Birthday Party Planning Tips

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Are there any tips for taking good birthday pictures?

Taking Great Birthday Pictures

Taking great birthday pictures can be a challenge, especially during the party. Heads, backs and arms seem to always be in the wrong place, especially during the most important shots, like blowing out candles. Posed photos seem stiff and awkward. How can you take better pictures?

Begin by making sure you have the right equipment. If you are inside, bring in some supplemental lighting. If you can avoid using a flash, you'll get fewer shots with closed or squinted eyes. Also, check to see if your camera has a feature that compensates for shaky hands. When you are trying to get a shot quickly, this feature can really help you shoot clearer photos.

While posed shots are often too formal, there's nothing wrong with setting the scene. Move trash and clutter aside and ask the guests to sit down before you bring out the cake or start a game that could have adorable results.

Ask someone else to take backup shots of everything. This way, there's a chance that a shot you flubbed has turned out fabulous for the other photographer. In fact, you may also find out that you completely missed a terrific moment that was captured by the other person.

Are there any tips on how to plan a birthday party?

How to Plan a Birthday Party

Putting together a birthday party involves so many details, especially if it is a big bash. Before you get to overwhelmed, take a look at these tips on how to plan a birthday party:

  • Make a master list of tasks and check them off as you complete them. This way, you avoid those annoying last minute dashes to the convenience store for ice and candles.
  • Be sure you buy as many things as possible in one place. It may be tempting to decide to try to price something that seems expensive at another store. However, not only does this take up extra time, but it also actually will probably cost money because of the increase in gas prices. In fact, if you really want to save time and money, take your party supply shopping online.
  • Delegate some tasks to other people. You don't have to do it all. There are plenty of ways other people can help. Ask guests to each bring food or supplies and a small gift instead of the larger gifts they were planning to buy. Have someone designated to help set up the party and someone else to help take it all back down.

How can I preserve the memories of my child´s birthday party?

Extra Cameras

If possible have two or three people taking pictures with different cameras just in case the film doesn't develop right or you put the film in wrong.

How far in advance should the guest list be made?

Guest List

Sit down and make a guest list at least 3-4 weeks in advance. This will help you make most of the other decisions.

How long should the party last?


You noted the start as well as the ending times on the invitations. Don't let your party drag on and wear you out. Kids' parties are generally 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours long. Everyone knows when they are supposed to go home. Help them get their coats.

How can I get all the pre-party work done?

During the Party

Parties can sometimes be stressful! Ask a friend, family member or neighbor to help with the party. Often neighborhood teens would love to help when offered a few dollars for their time.

How much of a budget should I allow for the party?

How Much Money?

How much money you spend depends on your budget. Remember to include in your estimate all food, including cake, ice cream, snacks, as well as utensils and paper goods, decorations, invitations, thank you cards, entertainment and party favors.

How can I avoid being stressed out over a party?


Keep it simple. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. No matter what works and what doesn't ... there will always be next year!

Must I serve a meal at a party?

Planning Around Meals

If your budget can't include a meal, simply plan around meal times: 1-3pm or 2-4pm, or even 10-11:30am for small children.

What do I need to think of before the party?

New Camera

If you are using a new camera to film the party make sure to develop at least one roll of film before the big event. This allows you to iron out any kinks that you may experience as you use the camera for the first time.

How can I preserve the memories of my child´s birthday party?


If you are using a camcorder always make sure that it is not filming when it is not supposed to be. No one likes watching a wall for two hours, and you might run out of tape when the birthday candles are about to be
blown out!

My son is getting a handheld video game player/device for his birthday and we would like to suggest gift cards from the local stores where he will be able to buy video games. Is this appropriate and how do I word this?

