The Ultimate Birthday Party Planner

Our 10 clever tips, creative ideas, and practical advice will guarantee that your child's celebration is a blast!

Getting Started

We know -- it's hard not to be intimated by the over-the-top, gazillion-dollar parties some kids have these days. But there's no need to spend tons of money or time to plan an amazing event. The best parties are totally personal, so think about what your child loves -- whether it's blocks, baseball, puppies, or princesses -- and go from there as you brainstorm games, cake ideas, and goody bags.

1. You're Invited

Birthday party invitation

  • Send out your invites about four weeks before the party.
  • The traditional -- and least expensive -- approach is to mail out store-bought invites or ones you've made yourself.
  • Rubber-stamping is a fun, easy way to make a bunch at once.
  • Or print them at home using your computer software's clip-art to add cool graphics.
  • Want someone else to do the work? Check out the free printable invites we've created just for you.

2. Inspired Activities

rocket ship made from a toilet paper tube

  • Keep kids busy and protect your table by laying down a large sheet of kraft paper. Supply plenty of crayons for scribbling.
  • Hosting preschoolers? Have them create collages using leftover craft scraps from your own stash.
  • Cut lengths of ribbon or yarn to make bracelets and necklaces. String on foam beads, attach stickers, or glue on rhinestones.
  • Toilet paper tubes are easy to paint and decorate. Kids can turn them into cars, rockets -- even binoculars!
  • Headed outdoors? Set up sport stations in the yard. Wiffle bats and balls and cushy footballs are always a hit. Playground balls are great for impromptu games of kickball.
  • Decorate dollar-bin flip-flops. Cut bandannas or ribbon into short strips and tie onto the tops of the thong.
  • A treasure hunt for pirate's loot (gold chocolate coins) can be played indoors or out. Start things off by handing out eye patches, bandannas, and a treasure map.

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