Have you been tasked with planning your little one’s upcoming birthday party? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Throwing an amazing kid’s birthday bash is easier than you might think. You don’t need expensive activities, fancy venues or gourmet catering to create memories that will last for years to come. All you really need are a few essentials, some imagination, and a spirit of fun. In this article, we’ll share 10 of our tried-and-true tips for an awesome kid’s birthday party on any budget. From keeping the guest list short and sticking to a theme to getting the timing right and sending memorable invitations, these tricks can help ensure your child has a special day they’ll never forget. Let’s get this party started!
Start Planning Early for an Amazing Kid’s Party
Planning a kid’s birthday party takes work, but with some forethought you can pull off an amazing celebration your child will never forget.
Start planning at least a month ahead
- Make a guest list with your child and send out invitations 3 to 4 weeks in advance. Ask for RSVPs to get a headcount for activities, favours, and cake.
- Choose a theme like a favourite movie, TV show, or hobby to make decorating and activities easy and fun.
- Book a venue if needed, whether it’s a play centre, recreation hall or your own backyard. Make sure there’s adequate space for both kids and adults.
- Create an schedule of events to keep the party moving, including time for opening presents. Mix active and passive activities to suit all guests.
- Arrange party favours or small take-home gifts for guests. Kids will appreciate a memento of the special day.
Delegate tasks to helpers
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Ask other parents, friends or older kids to help supervise activities, serve food and assist where needed. Provide clear instructions so they feel supported in their role.
With advance planning, help from others, and a fun theme your child connects with, you’ll be set to host an amazing party they’ll talk about for years to come. Keeping events moving, providing variety, and focusing on your child and their guests will ensure everyone has an enjoyable, memorable experience. Most of all, relax and have fun with it – your child’s enthusiasm will make all the effort worthwhile!
Send Out Fun Custom Invitations
Sending out fun, customised invitations is a great way to get the kids excited for the party. Make your own invitations or have the kids design their own – they’ll love being involved in the planning!
Design the invitations
Have the birthday child pick out their favourite colours, characters or theme to help inspire the design. Get stickers, stencils, stamps and washi tape so the kids can get creative. For a movie-themed party, design tickets or a clapperboard. For a science party, make little lab coat invitations. The options are endless!
Include interactive elements
To build anticipation, include puzzles or games on the invitations like dot-to-dots, mazes, word searches or crosswords featuring the party theme or birthday child’s name. You could also do temporary tattoos, stickers or mini play-doh.
Provide all the important details
Don’t forget to include the party location, date, time, RSVP details, gift suggestions or if it’s a surprise party! You’ll also want to note any important information like if it’s a pool party, costume party or has a theme to follow.
Keep it kid-friendly
Use kid-friendly language and make the invitations interactive and fun. This will get the children excited and set the mood for your amazing party! Sending engaging invitations is a great way to kick off the celebration and set the perfect tone for your child’s special day.
With some creativity and the help of the kids, you can design invitations that will delight the little guests and get them ready to celebrate! Customised invitations are a simple touch that will make your child’s birthday party extra special.
Decorate With Your Child’s Favourite Characters
Decorating for your kid’s birthday party with their favourite characters and themes will make the day extra special. Work with your child to plan out the details so they feel involved in the whole process.
Balloons are a must for any kid’s party. Get balloons in your child’s favourite colours or with characters on them. Spell out your child’s name or age in balloons for an fun, eye-catching display. You can also get balloon bouquets, arches or columns to create a dramatic entrance into the party space.
Create a custom banner with your child’s name and age or favourite characters. Use felt, fabric or cardstock and decorate it with stickers, stencils or hand-drawn images. Hang the banner up high where all the guests can see it as they arrive.
Plates, Cups and Napkins
Stock up on themed plates, cups, napkins, straws and tablecloths featuring your child’s favourite TV, movie or book characters. Not only will the kids love using them, but it also makes for an easy, built-in decoration for food and drink tables.
Games and Activities
Plan games, crafts, activities and treats featuring familiar characters and themes. Some ideas include:
- Pin the tail on the donkey… or Pokémon!
