Do your kids love birthday parties? My daughter starts talking about her birthday party theme months in advance. She loves parties and I love hosting them. We usually pick a party theme and use our craft supplies to design colorful party decorations. I tend to keep kids’ birthday parties pretty budget friendly. However, a party can still be festive with colored paper garlands, cute place settings and yummy party foods. What’s the first thing you do when planning a birthday party? Send out party invitations of course! These simple tips for planning kids’ birthday parties aim to maximize the fun and minimize the cost of party planning.
This post was sponsored by Purple Trail. All opinions and ideas are our own.
Choose a Party Theme
Before you begin planning a kid’s birthday party celebration, you need to choose a party theme. My kids have picked Minecraft, mermaids, ballerinas, gardening and cooking in the kitchen as their past birthday party themes. Choosing the birthday theme will help determine a lot of the decorations and activities that will be part of the party.
Design Custom Birthday Invitations
Personalized birthday invitations are a fun way to let your friends know you are having a party. We often create invitations to match the themes of our kids parties. I love the cute kids’ birthday invitations offered by Purple Trail. You can choose from hundreds of invitation templates that are easy to customize. Once you choose the design, simply add your child’s party info, drop in a photo and quickly order the quantity of invitations you need. You can also choose the color scheme for many of the templates and add illustrations and embellishments.
Make Homemade Party Decorations
Once you’ve invited your guests, it’s time to make decorations! You can inexpensively make a homemade pennant banner that will add cheerful color to any indoor or outdoor party. All you need is some colored felt or card stock, a long length of ribbon and a hot glue gun. See our tips about how to make a DIY pennant banner here!
If you are setting a party table, you can create all sorts of inexpensive table decorations. A piece of felt beneath each place setting quickly adds a pop of color to the party. Make your guests feel special with whimsical place cards showing each guest’s name beside their plate.
Summer and fall party tables and buffets can be accented with homemade apple candles and fresh flowers picked from the garden. Treats can double as party decorations too!
These cute mermaid characters were perfect for decorating the food table at my daughter’s Mermaid-Superhero birthday party. We also used them to decorate the birthday cake. You can easily make your own paper cutouts using our printable mermaid character template!
Bake a Delicious Cake
I usually keep kid’s birthday cakes fairly simple. I typically use a boxed cake mix and 1 or 2 icing colors. A tiered cake is very easy to make using cake pans in two different sizes. You can make 2 small cakes and 2 medium cakes using 2 boxes of cake mix. I also have a set of 5 cake pans that I love, which only requires 1 box of cake mix. See my Baby Shark inspired birthday cake here.
To make a layered cake, bake the cake in several different sized cake pans according to the directions on the box. Allow the cakes to fully cool. Remove each layer from the cake pans and begin stacking them with a layer of icing between each layer. Place the largest layer on the bottom and the smallest layer on top.
The cake design is an easy way to be creative! You can use an icing spatula to create a cool wavy pattern on the side of the cake or a piping tip to make icing ruffles. You don’t have to be a cake decorating professional to make a fun kid’s birthday cake.
Plan Easy Kids Party Games
Pin the Tail on the Donkey is a classic party game and a fun challenge for kids. You can also customize this game to be Pin the Horn on the Unicorn or match any other party theme you choose. For kids parties, everyone can win and get a prize!
Colorful water beads are an interesting sensory party activity that encourage kids to play independently. For my daughter’s birthday, we set up shallow bins of water beads alongside scoops and cups. The kids loved scooping up the water beads and playing with the colorful squishy balls.
A backyard birthday party is a perfect excuse for renting a bounce house! Many towns have a local bounce house rental you can call to reserve a bounce house for an afternoon. My daughter’s summer birthdays are so fun because the kids can play in the backyard, jump in the bounce house and run around to use up some of their energy before eating cake! If you know you will have good weather for your party, a bounce house is a great party activity for kids of all ages.
Enjoy Kid-Friendly Party Food
Birthday parties are known for sweets and sugar, but healthy food can be just as fun. But before you start designing the candy bar, consider these tasty healthy snacks. I like to offer a variety of creative treats and tasty snack flavors. See our Minecraft inspired birthday party ideas here.
Salty Snacks: Chips, cheese crackers, and popcorn all make popular kids snacks! Include healthier snack options such as pita and hummus and kettle cooked chips.
Sweet Snacks: Cupcakes, candies, and desserts are the highlight of any kids’ party! Offset the sugar with healthy sweets such as fresh berries, watermelon and bananas dipped in chocolate.
Sour Snacks: Pickles, salt and vinegar chips and sour candies all make fun party snack additions!
Spicy Snacks: Homemade salsa, spicy nuts and zesty party mix is a yummy addition to a birthday party food spread.
Our kids’ birthday parties are usually a success and most importantly, we celebrate them turning a year older!
Kids’ birthday parties are a great opportunity for parents to get creative and make a child feel special. Party planning is also a fun creative outlet for all those DIY ideas. I love hosting a party for each of my kids to enjoy with their friends, especially when I can make a lot of the food and decorations myself. Kids can help with decorating too! With a little planning, you can save a lot of money and host a very memorable celebration.
I hope you enjoyed these simple birthday party planning tips!
Katie is a writer and influencer based in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. She enjoys DIY projects, photography, decorating and going on family adventures. She feels blessed to be a wife, a stay-at-home mom to three kids and a Pacific Northwest lifestyle blogger.