Birthday Partys: Registering for Gifts

Brides have been doing it for decades: registering for gifts at their local department and specialty stores so that interested friends and family members could purchase gifts that the newlyweds really wanted. So, is this practice practical and appropriate for other occasions, like birthdays? Absolutely! As people get busier and busier -- and gifts for every occasion bet more and more expensive -- partygoers appreciate knowing what the birthday boy or girl wants and where to get it. The best way to communicate your wishes is in the party invitiation itself. After you list the traditional date, place, time, etc., simply note that the birthday person would appreciate gift cards to (retailer name here) for video games for his/her nifty new Nintendo! The partygoers still have the option to bring other gifts, but they know what your child would really like...and where to get it.

When should I begin planning for my party?

It's never too early to plan

"It's never too early to begin planning for a party. You know all year long that your child's 8th birthday or your husband's 40th falls on a certain date that lands on a Saturday. Begin putting together the game plan for that party one year in advance."
by Kay Chirichigno

How can we find good theme ideas for the party?


With your child, go through several catalogues and websites and decide on a theme that best suits your child.

How can I include my child in the preparation of the party?

Including Children

Be sure to include your child in the party preparation. As an example, older children can address invitations, while younger children might like to affix stamps.

What do I need to think of before the party?

Be Prepared

Birthday parties are historic and special! Always remember to make sure the camera and/or camcorder is working before the party. Buy extra film and/or videotape before the party. And, check batteries for the camera and/or camcorder (maybe have some extras on hand).

How can I avoid siblings feeling left out at birthday parties?


Let siblings invite a special friend over for the day so they won't feel left out. They can either play apart from the party or they can be helpers.

How can I avoid doing all the work myself?

Child Involvement

Get the birthday child involved in the party planning. They will appreciate being asked, after all, it's their party. And they will put in a tremendous amount of energy into such a joint effort.

What are some party ideas for my teenager?

Teen Parties

"Why not pick a theme and plan the food, activities and decorations around that? If your grandson likes sports, do a baseball, football, or even an Olympics party. If he's into computers, you could turn your house into a computer game. Or ask your guests to bring a piece of sports' equipment that begins with the same letter as his or her name, and see what kind of games they can play!"

When should I hold my party?

Party Times

"The time set for the party tells the guests what to expect, for example: 5:00pm - indicates food will be served, it's dinner time and 2:00pm - is in between lunch and dinner, so food is not expected."

How can I make a birthday that falls close to Christmas special?

Too Close to Christmas

"Don't you feel sorry for the kids whose birthdays fall close to Christmas? I had a friend whose son's birthday fell in the week before Christmas. They made it their family tradition to not put up the Christmas tree or any other Christmas decorations until AFTER his birthday, so that his day was just as special and focused upon as it would have been in August. What a great way to make a kid feel special!"

Taken from our site!

When do we decide on a theme for the party?

Child Involvement

Don't leave the theme to the last minute! Sit down with your child and decide on a theme about 3 to 4 weeks in advance.

How can I throw a double birthday party?

Double Parties

How do you handle a double birthday party? The answer to this question depends entirely on who the two birthday people are. If there are extreme differences in ages, keep the party low key - hold it in a park where people of all ages can relax and have fun!

*If they are both young kids, look for a common interest or activity, for example, swimming.

Are there any good birthday countdown ideas?

Birthday Countdown Fun

If you've ever used an Advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas, then you know how fun a countdown before an event can be. A birthday countdown is a great way for children to mark off the days before the big event and helps parents avoid a constant barrage of, "Mom, is my birthday soon? How soon? Is it now?" as the day draws closer.

To make a birthday countdown calendar, you should ideally start 30 days before the child's birthday. You'll need to decide if you want to put prizes in the calendar each day and, if so, buy 30 prizes. Remember, the prizes don't have to be big or expensive. Temporary tattoos, stickers or individually wrapped snack size candies all work well.

If you plan to make this a yearly tradition, it is worth the extra time and effort to make a permanent calendar from fabric, wide gross-grain ribbon and adhesive numbers. Lay the ribbon across the fabric in five rows and sew down at the two side edges and the bottom. Then, divide the ribbons into six sections and sew down the sides of the sections to form pockets. Stick the numbers onto the pockets. Make a placeholder that the child can move from one pocket to the next as you count down the days.

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George Sayour