- Musical chairs to the Mario Bros theme song
- Make your own wands or light sabres
- Decorate cupcakes to look like minions or princesses
- Have a dance party to the Hot Dog Dance or Baby Shark
Props and Decorations
Include props, cut-outs or plush toys of beloved characters. You can also get scene setters, like a castle backdrop or spaceship window. These make for perfect photo ops and really bring the theme to life. Your child and their friends will have a blast posing and playing make-believe with all these fun decorations.
With some creativity and help from your child, you can transform any space into a wonderland of their favourite characters and themes. These kinds of personal touches will make this birthday party extra memorable for years to come.
Set Up Exciting Party Games
One of the best ways to keep kids engaged at a birthday party is to organise some fun games and activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
This classic party game is always a hit. Play some upbeat music and have the kids walk in a circle around a row of chairs. When the music stops, everyone has to sit in a chair. Remove one chair each round until someone is out. Keep going until you have a winner!
Have the kids sit in a circle and pass around a small gift or toy while music plays. When the music stops, whoever is holding the item is out. Keep playing until one child is left. They get to keep the prize! This game teaches kids to pay attention and moves quickly.
How low can you go? Set up a limbo bar or pole and play festive music while each child takes a turn going under the bar. Lower the bar after each successful round. Anyone who touches the bar or falls is out. Last one standing wins! This classic party game works best for kids ages 4 and up.
Send the kids on an adventure! Create a list of 10-15 small items or objects for them to find, like a red leaf, smooth rock, feather, etc. The first child to find everything on the list and return wins a prize. You can theme the hunt to match your party theme for an extra challenge. Scavenger hunts keep kids busy exploring and are fun for a wide age range.
Relay races are exciting games that teach teamwork. Have the kids work together in teams to complete a challenge, like hopping across the yard, carrying an egg on a spoon, or wrapping up a teammate like a mummy! Keep the activities lighthearted and fun. Relay races with small prizes for the winning team are always a hit at kids’ birthday parties.
With some prep and enthusiasm, you’ll have a yard full of kids laughing, playing and making happy memories. Keep the games moving and be ready to jump in and help guide the fun. Most importantly, relax and enjoy this special time with your child!
Consider Renting a Jumping Castle
A jumping castle or bouncy house can make any kid’s birthday party memorable. Renting one for a few hours will provide endless entertainment for little ones and give the grown-ups a chance to relax.
Look for deals
Shop around at different party rental companies in your area to compare prices and packages. Many offer bundle deals if you rent a jumping castle along with tables, chairs, or other equipment. Some may even throw in extras like a popcorn or cotton candy machine. The more you rent, the bigger the discount.
Check if the company offers any promotions or coupons on their website or social media pages. You may be able to save 10-25% off the total rental fees. Be sure to book at least 2-4 weeks in advance to ensure availability and the best rates.
Size and theme
Choose a jumping castle size and theme based on the number of kids attending and their age range. For younger kids, select a smaller sized unit with simple shapes and colours. Bigger kids will enjoy obstacle courses, slides, and interactive games. Themed castles featuring princesses, pirates, or superheroes are always a hit.
Let the kids’ imagination go wild in a magical fairy tale or fantasy themed jumping castle. Or for adventure, pick an aquatic or jungle themed one. The options are endless!
Set a time limit
As fun as jumping castles are, kids can get overexcited and chaotic. Set a reasonable time limit for each group to bounce, such as 30 minutes. This will prevent arguments over whose turn it is and give everyone a fair chance to enjoy it.
Have kids take off their shoes, glasses, and any sharp objects before entering the castle. Only allow a certain number of kids in at a time based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Always have adult supervision to enforce rules and help anyone who needs it.
Following these useful tips will ensure the jumping castle is the highlight of your child’s birthday party without a hitch. The kids will love you for it and talk about the epic bouncy house for years to come!
Buy an Inflatable Water Slide
An inflatable water slide is always a hit at kids’ birthday parties. Here are some tips to make it a success:
Choose an age-appropriate slide
For young kids, look for a small slide without steep drops that’s easy to climb. For mixed ages, a slide with multiple lanes of differing heights works well. Make sure any slide you rent complies with safety standards and the weight limits for the ages attending.
