The Perfect Kids Birthday Party. How to Plan : A Step-by-Step Guide

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Lisa | read

Every parent wants their child's birthday to be special and memorable. But planning the perfect kids birthday party can be a daunting task. From choosing a theme to coordinating activities, there are countless details to consider.

Happy birthday boy celebrates in a hat with balloons

Don't worry, as a family writer with years of experience planning children's parties, I'm here to help. In this step-by-step guide, I'll share my tips and tricks for creating a fun and stress-free celebration that your child and their friends will love. Let's get started!

birthday balloons float in the sky

Photo by Sagar Patil on Unsplash

Set a Budget

The first step in planning any party is determining your budget. Consider how much you can realistically spend and what elements are most important to you and your child. This will help you make decisions on everything from the venue to the decorations. Without this you will spend a lot of wasted time and it can become a very frustrating porcess. It's very easy to get carried away and then when you get the calculator out at the end its back to the drawing board !

Setting the Theme

When planning a kids' birthday party, choosing a theme is essential. Whether it's their favourite animal like an ape or a popular cartoon character, selecting a theme can make the party more exciting for children. Spend some time talking to your child and discovering what they are interested in currently.

Once you have selected the theme, make sure to incorporate it into every aspect of the party from decorations to games and even snacks. Creating a cohesive look with matching colors and designs will help tie everything together for an unforgettable celebration that your child will love. Take about 2 hours to brainstorm ideas with your child so that you both can plan out all aspects of how this bag-a-themed-party will be executed!

When it comes to choosing a theme for your child's birthday party, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, think about your child's interests and hobbies. Do they love animals? Consider an "ape-tastic" jungle-themed party! Do they love mermaids ? Then maybe it's time to hit the pool. Maybe they love dinosaurs. Your theme can carry through from everything from venues to meals and even what's in the party bag.

dinosaur themed birthday decorations

Photo by Joyce Adams on Unsplash

Another important factor is age-appropriateness. While you may be tempted to throw an elaborate two-hour extravaganza for your toddler, it's important to choose a theme that they can actually enjoy and participate in. Finally, don't be afraid to get creative with unique themes - let your inner child (and the birthday child) run wild with ideas!

Decorations and Party Supplies

Create a festive atmosphere for your child's birthday party with these tips on decorations and party supplies. First, choose a colour scheme that matches the theme of the party to tie everything together. Then, get creative with DIY party favours that will impress both kids and parents alike.

Whether you want to save time or money, renting or buying party supplies is an option worth considering. Here are some options:

  • Rent tables, chairs, and linens from a local rental company
  • Buy balloons and streamers in bulk from a discount store
  • Shop online for themed decorations like banners and centrepieces

a birthday piñata is hanging ready to be hit

Photo by Oscar Aragon on Unsplash

Making sure your child's birthday celebration is memorable doesn't have to be stressful or expensive – just follow these simple steps!


Decide on the invitation format based on your preference and budget. Digital invitations are eco-friendly, affordable, and easy to send out quickly. Printed invitations add a personal touch but can be more expensive and time-consuming to create. Whichever option you choose, make sure it matches your party's theme.

Include all necessary details like the date, time, location of the party in your invitation. Mention any special instructions or dress code if needed. Don't forget to include contact information for RSVPs.

Give RSVP instructions clearly so that guests know how they can respond with their attendance status. Ask them to reply within 2 hours of receiving the invite (if applicable) so that you have enough time for final preparations before the event begins.

To sum up:

  • Decide on digital or printed invitations based on preference
  • Include all necessary details:date, time & location
  • Give clear RSVP instructions

Adobe has published a free tool to create birthday invitation designs tha could prove helpful. You can take a look right here: Adobe Express' Birthday Invitation Templates

kids dressed for super hero birthday party

Photo by Steven Libralon on Unsplash

Planning the Activities

When planning the activities for your child's birthday party, it's important to keep their age and interests in mind. Younger children will enjoy simple games like pin the tail on the donkey or musical chairs, while older kids may prefer more active options like a scavenger hunt or obstacle course. Whatever you choose, make sure there are enough activities to keep everyone engaged and having fun.

