How to organise a children’s birthday party (without having a heart attack)

organise a children's birthday party

Party? Party? Did someone say party? Yes it’s your little sproglet’s birthday coming up soon and they have been burning your ear off with pleas for a birthday party – cue you running for the hills. But actually, things don’t have to be that complicated or costly….just fun filled and memorable! So here’s a quick run down of what you need to make your children’s birthday party (and not your sanity), fly:

Work out what’s right for them

Many kids are adaptable and will roll with whatever celebration you put on, as long as they get parental attention and some semblance of a normal routine.  But you know your own child – adjust the level of hoopla to whatever you think he/she can handle.

Think about who’s coming

Are young kids coming? Have your party take place either before 1 p.m. or after 3 p.m. to avoid naptime conflict and over tiredness meltdowns. Give the party a start and end time so everyone knows exactly what’s what.

With the birthday invitations themselves, forget expensive invites – try going DIY add a homemade touch by tracing your child’s hand on the outside of a blank card. Or let your toddler “decorate” with stickers. That should keep them entertained for a while!

And at the risk of sounding utterly crazy…consider having separate parties for the grown-up crowd (grandparents and other relatives, plus adult friends) and the kiddie crowd (cousins, playgroup kids) to save everyone’s sanity and manage volume levels.

Each celebration needs different things

Grown-ups want adult food and at least a few hours to talk and catch up. But a party full of kids who are the same age should be nonstop games, kiddie style finger food.

Have an activity to do immediately to warm up the kids. Try something simple like colouring birthday hats or putting stickers on a “Happy Birthday” sign. Then it’s time to get serious:

    • Decorate the children. For instance  with face painting, Not all toddlers like this, but some love it. Ideally you know a friend or teenager who’s good at it –
    • Go on a scavenger hunt. Kids can search for cheap little prizes or something seasonal (mini pumpkins).
    • Musical chairs. Play music and let the kids cut loose dancing. When the music stops you know the drill – the kids have to find a chair, and no one has to be “out.” Just play until the kids get bored! 
    • Musical hot potato. The kids sit in a circle and pass a stuffed toy around while the music plays. When the music stops, the child left holding the toy is “out” (but gets to go somewhere fun). The last one holding the toy wins. 

The opening of gifts

As utterly hard as this might sound, try not opening gifts until after everyone leaves as there can be a lot of jealous little gremlins. Do try to write down who gave you what then get together with your little one and send short thank-you notes. Kids love goody bags, so try ensure they leave with one otherwise be faced with lots of scowl-y faces on departure!

What are your tips for organising a children’s party? Do you have anything to add to the above? Please do leave a comment below and share.

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