Find a level space
You’ll need a large, flat area in your yard to set up the slide. Clear the space of any debris before the party. Consider renting a slide with its own sprinkler system to wet the slide—you’ll need a water source nearby and space for the sprinkler pool. If not, have hoses, kiddie pools, buckets and towels on hand for kids to splash in.
Supervise and assist
assign adults to actively supervise at the top, bottom, and in the splash pool or sprinkler area. Help kids climb the ladder and slide down, especially younger children. Catch kids at the bottom of the slide and guide them out of the way quickly after they splash down.
Set ground rules
Establish rules ahead of time, like “slide feet first only” and “one child on the slide at a time.” Review the rules before the party and post them prominently near the slide. Enforce the rules kindly but firmly to avoid injuries. Consider giving kids wristbands or stamps as they arrive to indicate who has reviewed the rules.
Time the fun
Limit the number of kids on the slide structure and in the splash area at once. Rotate groups to prevent overcrowding and long waits. You might set time limits, like 15-20 minutes in the area before rotating to other party activities. This will make the experience more enjoyable for all the kids.
With some organisation and active supervision, a water slide can make for a fun, memorable birthday party experience. The kids will surely appreciate your effort in helping them have an amazing, splashtastic day!
Have Plenty of Food and Drinks for Kids and Adults
Having plenty of kid-friendly food and drinks at a children’s birthday party is key to keeping guests happy and energised. Kids can burn a lot of energy at parties, so make sure to have snacks on hand to avoid any meltdowns. For the adults, provide options to keep them satisfied as well.
Kid-Friendly Finger Foods
Little hands love finger foods that are easy to grab and go. Some great options include:
-Mini pizzas: Use English muffins, pita bread or pre-made crusts and top with cheese and sauce. Let the kids add their own toppings like pepperoni, vegetables and more.
-Chicken nuggets: Always a kid favourite. You can bake your own or use pre-made frozen nuggets.
-Mac and cheese: The ultimate comfort food for children. Serve in small cups or bowls.
-Fruit kabobs: Bright, colourful and fun to eat. Use grapes, strawberries, melon and berries on skewers.
-Veggies and dip: Carrots, cucumbers and peppers pair well with ranch dressing or hummus.
-Cupcakes or cookies: Have a sweet treat to round out the menu. Bite-sized is best for little ones.
In addition to the standard juice boxes, Capri Suns and bottled water, also provide:
-Fruit punch: A kid party staple. You can find pre-made or make your own.
-Lemonade: For warm weather parties, a refreshing drink is perfect. Serve pre-made or homemade.
-Iced tea: For the adults, a variety of herbal and flavoured teas on ice are a nice option.
Keeping the food and drinks light, colourful and kid-centric will ensure all the little party guests stay happy, fueled and ready to play. And by providing some options for the adults as well, the parents and caregivers will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Most importantly, relax and enjoy this special time with friends and family!
Create Engaging Play Dough Activities
One of the highlights of any kid’s birthday party is engaging activities to keep them entertained. Play dough is a perfect option for little hands and big imaginations. Here are some tips to create fun play dough stations at your child’s party:
Provide lots of tools and props
Have plenty of tools on hand for the kids to manipulate the play dough. Things like:
- Rolling pins, cookie cutters, and play dough scissors
- Stamps, beads, sequins, pasta, beans for decorating and embedding
- Moulds for shapes like animals, letters, numbers
- Mixing tools like whisks, spatulas, and garlic presses
Set up different stations
Rather than just putting out play dough and tools on a table, create different stations for kids to explore. Some ideas:
- Sculpting station with moulds, tools for sculpting shapes and figures
- Collage station with materials to press into the dough
- Kitchen station with play food, dishes, and utensils for pretend cooking
- Construction station with blocks, sticks, and tools to build structures
Add extras for more fun
Include additional items to spark creativity. Things like:
- Glitter, paint, food colouring to dye the dough different colours
- Googly eyes, buttons, yarn, ribbon, string for decorating creatures
- Small world toys like toy cars, animals, people for a play dough town
Guide without interfering
Walk around to each station and show the kids different techniques and ways they can manipulate the dough. Then step back and let them explore freely. Only interfere if frustrations start to build or dough starts getting thrown! Play dough time should be open-ended fun. You can read this guidelines for play dough activities for better creativity and fun.