In addition to games and entertainment, don't forget about food and drinks! Finger foods like pizza bites or chicken nuggets are always popular with kids, but be sure to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies of your guests. And no birthday party is complete without cake - whether you opt for a traditional cake or something more unique like cupcakes or cake pops, make sure there's plenty for everyone (and maybe some extra for seconds!).

Games and Entertainment

Looking for some fun and easy games to keep the kids entertained at your child's birthday party? Try these classic party favourites:

  • DIY obstacle course: Use items from around the house (pillows, chairs, hula hoops) to create a simple obstacle course. Kids can race each other or try to beat their own time.
  • Pin the tail on the donkey: A timeless game that never gets old! Blindfolded players take turns trying to pin a tail onto a picture of a donkey.
  • Musical chairs: Set up chairs in a circle and play music while kids walk/dance around them. When the music stops, everyone tries to sit down in one of the remaining chairs. The person without a chair is out.

These games are sure to be hits with both kids and parents alike!

Food and Drinks

Looking for fun and easy food ideas for your child's birthday party? Look no further than our make-your-own pizza station, fruit skewers with yogurt dip, and "mock-tails" for the kids to enjoy. Here are some quick tips to make these treats a hit at any party:

  • Make your own pizza station: Set out pre-made pizza crusts and toppings like cheese, sauce, pepperoni, veggies, and more. Let the kids build their own pizzas before you pop them in the oven.
  • Fruit skewers with yogurt dip: Cut up fruit like strawberries, pineapple chunks, grapes, and melon into bitesized pieces. Thread onto skewers alternating fruits as desired. Serve alongside a bowl of vanilla yogurt mixed with honey or agave syrup.
  • "Mocktails" for kids: Mix up nonalcoholic cocktails using soda water or lemon lime soda along with juice flavours like cranberry or orange. Add garnishes like sliced fruit or colourful straws.

These tasty treats are sure to delight your young guests while also being simple enough that you can focus on enjoying the party yourself!

a birthday table set

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

Cake and Desserts

For any kids birthday party, cake and desserts are an essential aspect of the celebration. Make sure to offer a variety of options that will satisfy everyone's sweet tooth. Here are some fun dessert ideas to include in your party:

  • Cupcake decorating activity: Let the kids show their creativity by decorating their own cupcakes with frosting, sprinkles, and other toppings.
  • Build your own sundae bar: Provide different ice cream flavours and toppings such as hot fudge, caramel sauce, candy pieces, and whipped cream for the ultimate sundae experience.
  • Chocolate fountain with dipping treats: Who doesn't love a chocolate fountain? Offer fruit skewers or marshmallows for dipping into the flowing chocolate.

These dessert options will surely be a hit among all party-goers!

FAQ - Birthday Planning Tips

As a parent, planning a birthday party for your little one can be both exciting and overwhelming. One of the biggest decisions you'll have to make is what type of food to serve. You want to make sure that your child and their friends are happy and satisfied, but also want to provide healthy options. The good news is that there are plenty of kid-friendly foods that are both delicious and nutritious. For starters, you can never go wrong with a classic pizza party. Kids love pizza, and it's easy to customise with a variety of toppings. You can even make mini pizzas with pre-made crusts for a fun and interactive activity. Another idea is to serve finger foods such as mini sandwiches, fruit skewers, and veggie cups with hummus or ranch dip. These options are not only healthy, but they're also easy for kids to eat and won't make a mess. For those with a sweet tooth, you can't go wrong with a dessert table. Offer a variety of treats such as cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. You can even include healthier options like fruit salad or yogurt parfaits. It's important to keep in mind any dietary restrictions or allergies that your child's friends may have. Consider offering gluten-free or nut-free options to accommodate those with allergies. Overall, the key is to keep it fun, simple, and tasty. With these ideas, you'll be sure to throw a birthday party that your little one and their friends will remember for years to come

