   
How should I decorate an outdoor kids birthday party?

Kids Birthday Party Decoration For The Outdoors

If you're having an outdoor kids birthday party, you'll have to think about creating an atmosphere that'll work with the open surroundings. We've got some ideas that'll be a hit at your next kids birthday party, whether it's at the park or your own backyard.

Pinwheel centerpieces – If you're throwing a party outside, why not make use of the cooling breeze? Take a colorful pinwheel and insert it into a small pot filled shredded colored paper.

Barnyard Décor – Start with a red and white, checkered tablecloth and then scatter pieces of hay. For the barn centerpiece, use a large rectangular box and paint it red. Use white tape for the trim. For the roof, use two pieces of poster board and match the length to the box. Paint it red and allow it to dry. Attach the roof with white tape and you have a complete barnyard décor for your outdoor kids birthday party.

Outdoor Adventure – The great outdoors is just a stone's throw away when you turn your backyard into a make-believe outdoor expedition. Create a wildlife crossing sign out of bright yellow heavy stock paper and black tape. Pick an animal and using black construction paper, cut out the animal's image. Complete the outdoor decoration by using heavy brown paper to create a cave-like wall surface. Give the kids markers and let them draw their own petroglyphs.

   
What kind of kids birthday parties can I throw if I want to splurge?

Kids Birthday Parties If You Want To Splurge

So you have a hefty budget for your child's birthday party and you'd like to plan an all-out extravaganza. Where do you spend your funds? If you'd like some ideas on kids birthday parties when money is of little concern, take a look at our suggestions:

Aquarium Adventure – If your child is a fan of the underwater world, bring everyone to a birthday adventure at the aquarium. Rent out the facility and have food and cake surrounded by coral reefs, stingrays, and exotic fish.

Star of the Show – Have your child be the star of the show and your guests will be cast members. For these kids birthday parties, guests get to write, film, and act in their own movie – then watch it on the big screen. Find a company which specializes in these workshop productions and have them tailor an event just for your party.

Carnival Fun – For kids birthday parties with a lot of younger guests, rent your own carnival, complete with moon bounce, pony rides, inflatable slides, and arcade games. Add activities like face painting, fortune telling, and balloon twisting.

Railroad Birthday – Rent a train, have catered food, add live entertainment, and you can have a mobile party for kids on a train. As a special treat, your birthday guest of honor can spend some time riding with the conductor. Go old-fashioned with a steam engine train or choose a modern version instead.

   
What are some ways to make sure the childrens birthday party runs smoothly?

Five Rules of Thumb For Childrens Birthday Parties

Childrens birthday parties give kids the opportunity to celebrate and have a good time. However, to keep childrens birthday parties running smoothly, there are some simple rules to keep in mind.

1. Keep the party short. For babies, limit the activities to an hour and a half and keep in mind nap schedules. For younger children, two to three hours should be enough time to for a party without having guests running on low fumes.
2. Have enough adults on hand. Don't have a guest list full of children and plan on running the party all by yourself.
3. Plan simple meals. Though your recipe for bruschetta with caponata might impress your neighbors, kids just want easy, tasty foods like pizza, spaghetti, and fried chicken.
4. Keep the kids occupied. Planned activities, games, and fun favors and toys will keep the party momentum going.
5. Safety proof the venue beforehand. Whether you're planning the party at home or at another location, remember this rule of thumb – safety first. Go through and check there are no dangerous items or electrical areas. Lock away any items you don't want kids to get their hands on.

   
What kind of food should I serve at a kid party?

Kid Party: Food Ideas

Looking for child birthday party advice on food? As a kid, a party means great food and lots of treats. Plan the food so that the kids don't get cranky from too many treats. Put out some healthy foods as well, but make them fun. Cut up fruit on a stick (if the children are old enough) makes it more fun to eat. Make sure you provide lots to drink, especially for an outdoor party where the kids are doing a lot of things. Water and fruit juice for younger kids are fine and a limited amount of soda if you allow it for the older kids.

For a kid, party food generally includes cake and ice cream but don't feel like you're stuck with that if you're kids don't like cake, for example. Consider having a sundae bar instead of cake, where each child can create their own sundaes. You can also make a pie instead of a cake if your children like that better. Whatever you make, try to have plenty of food--but not too much. Estimate how much each guest will eat and then add a little extra.

