Kids' Birthday Party Planning

Everyone loves a party, especially kids. This kids' birthday party planning article provides many useful ideas and tips to help you plan a great party for your child.

Kids’ Birthday Parties 101

Kids get super excited at the prospect of inviting friends to their birthday party. Planning an event that meets their expectations and your budget is no easy task, but with the proper foresight and organization you can easily throw a great party that everyone will appreciate and remember. The trick is to start early, and do you best to anticipate all the things you'll need to buy and prepare before the little guests begin arriving.

Choose a Theme

Some of the best birthday parties are themed events. When choosing a theme, you'll want to be sure it relates to something your child enjoys, such as a popular game, book, cartoon or movie. Character parties are always a good option with kids. Examples of popular characters include Barbie, Monster High, Cars and Disney Princesses. If you child isn't interested in characters or is too young to appreciate them, you could go with general themes such as pirates or owls. Focusing the party on a specific theme also helps when it comes to selecting activities, decorations, place settings and special foods.

Date & Details

When picking the date, be sure to check the calendar for conflicts such as holidays and long weekends. If your child and guests are quite young, consider holding the party earlier in the day so nobody misses their afternoon nap! An event lasting 2½ hour is generally sufficient for everyone to play, eat and feel they've had a good time. You also need to decide whether to hold the party at home or somewhere else, such as a movie theatre, restaurant, private party venue or community centre.


Your invitation should contain all the necessary party details, including the location, start and end times and the menu. Be sure to include any special instructions, such as whether guests are expected to bring something from home. You should also provide your personal contact information (phone number or email), so parents can ask questions before the party or reach you during the event. When it comes to distributing the invitations, you can easily turn this into a fun, memorable activity by accompanying your child on a personal delivery trip. 

Games & Activities

Consider focusing the party on a central activity, such as painting pottery at a studio, going to see a popular movie or playing in an indoor playground. This will give the party structure and make it easier to manage the kids and their expectations. Alternative approaches include providing a wide selection of games and activities that will appeal to all tastes, or hiring an entertainer to engage the kids for a portion of the party.

Plan the Menu

A birthday party must have a cake with fun decorations, but you should also provide your guests (and any parents who take part) with a choice of snacks and drinks. Consider pizza and finger foods. Or cook up burgers and hot dogs ahead of time, so you can simply heat them up when it's time to eat. A fruit or vegetable tray, potato chips, juice boxes and bottled water are also suitable items that everyone will enjoy.

Plates and Napkins

You should consider using disposable plates and napkins for the party. They make cleanup easy, and you can get colourful, fun designs that coordinate with your party's theme.

After the Party

When the party is over and parents arrive to take their children home, have the birthday boy or girl thank the guests for coming and hand out loot bags. You can fill the bags with fun items such as stickers, small toys, games, candies or activity pads. Kids are still excited when leaving a party and often forget things. If this happens, gather up the items, bring them home and contact the parents/guests afterwards.

Kids Birthday Party Tips:

• Two to three days before the party, order the helium balloons, purchase the food, drinks and party supplies, and put the loot bags together
• Make sure your camera is charged
• The day before: if the party is at home, clean the area where the kids will be playing and bake the cake or cupcakes
• Four to five hours before: pick up the balloons and decorate the room
• One to two hours before: set up the table and any stations for serving food and drink
• Make a few extra loot bags so you’ll have them ready for any extra guests that happen to arrive at the party
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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