Planning a birthday party for kids doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With a little creativity, planning, and these tips, you can throw a party that will be a big hit. Pre-party planning with your child can be as much fun as the party itself. So have fun while planning your child’s birthday party! 

Guest List

Begin the party planning with the guest list.  When making the list, keep in mind the amount of space available for the party as well as the theme. There has to be enough space for everything.

Party Theme

The theme of the party should be something that reflects an interest of your child’s, a favorite activity, or a character.

Scheduling Your Party

When you’re ready to set the date and time for the party, be sure there aren’t any holidays or other conflicts. Schedule the party during the time of day when your child has the most energy. If your child’s actual birthday falls at a time when you can’t have the party, it’s fine to have the party another day.

Party Activities and Timing

Party activities are the most fun for children when they’re the active participants. They love doing real life things such as baking a cake, pretending or playing make-believe, or acting out nursery rhymes. It’s important to create a magical and welcoming feeling as the children arrive. Playing music or planning a welcome activity helps to keep the guests busy until everyone arrives. Plan on starting a planned program approximately 15 minutes into the party, late-comers can always join in. Be sure to have someone to meet and greet the stragglers. Parties should run between 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours depending on the activity and the ages of the children.


Party refreshments are best when served at the end of the party; guests are usually too excited to eat at the beginning. Children do not need more than 15 minutes at the table.  When you’re ready to serve the guests, have everything ready so they don’t have to wait.

If there is a lot of time at the end of the refreshments, create a game out of the party favors.  Form a circle, turn on the music, and play “pass the favor.” When the music stops, the person holding the favor keeps it.


Present opening can be saved for after the guests leave. Send your child on a treasure hunt for the gifts. This activity helps to fight the sad feeling some children get after their party is over.


Plan your child’s party outfit the night before and leave enough time for pre-party pictures. Ask a friend to use the camera while you host the party. Capture the party on video. If there’s extra time, show the video at the end of the party. Take a picture of your child opening each of the presents and include a photo in the thank you notes to guests. 

For more tips and fun party ideas on celebrating birthdays visit Wilton's website.