   
What do I need to throw a great Elmo themed birthday party?

The Elmo Birthday Party That's Sure To Be A Hit

He's red. He's plush. He's lovable. He's Elmo. What young child wouldn't enjoy an Elmo birthday party? If you want to throw an Elmo birthday party your child and all his guests will enjoy, remember to keep to the theme, but don't go overboard.

  • Select several main elements which will have the Elmo character, such as the some of the Mylar balloons, cake, napkins, and favors. Then color coordinate the rest of the party pieces. Having Elmo's face on everything from the tablecloth to the curtains can become a bit much.
  • Incorporate activities centered around Elmo's character. You can find coloring books, playing cards, and party games – all with an Elmo theme.
  • It's fine to include other Sesame Street characters like Big Bird and Cookie Monster, but remember that you are throwing an Elmo birthday party, so keep other characters to a minimum or keep their decorative presence subdued.
  • Have a few videos of Elmo on hand for kids to watch.
  • You can incorporate a large Elmo doll to give to the birthday child or spend a little extra and hire a costumed Elmo to make a visit at your event.
  • An inexpensive way to make your child's day is to go through the Sesame Workshop Website and have Elmo give your child a call during the birthday event. Play it on speakerphone if you want the other guests to be able to share.

   
What kinds of party hats should I get for a kid birthday party?

Kid Birthday Party: Don't Forget the Hats

For your kid birthday, party hats for everyone makes a festive occasion. You can make all kinds of paper hats ahead of time and then let the kids choose one to decorate. Have stickers, crayons, markers, feathers, glitter, and glue around for decoration. If you have an outside table to do this activity on, you can relax a bit about the mess and let the kids enjoy themselves.

You might have a few hats pre-decorated to give them some ideas or in case someone's hat gets damaged during the decorating. Paper firefighter hats, rabbit ears, and crowns can be adapted to fit just about any party theme. Or just make a variety of different hats and don't worry about a theme. Even a first birthday can be celebrated with hats, although you might want to skip the decorating step!

   
What are some must have birthday party supplies?

Kids Birthday Party Supplies You Must Have

If you're planning a children's birthday party, you're probably making a list of items you don't want to do without on the day of the event. Some kids birthday party supplies are not only expected, they'll make your life easier. We've put together a list of must have kids birthday party supplies to help with your planning.

Paper plates, cups, and utensils – Unless you're planning a formal affair or really enjoy doing the dishes, disposable plates and utensils are convenient and also add to the party's theme.

Favors – Don't let your guests go home empty-handed. At children's parties, favors are an excellent way of thanking even your youngest guests for coming.

Decorations – You don't have to go overboard with streamers and balloons, but do set the festive mood with some sort of decorations.

Disposable plastic containers – When the party is over, send your guest home with the leftover food or pack some in the fridge for yourself.

Cleaning supplies and trash bags – It's not glamorous, but it's a necessary part of party throwing. Between the cake, food, and lots of little ones running around, you're bound to have a mess or two. To make sure it's temporary and not permanent, have your cleaning supplies and trash bags on hand to pick up the spills.

   
How can I make sure I don't forget anything for my kid birthday party?

Kid Birthday: Countdown to Success

As a kid, birthday parties are pretty special. Help ensure that yours go smoothly by planning ahead. 3-4 weeks before the party, sit down with your child and settle on a birthday party theme, if any, and the guest list. If you need to enlist some adult help, line up some friends now. Pick a date and a time and make up the invitations.

Two weeks before the party (or longer if you're ordering things online) pick out the party supplies and decorations, goody bags and favors. Settle on the activities and make a list. Having them written down will be a big help during the party when you have a room or yard-full of kids running around! Plan the menu as well--and doublecheck that your helpers can come! Check the camera batteries and make sure you have candles and matches around as well. Make or pick up your cake a day or two before the party and have the ice cream ready to go in your freezer.

*The morning of the party day, decorate the house and set up any activities that can be done ahead of time. Hang some balloons in front of your house to help guide your guests.

   
Do I have to serve cake at a kid party?

