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How to Plan a Party for Kids + Birthday Game Ideas

Find out how to plan a party for kids and keep them entertained with these awesome birthday games!

By: Sara Raffensperger, Editor, AllFreeKidsCrafts.com
How to Plan a Party for Kids  Birthday Game Ideas
How to Plan a Party for Kids Birthday Game Ideas
This image courtesy of AllFreeKidsCrafts.com

It's your child's birthday and to celebrate, you want to throw a party for all their friends. But where do you even begin planning a party for possibly dozens of kids? Find out in our article: How to Plan a Party for Kids + Birthday Game Ideas. You'll be prepared for every eventuality and it'll make the other parents extremely impressed. You will keep the kids entertained for a couple of hours and also feed them cute foods. This will definitely be your child's favorite birthday party...until you throw another one next year!
You're right to be a little nervous. Kids can be pretty intimidating with the way they suddenly lose interest in things. You've never known before how to plan a kids party, so you aren't sure all of the things you need to think about in the days leading up to the big event. We've got you covered with tips and tricks to make the birthday party a smash hit. Every kid at the party is going to have fun, especially the birthday kid! If you invite the parents over too, then they can help keep the fun going if they have any brilliant ideas during a party lull. Keep reading to find five really fun birthday party games that children of all ages will enjoy.

Beginner

HolidayBirthdays

Age GroupToddlers, Preschool & Kindergarten, Elementary School

How to Plan a Kids' Party

Tips and Tricks for Planning the Best Party for Kids

  1. Involve your child in the planning process. They don't need to suddenly become party planners overnight, but they can help you decide a theme or what kind of cake they want to have. Ask them their opinion no matter how young they are (obviously if they're infants, you might not know their opinion unless you speak baby), especially on the things that matter like food and theme.

  2. Keep it short and structured. Children's parties don't have to be long affairs (trust me, you don't want them to be that long). Two hours is plenty of time for a children's party, especially since you need to keep them busy from arrival to departure. The main event should begin as soon as most of the guests have arrived. Serve food and cake in the final half-hour. 

  3. Keep the kids busy, but plan age-appropriate activities. Depending on the average age at the party, you're going to have different activities. Toddlers are too young for anything complicated, obviously. Plan familiar and easy games like a treasure hunt or Duck Duck Goose. You could also have the party at a park and kids of all ages will have fun on the playground.
    Children over 5 need more stimulation. Consider hiring a magician or planning a trip to a bowling alley or miniature golf course.
    Kids of all ages love to craft and be creative, so it'll be in your best interest to have a craft table set up at the party. You can fill buckets with crayons, rubber stamps, buttons, stencils, and stickers. Have them collect nature material like pine cones, seashells, sticks, leaves, and flowers to adorn dollar store picture frames and construction paper.

  4. The food doesn't have to be complicated. They're kids so they probably prefer simpler food anyway. You can make simple foods really fun with cookie cutters to make sandwiches or Jell-o into fun and interesting shapes. Serve foods that don't require cutting and can be held by smaller hands without difficulty. 
    Pro-tip: To keep kids busy while they're waiting for food, cover the table with paper and place flowerpots or buckets filled with crayons, markers, and colored pencils all around.

  5. Serving the birthday cake can be a delicate affair. It's generally acknowledged that the birthday boy or girl gets their piece of cake first. Afterwards, serve the youngest children because they're most in need of instant gratification. 
    Pro tip: Serve cupcakes instead so that all of the kids are served at the same time and every portion is the same size.

  6. To open or not to open the birthday gifts: That is the question. If you're not sure if you should spend party time opening gifts, consider the ages of the children and the size of the party. 
    For younger children, it'll be safest to wait until after the party is over. Older children will understand that the day belongs to the birthday child, so unless there is a mountain of presents that make it impractical, opening gifts before the end of the party can be a nice way to wrap up the day.

  7. Hand out goodie bags at the end of the party. Your guests will leave feeling nice and appreciated if you give them something small at the end of the party. You can include healthy snacks, stickers, or containers of bubbles. Make sure that whatever you choose is age-appropriate and safe for children.
    Pro tip: Write the kids' names on their goodie bags to make them feel even more special.

Birthday Game Ideas

A party is not a party if it's not fun! With these birthday game ideas, all of the kids at the party are going to have so much fun. These are games that can be played with children that are a variety of ages. Party ideas like these will make sure the party keeps going and very gets boring!

  1. Mystery Bag
    This game requires some pre-party preparation. Gather some brown paper lunch bags and place a different object into each one - the more creative the better!
    Let each child stick their hand in each bag and try to guess what it is without looking. The child who guesses the most correct wins. You can also make the objects more difficult for older groups of children.
    Some ideas for objects to put in the bags: half an apple, peeled grapes, spoon, Q-tips and cotton balls, tube of toothpaste, action figure, tissues, remote control, corn on the cob, socks folded into a ball, plastic Easter eggs.

  2. Balloon Burst Challenge
    This game also requires pre-party prep. Have a bunch of slips of paper with challenges or trivia questions written on them. Blow up balloons with the paper inside it.
    During the party, the kids will bop the balloon in the air while dancing to music. When the music stops, whoever was the last person to touch the balloon must pop it and complete the challenge inside. 
    Pro tip: Require the child to pick up the popped balloon piece before the rest of the kids get another balloon for the next round. This will minimize your clean up later!

  3. Match Hunting
    This is a non-competitive game where everyone wins and it's perfect for the 8 and under crowd. You can either use a memory game you already have or print and cut out matching pictures from the Internet. 
    Hide half of the cards around your playing area and divide the other half among the players. 
    The object of the game is for the children to find all the matches to their cards. When their matches have been found they can be rewarded with a small prize or treat.

  4. Freeze Dance
    If you're suddenly at a loss for things to do, get out your iPod or CD collection and turn up the music! Have the kids dance and show off their moves, but when the music stops, everyone has to FREEZE. Anyone who gets caught moving when the music is off is out until the next game.
    Turn the music back on and keep playing. Winner is the last child standing!

  5. ABC Scavenger Hunt
    Divide the kids into teams and provide the team with a bag to collect their items in. Put 20-30 minutes on the clock and let the teams race around to find items that begin with each letter of the alphabet.
    One one item for each letter counts and an item can only be used to represent one letter, for example, a spoon can count for S or for the letter U (utensil) but not both.

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