Decorations can make or break a kid's party! Luckily, there are so many fun and creative ways to spruce up your party space without breaking the bank. Here are some of my favourite ideas for kids birthday party decorations: 1. Balloon Bouquets - Balloons are always a hit with kids, and creating balloon bouquets in your child's favourite colours is an easy way to add some festive flair to your party space. 2. DIY Banners - Instead of spending a ton of money on pre-made banners, why not create your own? All you need is some colourful paper, string, and a little bit of creativity! 3. Themed Table Settings - Whether you're throwing a princess party or a superhero bash, themed table settings can add a fun and cohesive touch to your party decorations. Head to your local party store and stock up on themed plates, napkins, and cups. 4. Party Favours as Decor - If you're planning on handing out party favours at the end of the party, consider incorporating them into your decorations. For example, if you're handing out superhero masks, hang them up as decorations before the kids arrive. 5. DIY Photo Booth - Kids love taking silly pictures, so why not create a DIY photo booth for them to snap some shots? Hang up a fun backdrop (you can even make your own using stream

The age range for a kids birthday party really depends on the age of your child and their friends. For toddlers and preschoolers, it's common to invite children from their daycare or playgroup, which typically includes kids around the same age. So, for example, if your child is turning 3, it would be appropriate to invite children aged 2-4. As your child gets older and starts school, the age range can expand a bit. It's still important to consider your child's friends and their ages, but you can also invite kids from their class or sports team. For elementary school-aged kids, it's generally appropriate to invite children within a two-year age range. Once your child hits the tween and teen years, the age range can become a bit more flexible. They may have a wider circle of friends from different grades or activities, so it's important to take their preferences into account when deciding who to invite. Ultimately, the most important thing is to make sure your child is surrounded by people they enjoy spending time with on their special day. So, whether you're inviting a small group of close friends or a larger crowd, make sure everyone is there to celebrate and have fun!

One question that often comes up is what type of music to play. After all, you want to make sure the music is appropriate for the age group and keeps everyone entertained. The good news is that there are plenty of great options out there! For starters, you might want to consider some classic children's songs like "The Hokey Pokey," "If You're Happy and You Know It," and "The Wheels on the Bus." These songs are not only fun to sing and dance to, but they also help promote language development and other important skills. If you're looking for something a bit more modern, there are plenty of great options there too. Many popular kids' TV shows and movies have their own soundtracks, so you could play some of those songs to keep things lively. You could also check out some child-friendly pop songs that are popular right now, like "Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake or "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. Of course, you'll want to make sure that all the music you play is appropriate for the age group at the party. You don't want to play anything with inappropriate lyrics or themes. It's always a good idea to preview songs before you play them, just to be on the safe side. Overall, the most important thing is to have fun!

Hosting a kids' birthday party can be a fun and exciting event, but it can also be stressful when it comes to deciding on what snacks to serve. You want to make sure that the snacks are not only delicious but also healthy and appealing to the little ones. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child and their friends have a great time and enjoy the party food without any adverse effects on their health. Here are some snack ideas that you can serve at your kid's next birthday party: 1. Fruit skewers: Fruit skewers are a healthy and fun snack that kids will love. Cut up different fruits and place them on skewers for easy eating. Be sure to use a variety of colours and textures to make the skewers more appealing. 2. Vegetable platter: Kids may not always be excited about eating veggies, but a colourful vegetable platter can be a hit at a party. Cut up carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, and serve them with a tasty dip like hummus or ranch dressing. 3. Popcorn: Popcorn is a classic snack that kids love. You can make it more exciting by adding different flavours like cheese or caramel. Serve it in colourful paper bags or bowls for a fun presentation. 4. Mini pizza: Kids love pizza, so why not make mini pizzas for them to enjoy? You can use pre-made pizza crusts and let the kids add their toppings. Be sure to have a variety of toppings available such as pepperoni, mushrooms, and peppers. 5. Cupcakes: No birthday party is complete without some sweet treats. Cupcakes are always a hit with kids, and you can decorate them with fun and colourful frosting to match the party theme. You can also opt for healthier options like using whole wheat flour and adding fruit puree instead of sugar. Remember, the key is to offer a variety of healthy and tasty options that will appeal to both kids and parents. By planning ahead and offering a mix of snacks, you can ensure that everyone has a great time at your child's birthday party. And most importantly, don't forget to have fun and enjoy the celebration with your little one!