With some simple set up and guidance, play dough activities can engage kids for hours at a birthday party. Unleash their creativity and they’ll be making birthday cake sculptures, alien spaceships, and all sorts of crazy creatures in no time! Play dough for the win!
Make a DIY Photo Booth for Fun Memories
A DIY photo booth is an easy and fun addition to any kid’s birthday party. It gives the little guests an activity to do and provides the birthday boy or girl with memories from their special day.
You’ll need a few basic supplies:
- A backdrop: Consider using a solid coloured sheet, fabric, or cardboard. Or get creative with streamers, balloons, or a homemade banner.
- A camera: Use a digital camera, Polaroid camera, or your phone. Make sure you have extra batteries and memory cards.
- Props: Things like funny glasses, hats, boas, signs, etc. Raid your closet or pick up a pack of assorted props.
- A container for the photos: Provide a scrapbook, photo album, or decorated box for guests to put their photos in as a gift for the birthday child.
Set it Up
Hang your backdrop against a wall, secure it to stands, or have friends or family members hold it. Place the props nearby in boxes or baskets where guests can easily access them. Position the camera on a tripod or table aimed at the backdrop. Make sure you have good lighting, natural or artificial. Test some sample shots to ensure proper framing and focus.
Capture the Memories
Encourage guests to pose for photos alone, with friends or family, or with the birthday boy or girl. Get silly and creative! Take both posed and candid shots. Print the photos as guests take them and have them add the photos to the gift container. Or take digital photos and print them later to create an album or slideshow as an extra gift.
A DIY photo booth is an easy, budget-friendly activity that provides entertainment for party guests both young and old. The memories captured from the day will last well beyond when the cake and presents have disappeared. Your child is sure to cherish their custom photo album or scrapbook for years to come.
End With a Gift Opening and Favour Bags for All
The party’s winding down, the cake’s been eaten, and the kids are still buzzing from all the fun and games. Now it’s time for the gift opening and party favours to send all the little guests home with a smile.
Have the birthday child sit in a place of honour, like their special birthday chair or at the head of the table. Ask the other children to gather around in a circle. Start passing out the gifts one by one to be opened. As each gift is opened, encourage the birthday child to show the item to the other kids and read any cards aloud. This helps the other children feel included and builds excitement as more presents are revealed. Take photos of the birthday child with each gift to look through together later.
Once all the presents have been opened, have the birthday child stand up and give a loud “thank you” to all their friends for coming and for the wonderful gifts. Lead the other kids in a round of applause for the birthday child. This final gesture makes the birthday child feel special and appreciated on their big day.
As the guests are leaving, make sure each child gets a favour bag or small treat bag to take home. Fill the bags with small toys, stickers, play jewellery, mini play-doh, bubbles, mini colouring books, or other trinkets and treats. You can also include a thank you note from the birthday child for coming to the party. These little take-home gifts are a final surprise and souvenir from the fun event.
Sending your party guests home with smiles, full bellies, and treat bags ensures they’ll be talking about what an amazing party it was for days to come! Providing that perfect ending with a gift opening and favours for all is the cherry on top of a kid’s birthday celebration done right.
Have a Funtastic party
So there you have it, 10 tips and tricks to throw an amazing kid’s birthday party without breaking the bank or losing your sanity. Follow these and your little one is sure to have a birthday they’ll never forget. Most of all, don’t stress yourself out. Keep things fun and lighthearted – after all, it’s a party! Focus on bringing people together to celebrate this special little person in your life. If the day doesn’t go exactly as planned, don’t worry. At the end of it all, the only thing that really matters is the memories you make and the joy you bring. Now take a deep breath and get excited – you’ve got a party to throw! Make it fun, keep it simple, and enjoy this moment. The year goes by so fast, so make their birthday one to remember. You’ve got this!