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Kids birthday party themes and ideas

But younger children those under four or five may be frightened or just plain bored by a performance that goes on longer than 45 minutes.

Before you write a big check to Chuckles the Clown, consider looking for some local talent. One mother was shocked to hear what the mad scientist entertainer she found in the phone book charged for a two-hour science party. Instead she convinced her girls' favorite babysitter to wear a white lab coat and make a baking soda volcano. The kids were thrilled with an entertainer who they already knew and loved, the teenage babysitter was happy to make some extra money, and the mom stayed under budget.

Organize Help Don't go it alone. Everything will be much easier if you have help — a spouse, relative, neighbor, babysitter or friends who can assist with activities as well as serving and cleanup. This is especially important if you will be entertaining young guests whose parents drop them off. Food For brief parties, cake and ice cream is really the only refreshment you need.

Many young children look at the cake as the focal point of the whole birthday ritual, so be sure to let them help make it or select it from the bakery. Tradition dictates that the birthday boy or girl gets the first piece of cake and that they will probably choose the piece with the most frosting and decorations on it.


Consider having more than one flavor of ice cream on hand, however, since young children can be picky eaters and prefer ice cream over cake. Older guests may actually enjoy preparing the food as much as eating it, so consider substituting cooking for a craft. One family hosted a Floor Pizza Party by putting personal-sized pans of dough on the kitchen floor one for each guest and letting the kids put on sauce, cheese and other toppings.

Pepperoni, mushrooms and other vegetables make great eyes and noses for pizza people.

As with all aspects of party planning, try to give familiar favorites a personal twist, turning chicken wings into dinosaur wings for a prehertoric feast or serving chicken drumsticks for an orchestra party. Control Expenses You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a successful party.

This is a party for your child and her friends — not for other parents. Save the fireworks display for your next adult gala. The kids just want to play. Controlling expenses also means that you should not feel obligated to send home goody bags full of expensive toys. While some stickers or a craft make nice souvenirs, most parents agree that it's time to start saying no to elaborate party favors. Dealing with Siblings It's the birthday kid's big day but that doesn't mean you can ignore her brothers and sisters.

While you may want to arrange for siblings to go play at another friend's house, many kids don't want to miss out on the action at home. If that's the case, allow the sibling to invite one special friend.

How to Plan a Birthday Party

They can either play in another room or help out with the party as coat-takers, present-collectors, guest-greeters, or waiters. Expect the Unexpected The hardest thing to plan for at any birthday party is the unexpected. Here's what you can do to keep chaos at bay:. Keep in mind that an outdoor party may become an indoor party in case of rain, so plan alternate, rainy-day activities, just in case.

How to Plan a Birthday Party | Tips | Birthday Parties | PBS Parents

Make sure you have the following covered, and note if you need to buy or borrow anything. Check online party ware sources like plumparty. Keep it simple—finger foods, pizza, things kids actually like are super easy and sure to please. If you like, plan a few special treats like a cocktail for parents. Make a list of how far in advance each dish can be made. Enlist friends, older children, other relatives, or parents of party guests to help supervise activities.

Consider hiring a high school student, your baby-sitter, or a professional to help with pre- or post-party cleaning or to help supervise games, replenish food, and generally take some weight off your shoulders.

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Make sure danger areas like stairs and upper-floor windows and pools are safeguarded, double check that any chemicals are locked away, and check for sharp-edged corners on furniture that might be dangerous. Set up dining and gift tables and activity stations. This includes defrosting and icing the cake if you froze one. Also, for any foods that require cooking on party day, do as much prep dicing, marinating, rinsing lettuce as possible.

One to Three Months Before

Wrap them tightly to ensure freshness; tear off the wrap when the first doorbell rings. Check Discuss with your child what kind of party he or she wants.

Check Decide whom to invite. Check Line up any entertainment you may want. Check Make a schedule of activities for the party. Check Buy or order party favors that fit the theme and goody bags to put them in and prizes for the games.

Everything you need for a fun at-home kids birthday party

Check Plan the menu. Check Make a grocery list. Check Line up any help you may need. Check Clean the house thoroughly.

Everything you need for a fun at-home kids birthday party

Check For an outdoor party, do any major yard cleanup or planting. Check Develop a detailed cooking schedule. Check Order the cake. Check Check your list of needed supplies and procure any missing pieces. Check Find a place for coats. Check Go grocery shopping. Check Do a safety run-through of the house and yard.

Check Prepare the cameras. Charge video and digital cameras.