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Top 10 Party Tips

So, here are my top 10 tips for a fun kids party for younger kids:

1.      No favor bags!  Kids don’t need them.  They don’t even notice when you don’t give them one.  Save the money!  If you HAVE to give them something to take home, make it ONE small thing or a prop they used during the party like a hat or princess wand or whatever.

2.      Make the cake special.  It doesn’t have to be professionally decorated.  There are tons of cute and simple ideas out there for making fun cakes.  Family Fun has a lot of good ones.  Or, if baking is not your thing you can buy a fun cake from somewhere like the grocery store.  You can also do cupcakes and just put something cute on the top that goes with the party.

3.      Play games, but DON’T have prizes.  I can’t stress this one enough.  Prizes only make everyone but the kid who wins feel bad.  Kids don’t need prizes to enjoy playing games.  I gave up on prizes a few years ago and have never heard a complaint.  If you HAVE to give prizes, give one to EVERY kid for EVERY game you play.  This will keep hurt feelings and tears to a minimum.

4.      Do NOT serve a meal.  Ok, if your kids are older and it is meal time you might be able to get them to eat some pizza.  But for little kids, just serve a few snack items and then cake.  You don’t even have to serve ice cream if you don’t want to.  Kids’ tummies are small.  Don’t expect them to be able to eat like adults.

5.      Decorate!  Decorations set the mood…they make the party feel like a party.  You don’t need to go to the party store and spend hundreds of dollars.  Our favorite decorations are streamers and balloons.  You will have a fun cake for a centerpiece.  And you can have a colorful tablecloth and plates and cups and napkins.  I like to buy the plates and napkins and cups in solid colors.  If the kid requests some type of character party, like Spiderman, then I MIGHT get those plates.  But I really prefer the look and feel of brightly colored dinnerware.  I coordinate them with the streamers and balloons to keep things looking cohesive.  Tissue paper pom poms are another fun and inexpensive way to liven up the place, especially for a girl’s party.  Paper banner garlands are all the rage and I love them!  I have made a couple because I have a Silhouette craft cutter.  You can buy one on Etsy for a reasonable price if you really want to up the excitement factor of your decorations.  You could get a brightly colored one that says “Happy Birthday” and then it would probably look cute with most of the parties you throw.

6.      Have an activity planned for the “waiting time” at the beginning of the party.  Puzzles are good.  Coloring is good.  Coloring on a paper tablecloth is fun.  Just something they can kind of do independently while you are welcoming other guests.

7.      Do cake at the very end.  Don’t hype the kids up on sugar until the last moment, and then send them out the door to their parents!  I even suggest opening gifts before cake.  It drives me nuts when the child is opening gifts and the kids are so super hyper that they are practically mobbing the birthday child.  Waiting to serve cake at the end seems to help.

8.      Serve Cheese Balls.  You know what I mean...those little chip balls like Cheetos that you can buy in a huge barrel at Sam’s Club.  Kids LOVE LOVE LOVE these things.  Just make sure you let them wash their hands after they eat them so your whole house doesn’t turn orange.

9.      Set the table.  This is something I have been doing the past few years since we got a huge kitchen table.  It isn’t imperative, but I think it is fun for the kids.  I like to have the table set with the plates and cups and napkins when they get there.  I will hang streamers above the table to make it feel more festive.  I will have the food set out (unless it needs to be in the fridge).  Then each kid has a seat to sit on to eat their food and they won’t be running around your house eating.

10.  Remain calm.  Things won’t always go perfect.  Expect spills on your clean floor. (If you are smart you will wait to mop until AFTER the party)  Expect someone to get hurt.  Expect the birthday child or a guest to have a meltdown at some point.  But the kids will still have a good time.  If all you did was invite them all over to play with your old toys they would still have fun.  SO, everything else you do is just icing on the Birthday cake!


  1. Great tips! My daughter is 19 now and I remember the birthday parties so well. I decided very early on that we keep the attendees to a minimum. At her 5th party, she invited waaaay too many and it was total chaos. But looking back, it is the party we remember the most!

  2. Love your suggestions! Your decorations are so great! You have awesome tips!! Keep up the great work!

  3. Great tips - especially the last one. I know my children frequently ended up crying during their birthday parties for one reason or another. They still liked having them, though.

  4. I agree with everything--except the cheese balls. I just can't bring myself to do that! I'm having a party with a dozen 5 & 6 year olds on Saturday--great refresher course!

  5. It looks like that was a blast! Great job! Thanks for all the tips!



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