Well, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It really depends on various factors like the age of your child, the size of your home or party venue, and the type of party you're throwing. For toddlers, it's usually best to keep the guest list limited to close family members and a few friends. At this age, parents tend to stay around to help out and oversee their children, so having too many adults in attendance can be overwhelming. As your child grows older, inviting a few more adults is often acceptable, especially if you're hosting the party at a bigger venue. However, it's always best to check with the parents of the invited children if they plan on staying, to get an idea of how many adults will be in attendance. If you're organising a larger celebration, like a backyard BBQ or a carnival-themed party, then inviting a few more adults could be a good idea. This will provide additional help with supervising the kids, setting up activities, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Ultimately, the key is to strike a balance between having enough adults around to keep the party under control, but not so many that the kids feel overshadowed. Remember, the main focus of the party should be on the children having fun and creating unforgettable memories. So, whether you decide to invite a few close friends or throw a big bash, make sure to keep the guest list manageable and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Preparing for the Party

Get ready for the ultimate kids’ birthday party by preparing everything beforehand. First, create a detailed timeline to ensure you have enough time to plan and organise all aspects of the party. This includes sending invitations, shopping for decorations, ordering food and cake, and planning activities.

Next up is getting the venue set up before your little guests arrive. Make sure there’s plenty of space to accommodate everyone and that it’s safe for kids to play in. Set up tables with snacks and drinks, arrange decorations around the room or yard, and make sure there are enough chairs for parents who will be staying.

With these preparation tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to throwing an amazing birthday party that your child will never forget!

a birthday boy blows out his candles

Photo by Thanh Tran on Unsplash

Creating a Timeline

Once you've decided to throw a kids' birthday party, the first step is to choose the date and time. It's important to give yourself enough time for planning and preparation, so be sure to set the date well in advance. Once that's done, start putting together your guest list and send out invitations at least two weeks before the party.

Next up on your timeline is planning out activities and games for the party. This will keep kids engaged and having fun throughout the celebration. Consider age-appropriate options like pinatas or scavenger hunts, or even hiring a clown or magician for some extra entertainment. With these steps taken care of in advance, you'll be well on your way to throwing a memorable birthday bash for your little one!

little girls in birthday hats

Photo by Victoria Rodriguez on Unsplash

Preparing the Venue

Decorate the space with themed decorations to set the tone for your child's birthday party. Whether it's a pirate-themed adventure or a princess ball, adding balloons, streamers and other fun decor will make the celebration feel special. Set up tables, chairs and any necessary equipment such as speakers or projectors in advance to ensure there is enough space for all activities planned.

Arrange for food and drinks to be served during the party. This could include ordering pizzas or making sandwiches ahead of time, as well as providing refreshing beverages like lemonade or juice boxes. Don't forget about dessert! A cake decorated with your child's favourite character or design is sure to bring smiles all around.

  • Decorate venue with themed decorations
  • Set up tables, chairs & necessary equipment
  • Arrange food & drink catering

Party Favours

When planning a kid's birthday party, you want to make sure that every detail is perfect. One of the essential elements of any successful party is the favours! Here are some tips for selecting and distributing age-appropriate favours:

  • Choose age appropriate favours that match your theme: Whether it's stickers, mini colouring books or small toys, make sure they're suitable for the children attending.
  • Wrap or package favours in an attractive way: Use colourful wrapping paper or favour bags to add excitement and anticipation.
  • Distribute them at the end of the party as a thank you gesture: Show appreciation to your guests by giving them their treats before they leave.

Party favours are a great way to add an extra special touch to any celebration.

Happy birthday boy celebrates in a hat with balloons

Photo by hossein azarbad on Unsplash

By following these simple steps, you can plan the perfect kids birthday party that your child and their friends will love. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the celebration. With a little planning and creativity, you can create a special and memorable event that your child will cherish for years to come. Happy birthday planning!

Lisa Written by

Lisa has been a content writer for Family Days Out for nearly 10 years, and a keen travel writer for nearly 20. She loves experiencing the best of a city, discovering the many things to do and immersing herself in the culture, and sharing these experiences with others through her writing.

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