Kid Party: Alternatives to Birthday Cake

Cupcakes make a fun alternative to large cakes for a kid party. You can avoid the panic of breaking the cake getting it out of the pan to decorate it. For small children, cupcakes are probably a bit easier to eat than messing around with a fork. You can easily put some decorations such as sprinkles or candy on top. They're generally much less messy than dealing with a cake at a kid party.

If you do want a cake and want to bake it yourself, consider making an ice cream cake so you can avoid the sticky mess of dishing up ice cream. If your kids don't like cake, consider buying some small ice cream treats, sandwiches or popsicles or small dishes of ice cream. This limits the amount of work you have to do when all the kids are clamoring for dessert and makes the cleanup much easier.

   
How can I make my child birthday be fun but still keep my budget?

Your Child and a Birthday: Help Them Plan

For a child, a birthday party can be the big social event of their year. Set up guidelines for them to help you plan. For younger children, give them a set number of people they can invite and a number of games you can play. Don't let them be overwhelmed by all the planning that is involved but do let them be a part of it. As they get older, they can get more involved.

Teenagers can be given a firm budget they can work within. If they want to do an expensive activity, then they can choose to invite fewer friends. If they want a big party, help them plan a fun party at home where the money can be spent on food and decorations rather than admission to a theme park for example. For each child, a birthday has different motivators. Some want games; others want to do an activity like ice skating or swimming. Let them learn how to plan and budget in an age-appropriate way.

   
Do you have some pointers for throwing a Spiderman Birthday party?

Throw A Spiderman Birthday Party

If you have a child who is a fan of the web-spinning superhero Spiderman, you've got a lot of party planning options. This ever popular wall-scaling crime fighter comes with a built-in supply of party products. Our guide to a Spiderman birthday party that's sure to be a blast will simplify the process for you.

Theme colors: Red, Blue, and Black

Decorations: Red, blue, and back balloons
Spiderman Mylar balloon
Red and blue streamers
White tablecloth covered with black spiders
Spiderman posters

Games/Activities:

Spiderman Web Bean Bag Toss – Turn a basketball net into a spider web by securing the opening with string to a fixed surface, like a plastic laundry basket. Have bean bags on hand and have the kids try to toss the bean bags through the opening.

Green Goblin Goo – Give kids their own version of Green Goblin Goo by making playdough. Here's the recipe:

1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon of cooking oil
1 cup of water
Green food coloring

Mix ingredients into a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Allow to cool.

Favors:

For Spiderman birthday party favors, consider putting together a favor box with a small Spiderman figurine, stickers, and activity book.

   
How can I throw a successful kid party for my toddler?

Kid Party: Toddler Ideas

Most toddlers have definite ideas about what they want to do at their birthday party. You'll find a birthday party theme easy to pick when you talk to your child and get some idea. A kid party of 2 to 3 hours is good a toddler's birthday party.

Decorate the house or park around the theme of the party but don't go overboard. Activities such as blowing bubbles, playing pin the tail on the donkey, and playing with large bouncy balls will be a hit. Rather than giving each child the small container of bubbles that might be easily spilled, fill a large dishpan or two with bubble solution and supply a variety of items that can be used to blow bubbles.

   
How can we set up a scavenger hunt for a kid party?

Kid Party: Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a fun activity for a kid birthday. Depending on the age of the kids, you may limit the hunt to your yard or home. Older kids will enjoy going around the neighborhood but make sure you have one adult with each group and set some clear boundaries about where they may and may not go. It's a nice touch to alert the neighbors ahead of time if you're going to be doing this.

Divide the kids into teams and give each team the list of items. The lists should be identical for each team to make it fair. Set a time limit for the game of 15-30 minutes. The team that collects the most items in the allotted time wins. Make sure your list of items include things that are easily found and that people are willing to give away, such as an old newspaper or magazine, a rubber band, and a flower.

   
What games can we play at a kid party that don't require a lot of supplies?

Kid Party: Old Fashioned Games

Don't forget the old fashioned games when it comes time to plan your kid birthday party. Games like blind man's bluff, kick the can, sardines, and hide and seek are still around and enjoyed for a reason. If you forget how to play, you can easily find variations by looking on line or asking your friends. If you mix up the rules to the games a bit, it really doesn't matter as long as the kids have fun. In fact, you'll probably learn about some great old games if you ask your own parents or elderly neighbors for some of their remembered favorites.

