Birthday party planning with three kids—not exactly the easiest task even if the birthdays are spread out throughout the year. For me, my challenges are keeping the birthday party on budget and also coming up with a whole new idea three times each year, every year! My kids have no interest in having the same party that their sibling had, so I have to get real creative in coming up with something new.

I try to avoid booking one of the local party centers as those are expensive and more of the same boring affair. Instead, we try to do something that will give our guests a chance to really connect and play with each other rather than have everyone show up only to be spread out in a huge facility.

Some of my best parties yet included a princess-themed tea party when my daughter turned 4. I served mini sandwiches and used real napkins with bejeweled rings as napkin holders, and the girls dressed as their favorite princess. I solicited older cousins to serve as waiters. The boys wore black pants and white shirts with napkins on their arms. To say it was precious is an understatement.

Last year, I used Pinterest to help me plan my son’s 6th birthday party. After some research and a few trips to the hardware store, we had everything we needed to knock the socks off this theme.  We hosted an all-star sports-themed party. My husband made a goal post out of PVC pipes, we had popcorn in baggies just like you would at a stadium, we served hot dogs, and we played flag football with everyone. Everyone had a blast, including myself.

So what are some easy tips for planning the perfect kid’s birthday? See below to get you started!

1. Pick a theme and stick to it. Ask your child for input or think about what your child is into at that time. Is it sports? A character from a show or even a favorite color? Once you pick your theme, the rest of the planning gets easier.

2. Let your guests know what the theme is in the invite and invite them to join in on it. For our sports theme, we asked guests to wear their favorite team’s colors or jersey.

3. Keep in mind the age of your guests. You’ll want more adults with preschool-age children. Either plan for a more intimate event or plan to have parents participating in the party’s events. For older kids, plan to give them more independence to play freely.

4. Keep the menu simple. Spend less time preparing the food than planning the party. Kids really don’t need or want complicated food. Hot dogs or pizza with a side is just plenty.  Kids are usually too excited to eat their food, and really, all they want is to get a slice of the cake!

What are your tips for planning a fun kid’s birthday party?

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