Birthday Party Planning Tips

by Pinkchic18

If you're planning an upcoming birthday party and you're not sure where to get started, this is the place to be. Get helpful tips and advice for planning a birthday party!

Birthday parties are what kids look forward to for months! They love to imagine the games they'll play with friends and of course the gifts they'll open. So when it comes to planning a birthday party, you need to make sure you stay organized and remember the little things that the kids will be wanting.

Mind Your Money

Extravagant is so 2010

Gone are the days of elaborate birthday parties where no expense is spared. Today’s families are watching every penny and everyone’s in the same boat. If you have a birthday party to plan, consider it a challenge to do it in the most cost-effective and least chaotic way. If you’re calm, everyone else will be, too. And if you’re confident in the party you have planned, everyone will have fun.

Choose a Theme

Or ask for help with a theme

Start with a theme. Ask your child what he or she likes. You may already know because you know them so well, but you may be surprised at how children’s tastes can change overnight. Ask what colors are his/her favorite and what animal they like best. If it’s orange and tigers, throw a jungle themed party. If it’s blue and sea horses, throw an undersea adventure. If you'd rather not ask for themes, you can get an idea by asking what they'd like for birthday gifts - it might give you some clues.

Party Theme Ideas
10 Plastic Flip Flop Party String Lights Beach Luau

Set of 10 3" long Flip Flop Lights. Light up your luau or your year-round tree with these flip flop lights! For indoor and outdoor use, they'd also be fun for a party with a ...

Only $16.68
12 Assorted Foam Animal Masks for Birthday Party Favors Dress-up Costume

A WILD assortment of foam animal masks. Great for any jungle, safari or zoo themed party. You will get 12 masks in an assortment of animals. the assortment has ...

$7.25  $3.35
COW Spots Table Cover Plastic Party Decor Supplies Theme Farm Barnyard

Need some party decor with flare for your next hoedown? This cow spots table cover would be a great choice to add some personality to your shindig! Measures 54 x 72". ...

Only $6.99
Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome

Yo Gabba Gabba! is a groundbreaking television series that infuses retro style and modern-day music to teach simple life lessons. A vibrant cast of puppet characters and ...

$7.95  $3.99

Set a Budget

And stick with it

Once you have your theme, think about a budget. How much can you realistically handle spending without it blowing the money for the month’s bills? If you’ve got $100 to spend, stick with that figure. Your budget will help guide your guest list. Maybe you can’t have 16 of Bobby’s closest friends, but you can have eight. Explain to your child that there’s a limit to the amount of kids he can have.

Select a Location

Within the means of your budget

Decide, based on your budget, where you will have the party. Is it going to be at your house? Can you afford a restaurant? If you are worried about costs, see if you can rent an area at a museum or children’s play place for two hours. If that’s still too costly, grab some picnic tables at the local park or head to an outdoor space in the community like a field or nature preserve. These places are open to the public for free and they often have picnic space.

Hosting at Home

With minimal stress

Image by premus on FlickrIf you’re having the party at home, don’t feel like you have to clean your entire house from top to bottom.

Just clean the main room that the party will be in and the bathroom the guests will use.

Tidy up the other areas and close the doors. You’re not required to give a whole tour of your home or make it accessible to everyone.

Coordinating for Cheap

Make average look amazing

Image by Greene/Ellis on FlickrPlan for fun. Go light on the licensed character goods. The more popular the cartoon character, the more you’re going to pay for items in the set.

They know they have you and that you’ll want the cake plates, napkins and all the matching cups and accessories. Stick to just the plates and maybe the napkins and then go with a coordinating solid color for everything else. It’s much cheaper to go with the Scooby Doo plates and napkins and then get the rest of the stuff in blue from the dollar store.

You can even bring in a Scooby balloon to help carry the theme through without breaking the bank.

Party Favors

Only if you have to have them

Don’t feel you have to buy costly favors to give out. In fact, you don’t have to have birthday party favors at all.

One cute (and cheap) idea if you want to do favors is to send home a cupcake with each guest.  Individual cupcake boxes are cheap at the craft store baking aisle.

You can have them all set out on the table looking pretty during the party and then guests can take them home.

Remember the Reason

The party is to honor a person, keep it simple and fun

Above all, remember that it’s a party for someone you love. If they have fun, everyone will have fun. You don’t have to go out and buy an expensive Xbox so the kids will have something to do. Send them outside to play soccer or have them play charades if they can’t go outside. Turn on the radio and have an impromptu dance party. Kids will follow each other’s leads, so if one starts dancing, they all will.

Your party can be festive with handwritten invitations, favors that you gather from the dollar store, and a cake you bake yourself. Never feel pressured to do more than you can comfortably afford.

Who's birthday will be the next party you are planning?


More Helpful Articles

Party Ideas & Tips

Cheap and Unique Birthday Party Venue or Location Ideas

Birthday Tea Party Ideas

Birthday Party Ideas for Girls - Ages 8 to 12

Child's Birthday Party Planning Tips - Memorable Kids Parties

Birthday Parties For Kids in 5 Easy Steps!

Updated: 03/10/2014, Pinkchic18
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halloween events in nyc on 10/31/2013

Hi there and thanks for this interesting and important post. This is the information I was looking for. I like the way things are being executed and discussed here.

katiem2 on 04/23/2012

I'm still planning my daughters birthday party this May, she's a memorial day baby. I love having birthday parties for my daughters. Birthdays are always so much fun. I really enjoyed ready your helpful birthday planning tips. Now if I can just get my daughter to agree with the final touches, her birthday will be complete. I'm a planner she's a more of a wait till the last minute and changer her mind sort of kid. Its all good in the party planning phases :)

janices7 on 01/03/2012

I've been to (and planned) lots of birthday parties that weren't expensive, but still quite fun for both kids and adults. I wholeheartedly agree that you don't have to break the bank.

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