Plan the most unforgettable birthday celebration for your little tyke with these inspirational tips, cakes, theme ideas, crafts, and games.
Pick a Theme
First, you need to decide on a theme for the party. The best approach is to pick something that will appeal to everyone invited. Real Simple magazine declares this year to be the season of the “Stripes” birthday party theme, which offers a cheery, neutral alternative to more traditional birthday themes.
Even the most experienced host knows that party success depends on a timeline. Home entertaining savant Martha Stewart suggests you start planning your party about six weeks before the big day, and send out the invitations in plenty of time, too; about a month ahead. This process can take more time than expected, since you’ll need to get your kid’s list of classmates and their addresses to send out the invitations.
Once you’ve sketched out your party timeline, it’s time to zero in on the best location depending on the kind of party you want to throw for your kid. Here are a few common places where kids’ birthdays take place:
-At Home. At-home parties are a classic choice. You can have your kid’s friends sleepover, or go swimming and play games in your backyard. If you’re worried about the kids wandering away, clearly designate lines of your property with balloons and streamers, and close any doors that you don’t want them wandering through.
-Off Site. Parks and playgrounds are great places to throw birthday parties in spring and summer when the weather is warm.
-Community Center, Church, or YMCA. You can also choose to rent a secure facility, like a church or community center, if your home isn’t big enough or if you don’t want to worry about inclement weather. Event rentals vary, but typically cost between $75-100.
Party Basics by Age
No matter how old your kid is, you want to throw a memorable party. Here’s a general guideline for throwing parties for kids from age 1 to 10.
-For ages 1-2, schedule the party after nap time, around mid-morning or in the early afternoon. These parties can last up to an hour, and parents usually prefer to stay with their young child during the party. With that said, make sure there is enough food and birthday cake for all the guests.
-For ages 3-4, parties around lunchtime or just after lunch are typically best. You can grill hotdogs and hamburgers, and kids can spend the afternoon playing outside. Depending on how many kids you decide to invite for the party, you may want to enlist some neighbors, fellow parents, or trusted babysitters to help supervise the young toddlers. Plan at least an hour and a half for celebrating your kid’s birthday.
-For ages 5-6, early to mid-afternoon parties are a great choice and you can choose to serve lunch, snacks, or just birthday cake, depending on your preference. These kids are a little bit older, but may still require extra supervision if you have fifteen or more invited. These parties can last anywhere from one and half hours to 3 hours.
-For ages 7-10, parties can be anytime in the early to late afternoons. At this age, you can throw a little more elaborate party, like a bowling, pizza, or skating rink party. Kids are incredibly social at this age, so plan on having kids hang out for about three hours.
How to Throw an Unforgettable Kid’s Birthday Party