Kids take their birthdays very seriously, and are extremely disappointed if their birthday parties are anything short of spectacular. Throwing an unforgettable kids birthday party can sometimes seem like a task better suited for a professional event planner. But with the proper party supplies, a little know how and a lot of imagination, you can throw a birthday party that the kids will be talking about all year.
Before you let your inner party planner take over, make sure that throughout the process you consult with the birthday boy or girl, unless of course the party is a surprise. Kids have their own ideas of what makes a party fun, and if the kids don't have a good time the party is a bust. Discuss possible theme ideas, party games, food, and favors with them to ensure everything is kid friendly. If you are planning a surprise party you can ask siblings or friends for ideas and opinions.
Theme Party Ideas
A successful kids birthday party starts off with a great theme. There are many great party themes you can choose from, everything from your child's favorite toy to their favorite movie genre. The possibilities are endless and a good theme can really help pull your entire party together.
Some possible themes include:
- Western (complete with cowboy hats)
- Princess (tiaras for all the girls)
- Cartoon characters
- Carnival (clowns and plenty of games)
- Toys (Bratz, Barbie, Hot Wheels, etc)
Once you have your theme chosen, planning out a kids birthday party becomes much easier. Try and get everything from the decorations to the food to tie into the theme. For instance, if you are throwing a Western theme party get cowboy birthday banners and serve up barbequed burgers, chili, and hot dogs. As party favors you can give each little guests their own cowboy or cowgirl hat to wear. Make sure the birthday boy or girl's hat is extra special.
Fun and Games
Games are an important part of any kids birthday party. Games should be fun and get everyone involved. Offering some small prizes to the winner of each game is also a great idea for the kids. Have a variety of games, some that require the kids to get active and some that requires them to use their heads. This will give everyone an opportunity to win a prize.
Some fun kid's games include:
- Musical chairs
- Pin the tail on the donkey (this can be tied into your party theme, for example if your theme is Disney you could have pin the ears on the mouse)
- Relay races (you can get really creative with this one and get the kids to do everything from run a course with a balloon stuck between their legs to three legged races)
- Memory games (show the kids a selection of items and see who can remember the most once you have taken them away)
Favors are one of the highlights for children at a birthday party. They love getting little gifts of their own to take home with them. You don't need to get too extravagant when it comes to party favors. Try and get some favors to go along with your theme. If you are having a princess theme give the girls tiaras as they arrive and a bag full of beauty items. Hairbrushes, hair clips, nail polish, and lip gloss are all fun and inexpensive ideas. More general favor ideas include pencil and eraser sets, notepads, and candies.
Food for Thought
Party food is a key component to any great birthday party. Depending on how long the party is, you'll probably want to offer a lunch or dinner as well as snack and treats throughout the day. Most kids don't have discriminating tastes so you don't need to go overboard with a gourmet meal. Simple is usually better when it comes to kids.
Keep your snacks standard. Candy, chips, and pop will suffice, there is no need to add any fancy appetizers to the mix since they will probably get ignored. However, adding a veggie and fruit plate is a good idea since even kids can get sick of the sweet stuff. Be sure to have plenty of beverages on hand, and to save your sanity try and avoid caffeinated pops. Juice and water should be on hand as well. You can also make a fun colorful fruit punch for the kids to enjoy.
As for food, stick with simple dishes such as pizza, burgers, and hotdogs. These items are simple to prepare (or order) and will be a hit with the kids. Before planning your menu check to see if any of the children have food allergies or special dietary needs. Most parents whose kids have serious allergies such as peanuts will probably let you know as soon as the invitation is accepted. However, if you've got a little vegetarian in the group the last thing you want to do is serve them a hamburger or hotdog.
The birthday cake is the piece de resistance of the party. Everyone loves to see what type of delightful cake will be presented and how many candles the birthday boy or girl can blow out. If your baking skills consists of adding eggs and water to a package mix, fear not. While a package cake will still be a hit with the kids, there are plenty of cake shops and bakeries that can create any cake you desire. For instance, if you're going with a baseball sports theme, you can get a delicious cake of any type shaped like a baseball. The kids will love it, and it saves you time and frustration as well. Make sure you know the birthday boy or girl's favorite flavor before you order.
While planning a birthday party can be a difficult and time consuming task, all the work will be worth it when you see how much fun all the kids have. Birthday parties are monumental occasion for kids, and the more special you can make it the better.
John Lenaghan writes about party planning and other tips for the Party Ideas 4u website, where he provides valuable tips and advice about Halloween party ideas, birthday party ideas and other party planning topics.