Quick Party Tips


  • Activities: When planning activities, break up the time into 15 minute segments, with a couple of emergency ideas just in case.
  • Time span: The party should be no longer than two hours. Two hours gives you plenty of time to play games, have entertainment, eat cake, and unwrap presents.  Be sure to specify on your invitations the exact time the party begins and ends.
  • Size of the party: A popular formula to determine the number of guests is to invite one child per number of years of age of the birthday child. For example, a five year old would invite five kids.  For younger kids, be sure to have extra help from family and friends.
  • Conflicts: Find out if any of your child’s friends have previous commitments. This is especially important for their closest friends.
  • Nap time: Smaller children are used to a specific schedule which includes their nap time.
  • Party location: While most birthday parties are held in the home, booking your party at a restaurant or other party facility can cut your workload in half. If you decide to book one of these locations, be sure to make your reservations at least two months prior. Movie theatres, bowling alleys, roller rinks, etc. are also great locations for a birthday party.
  • To eat or not to eat: If you plan your party around a meal time, 12 noon or 5 PM, you will be expected to feed the kids. Plan foods that children enjoy. Finger foods are great.  See the section on FUN FOODS for some unique ideas.
  • Drinks: Clear or light colored liquids such as 7-Up, ginger ale, or white grape juice are best. They are caffeine free and won’t stain carpet or furniture.
  • Cake: The cake is the centerpiece of the whole party. Order the cake at least two weeks in advance.  Pick up the cake early incase there is a mistake that needs to be corrected.
  • Party Supplies: Party stores have a wide range of party favors to choose from. You can purchase a “theme” package which includes everything you need.  Party bags are very popular. Pick out different party favors and place them in individual bags labeled for each child.  The best time to hand out the party bags is at the end of the party when the kids are leaving.
  • Balloons: Order the balloons at least a week in advance. Kids love balloons and it is a great way to decorate the room. Hang some balloons on the mailbox as a beacon to help people find your house.
  • Supplies: Before the party be sure to have batteries in your camera. In this video age, charge the battery on your video camera and have enough video tape. Also, have a supply of large garbage bags and paper towels on hand.  If the party is during the summer, have some sun block.  A first aid kit should be close at hand for emergencies.
  • Music: Pick music that is age-appropriate. Kids love to listen and dance to music, especially if it is from their generation.
  • Gifts: The presents should all be in a specific area. The gifts should not be opened until the end of the party. Refrain from allowing the kids to open the boxes and take the toys out. Pieces are easily lost and feelings are hurt.
  • Movie time: A sanity-saving suggestion is to rent a children’s movie for the end of the party.  Waiting for the parents can be the hardest part of the party.  A popular movie or cartoon will help keep the peace and set a calming atmosphere.
  • Pets: Protect your pets. Put your pets in a safe area away from the party.  Some children play rough, and animals bite if threatened.
  • Involve the entire family in the party: Assign duties for each family member.
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