   
What can I do for a kid birthday that is extra special?

Kid Birthday: Professional Entertainment

For a kid birthday party, consider hiring some outside entertainment to come in for the party. A clown or a magician can provide a very memorable party for your young guests. If hiring outside entertainment is beyond your budget or desires, consider hiring some older neighborhood children to come in and help set up and run the party and provide entertainment.

Kids who aren't quite old enough to baby-sit will enjoy earning a little money and proving how useful to you they can be. They can help pass out food, clean up spill, organize games, and hand out prizes. If you want them to stay and help clean up after the party, make that clear in advance. Send them home with a nice piece of birthday cake when they're done in addition to whatever wages you've offered. If you have any leftover toys or surprises from the goody bag, they'll likely enjoy those as well.

   
What kinds of games work well at a kid party?

Kid Party: Game Ideas

In search of birthday tips? For a kid, party games can make the party. Decide how much time you have for games and try to estimate how long each will take. For a backup plan, have some games that can be easily lengthened or shortened as time allows. Hide and seek or sardines is one game that can go on and on. Sardines is a fun party game and many kids don't seem to know how to play these days.

Rather than everyone hiding and having one person be "it" sardines has one person hide and then everyone has to look for them. When someone finds the person who was hiding though, they don't yell but quietly join them in their hiding place. The first person to find the hider gets to be "it" the next time.

   

Five Rules of Thumb For Childrens Birthday Parties

To keep kids busy during childrens birthday parties, you don't need to be a whiz at planning games and activities. Just having several well thought out birthday supplies on hand can help you keep kids busy and entertained. Try these ideas for childrens birthday parties:

  • Coloring posters give kids something fun to do and something to bring home.
  • Beads let kids be creative and make their own jewelry.
  • Let kids have a blast creating their own bobble head.
  • For flying buffs, bring out a glider kit for guests to make one of their own.

   
My apartment's too small for a kid birthday party. What can I do?

Kid Party Away From Home

For a kid birthday, you can balance the cost of having the party away from your home versus the clean-up time of having it at home. If you're thinking of having the party away from your home, scout out a unique location that will be memorable. Train rides at a train park are a big hit. Some farms are set up to offer parties if you're looking for something different.

Check out your local nature centers or children's museums and inquire about parties. Some craft stores offer parties as well and will have staff on hand to teach the kids how to make the chosen craft. Some parents even opt to have sleepovers at a local hotel, where the kids can enjoy a swimming pool and have pizzas delivered.

   
Does everyone give a child party for each birthday?

Child Party: Alternate Years

Looking for child birthday party advice? Don't feel like you need to create an extravagant child party each and every year. Pick a few special years or do a party every other year. Some families like to alternate doing a big child party one year and then the next having an outing with one special friend to celebrate. Children are adaptable.

If you are consistent and have a plan so they know what to expect each year, each year can be something special in a completely different way. If the party or outing is on a weekend day and not on the exact birth day, remember to celebrate with your child on their actual birthday. Let them pick their favorite dinners and be exempt from the usual daily chores. No matter how old the child, make them feel special.

   

Kids Birthday Party Supplies You Must Have

When shopping for kids birthday party supplies, don't forget the tools you'll need to decorate the cake! Some might say the cake is the most important part of the entire birthday. If you the party has a theme, you can bake a cake in a pan shaped as an animal or television character. Or you can make a cake with a standard shape and place fun toppers on it. And don't forget the candles! There are numbered candles in a variety of colors, as well as themed candles with characters from movies and television. These tend to be larger and more dense and you'd likely only want one of them on the top of the cake as a centerpiece. You could surround the one main candle with the smaller, straight candles for an added effect. Kids birthday party supplies don't have to be mostly utilitarian. You can add some whimsical kids birthday party supplies in the mix. Try some themed cake toppers or shaped cake pans. Shaped Mylar character balloons add interest to the plain latex versions. Solid colored party ware is one way to go, but plates, napkins, and cups with a printed theme can be equally fun.

   

Kid Birthday Party Ideas To Prevent Meltdowns

When trying to determine what kind of birthday party to throw your child, the kid birthday party ideas can seem endless. Narrow your choices down by the age of your child, the size of the guest list and location. You can make sure each and every last guest goes home with treasures in hand by doing a little planning. Here are our kid birthday party ideas for putting together favors.

