Published February 19, 2010 by
Step 1 - Pick a Theme
Before buying any supplies, you will want to think about the theme of the party. Will it be your child's favorite cartoon character? Or maybe they would like a Pirate or Luau theme! Children love to have a say in their theme, so you could take them to your local party store or browse party supply websites for available themes. Think about who will be attending the party also. If your daughter is inviting girls AND boys, a 100% princess party may not make the boys feel very welcome!
Step 2 - Invitations/Guest List
You can purchase invitations that match your theme, or get creative and make your own! Be sure to include who the party is for, date, time of party (including ending time), location (with directions) and an RSVP number and e-mail address. Put your own name next to the RSVP in case some parents may not know you by name.
If you're not sure who to invite, the old rule of thumb is that the number of guests should equal the age of the child (a four-year-old, for example, would invite four children). Young children in particular are hard to organize and can get overwhelmed easily so it's best to keep the number of guests small. Make sure you have enough adults on hand to handle issues that come up, so you don't get overwhelmed too!
Step 3 - Location
The cheapest and easiest place to host a birthday party is at your own home. This especially works best with the "under 5" crowd. Other great birthday party locations are the local park, zoo, movie theater, bowling alley, amusement park, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Aquarium, Community Center/Pool, Mini Golf or Children's Museum. Wherever you have your party, keep a special spot for your kid's birthday presents so guests have somewhere to put them.
Step 4 - Refreshments and Food
The cake is the much anticipated centerpiece of the party! Bake your own or contact your local bakery about making one for you. Cupcakes are a quick and easy alternative.
It's a good idea to have a variety of beverages for the children to pick from, and don't forget bottled water for those who cannot have pop or juice.
Get the children involved with the food and let them make their own pizzas or tacos. Set up a table in the kitchen having ready made crusts and bowls of toppings on it and let each guest custom design their own pizza.
Step 5 - Games/Activities
If you're having your party at home, you'll want to prepare some games or activities ahead of time. The internet is a great source for finding fun birthday party games! Make the games simple. Don't choose games that will be long or complicated. Some people choose to replace the games with activities like tie-dying t-shirts or painting a piggy bank. That way each child goes home with something that will remind them of the great birthday party you planned!