Tips for a successful birthday party

The following post: tips for a successful birthday party  was written by Lisa, a mom of two with experience in birthday party planning.  

My husband and I have plenty of experience throwing birthday parties for our two kids and we’ve noticed something: they usually don’t go over as well as we’d like. One kid invariably hurts another kid’s feelings. Someone ends up with a scraped knee. And there’s a high likelihood that even one of our own children ends up crying at some point. Birthday parties are fun for kids but they’re not always fun for parents. Luckily, there are some things you can do to improve the chances of having a successful children’s birthday party. Here are some of them.

birthday party guide

Ask your child who should be invited

Inviting your child’s entire homeroom class is unnecessary and could cause problems at the party. Sit down with your son or daughter and ask them who they specifically wish to invite. If your child doesn’t like someone there’s no need to invite them to the party and potentially stir up trouble.

Sprinkle in some structure

Kids would never tell you this but they love structure. Staying busy and on a schedule usually prevents them from getting in less than desirable situations. So, plan out all of the party activities and games ahead of time. And when the kids arrive to the party, let them know what’s on the agenda.

Unwrap presents after the party

On the one hand, kids love watching the birthday boy or girl unwrap presents. On the other hand, kids also get jealous during this phase of the party. If one child wants something another got for his or her birthday, some drama might ensue. It’s better to be safe than sorry and to open the presents up after everyone leaves.

Ask two or three other parents to help you out

The added support of two or three other parents at the party will make a huge difference. With more parents there, all the kids will be more effectively supervised and usually better behaved. They may be able to get away with some things in the presence of one or two adults, but they aren’t usually able to do so in the presence of five adults.

Limit sweets

Kids are especially susceptible to the burst of energy and the subsequent energy crashes that sugar offers. Limiting sweets at the party and serving cake at the very end will help you avoid dealing with several highly energetic kids one minute and several tired, grumpy kids the next minute.

About the Author: Lisa is a mother and guest blogger. She often writes about things like child behavior, being a working mom, and Mario party supplies.

Photo credit: Tonya Staab.



mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    My daughters birthday was in the summer and we did invite the whole class plus all the family and friends. There would be 20-30 kids there easy. It was a favorite party for all the kids and each year they wanted to come and not miss it. I used to do an obstacle course. I also had team games. It was very structured, but they would be a mess when they left. The parents were aware to bring extra clothes.
    Rachel Ferrucci´s last blog post ..Surfs Up in Hawaii #WordlessWednesday Linky

    • says

      LOL! “aware to bring extra clothes.” the issue of inviting the whole class or not is a quietly controversial one. i see the point inviting the class, but when there is a child that your child really doesn’t enjoy… it makes it hard on your child. Why force a kid on your birthday boy, you know?

      We have all summer birthdays, so it’s easier for us to say “just invite your close friends” because they aren’t around the school for so long they tend to forget about the others. (this also keeps costs WAY down. Bonus!)
      Julie Meyers Pron´s last blog post ..Vegan, Gluten-Free Smoothies

  2. says

    My favorite tip?
    Request NO PRESENTS please from the attendees.

    Skipping that part of a party altogether makes the whole rest of the event go SO much smoother. In fact last time we handed out wrapped ‘dollar store’ treasures that the whole group unwrapped… course we were holding a backwards party but still THAT was a hit!

    We do allow ‘homemade gifts’ but your tip to unwrap after the party is a great idea!
    Carissa´s last blog post ..The Lorax, Great Movie But I LOVED The MUSIC!

  3. says

    At my son’s most recent party the kids ate more strawberries than cupcakes. They could easily eat the fruit without sitting down which left more time to play. Surprisingly they preferred being active and having fun over cake. Great tips!
    MommaDJane´s last blog post ..How to Make a Cakepop Stand

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