  • Create a guest list and a final head count at least one week before the party.
  • Decide on favors for guests that go with the party theme.
  • Kid birthday party ideas for favors include themed box sets with candy and small toys, mini video games, and activity books.
  • Plan for a few extra favors as a precautionary measure.

   
What do I need to throw a Hello Kitty party?

Hello Kitty Birthday Party

For the birthday girl who loves Hello Kitty, throw a Hello Kitty birthday party. This cat is sweet, she's hip, and she's super savvy. This is what you'll need to throw a Hello Kitty birthday party.

Theme Colors: Pink and white – of course!

Decorations: Pink and white balloons and matching streamers.
Pink and white polka dot bows
Pink tablecloth

Games/Activities:

Hide and Seek Hello Kitty: Play outdoors – one of Hello Kitty's favorite places to be. Have one girl pretend to be Hello Kitty. A friend can be her twin sister Mimi. The two girls can hide in an area next to each other. As each person finds Hello Kitty and Mimi, have them hide next to the girls until the last guest finds the girls.

Birthday Cake Hunt: Hello Kitty loves baking cakes, so what could be more fun than finding the cake? Hide the cake in a special place. Divide the party into a few teams. Have a set of clues leading to party favors. Each favor helps the teams find the birthday cake. The team to find the cake gets first dibs at a bite!

Favors: Send each guest home with a gift bag full of Hello Kitty assorted products like notebooks, pens, and charms. For the boys in your party, you can have an alternate gift bag stuffed with a character like Badtz-Maru.

   
Are birthday coloring pages a good idea?

Birthday Coloring Pages

Birthday coloring pages are great for kids who want to give cards to the birthday boy or girl that they've made themselves. They are also an ideal base for easy kids' birthday craft projects. You can find quite a few different free coloring pages with a quick web browser search.

  • Be sure you don't go to a site that has a lot of pop-ups. Many times, coloring page sites are very ad heavy to make up for the high bandwidth costs of the graphics-intensive Web pages.
  • If you aren't sure whether the image will print right, be sure to use the print preview option before you hit the print button. This shows you how the page will look after it prints and lets you see how many pages will be printing out. Many times, a second page with URLs or an ad comes out along with the coloring sheet. Seeing that there are two pages in the print preview page allows you to select the option to print just the current page with the coloring sheet on it.
  • Once you have the coloring sheets printed out, take a quick look at them to think what else can be done to make them a bit more fun for the kids to work on. For example, if they are coloring a page with flowers on it, why not give them a few flower cutouts to glue on to the page, too?

   

Kids Birthday Party Decoration For The Outdoors

Whether you've decided to decorate your outdoor kids birthday party with pirates treasure or as an outdoor adventure, you can let your guests know what the theme will be ahead of time. Send them a themed invitation, so they'll know what to expect when they come to your kids birthday party. You can choose from various animated versions. Input the time, place, date, and a special message to your guests and invitations will get sent out to everyone on your list. Part of the fun of a kids birthday party is sending out invitations to the guests. There are so many options in how to announce the big event. Older children enjoy receiving email birthday invitations which are usually animated and bright and colorful. Another option is sending out traditional printed invitations for a kids birthday party. You can find invitations that fit almost any party theme. One thing to remember: the invitations usually come in packages of 8 so plan accordingly when creating the guest list.

   

Kids Birthday Parties If You Want To Splurge

While your child may want to invite everyone they know to their birthday party, adults typically have to set a limit on the number of guests at kid's birthday parties. There are a few tricks to narrowing down who to invite: make a list of your child's closest friends and determine if the party will be all boys or all girls. If a certain number of kids need to be left out due to space constraints, consider having cupcakes at school or after a sports practice. Whether you go with a Sea Life, American Idol, JoJo's Circus or a Thomas the Train birthday theme, kids birthday parties need party supplies to compliment the theme. For a Sea Life party, consider adding underwater party decorations, plates, and favors to your event. Throwing an American Idol party? Don't forget your microphone. JoJo's Circus could use some circus-themed activity book favors or a circus play tent. Before you get onboard for your Thomas the Train party, make sure your birthday child is outfitted with an engineer hat and whistle.

   
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