The Ultimate Birthday Party Planning Guide

Planning a birthday party for your kid can be both exciting and stressful. The excitement stems from your kid being the center of everyone’s attention for a whole day. The stress comes from the fact that you’ll have to plan everything from the food to the activities to the decorations, all without so much as a hitch.

When it comes to planning the perfect birthday party, it seems the more options you have, the better. This being said, sometimes the “less is more” approach works better, especially when you’re on a shoestring budget. Sure, it would be nice to have cake, ice cream, and balloons all over the place, but if you’re looking for that “wow” factor that will make everyone smile, consider these simple ways to make your child’s birthday party a truly memorable event.

Decide on the type of party

If you’re a parent, then you know that planning birthday parties can be time-consuming and stressful. Half the work can be done by deciding on a theme, however. A fancy-dress party always works well for younger kids, as they can dress up and have fun pretending to be an animal, a superhero, or a book/film/TV character.


Planning your child’s birthday party can be a lot of work, and a lot of money. Food and decorations often cost the most, but you can save on food by asking guests to bring a dish or snack of their own to contribute to the meal. Meanwhile, a simple pack of balloons costs very little but will do a lot to brighten things up. Ultimately, make sure your child understands that money doesn’t grow on trees to ensure their expectations aren’t set unreasonably high.

Invite guests

It’s best to do this at least a month in advance to give guests time to plan and respond. Traditionally, paper invites are the easiest way to invite your child’s friends. They can simply be handed out at school, but they can take time to design and print. If you’re in a parents’ WhatsApp group, it might be faster to message everyone, but this can take the fun out of it somewhat, so only do this if you’re tight on time.

Find an activity

Whilst it might be great fun to go paintballing or bowling, this may be out of your budget. Traditional party games, like musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey and musical statues are all great fun and free, and do a great job at tiring little ones out. Older children may prefer ice skating or laser tag, but you’ll need to budget for this, so you might need to restrict numbers.

Food and Drink

For younger children, simple sandwiches, sausage rolls, crisps, carrot sticks, chocolate bars, and yogurts will do the job. For them, it’s less about the food and more about having fun. A cake at the end is the perfect way to finish the party, and guests can take their slice home in their party bag. Older children may enjoy a restaurant more, with some offering deals and decorations as part of a birthday package. Just remember, lots of kids nowadays have allergies, so avoid nuts and shellfish and have vegan/gluten-free options for those with dietary requirements.


It’s easy to go over the top with decorations. At the end of the day, all kids want is a helium balloon to take home, so budget for these first. If you have any money left over, consider paper chains, streamers, a banner, and fairy lights. A lot can be handmade, and you can even make paper chains with your kid as a fun pre-party activity to get them excited. For older children, move away from bright primary colors and choose gold and silver instead to make them feel special.

Hopefully, this article is a useful guide to planning a birthday party. It includes all the basics, like how to plan the party, who to invite, and what activities to do. Tailor it to your child’s individual interests and needs, and consider their age to ensure they get the most out of their special day.

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