Birthday Parrrrrty Planning in 5 easy steps!

By Liberty Starkweather Smith


What makes a birthday party great for kids? There are a lot of factors that go into answering this question. In the next few minutes we are going to discuss ways to make your next party, and future parties, huge successes. The following steps help pinpoint things to pay attention to.


Choose Your Day & Time: We live active lives. Have you ever considered having a birthday party on a weekday? The traditional route is to throw a party on a weekend, but when trying to combine active lifestyles, a weekday may work just as well. Also, depending on the time of day you choose, you may be providing a meal as opposed to providing a snack. Keep that in mind when you are choosing a time frame.


Where: An advantage of having an at home party means you have plenty of time to set everything up. It also means that you will clean everything up. Keep the time of year in mind. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Christmas in July birthday party? Ask yourself what is being featured at a local museum? Get creative. The amount of people you invite also determines a location, and vice versa.


How Long: Keep it short? Keep in mind that afterschool activities are usually short and sweet. Why? Mainly, because we are working with shorter attention spans, and need to keep them occupied. Just be prepared to fill the time appropriately.

Our friends over at say that a typical two hour party agenda might look like this:

  • 15-20 minutes – greet arrivals, free play and unstructured activities (art table, carnival games, etc.)
  • 30-45 minutes – organized games and activities
  • 15-20 minutes – refreshments
  • 20-30 minutes – additional organized games & activities and present opening
  • 15-20 minutes – free play and unstructured activities


Decide Invitees: It’s fun to sit down with your little ones and see whom they really want at their party. Do you want to keep the invites to family? Or maybe just classmates? Whatever the answers are, listen to what they have to say, and keep your budget in mind for planning your activities.


Activities: I could drone on and on about fun birthday party activities. But, I can’t top the ideas that are out on Pinterest. Do some pinning! One thing is certain: Kids love photo booths. You can find your own props, and make your own backdrop. The best part is all of the funny photos you will have. When you send out a thank you to family and friends, send them your favorite photo of them in the photo booth. How cool!

To assist you in your planning, we suggest looking for fun activities provided by local business. Why not enlist the help of professionals? There are many talented businesses in the Great Lakes Bay Region that can make your party a success!


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: I’ve found a great resource for you here. It is a wonderful Kids’ birthday party checklist!