Seven Secrets to Stress-Free Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are supposed to be fun but so many parents stress out when it comes time to celebrate their child’s big day. Here are seven tips that will make planning your next party child’s play.


  • Focus on fun. Don’t worry about trying to impress your next-door neighbors. Your child’s big day isn’t about showing off; it’s about your child and guests sharing laughter and smiles.
  • Start early. The sooner you plan your party the more options you’ll have. Plus, early planners can often score discounts from party providers.
  • Keep it short. Toddler’s parties are best when they’re short and sweet. A two-hour party is more than enough for children under the age of five. A three-hour party works well for older kids.
  • Stay organized. Set up one folder with lists to keep all the components of your party straight: guests, RSVP’s, party vendors, menus, parent contact information and gift lists.
  • Shop in stages. Book party entertainment two months before your event in order to save money and get the entertainer you really want. Order invitations and special decorations a month ahead. Purchase goodie bags, balloons and other goods two weeks before. Place your food orders and buy your cake the week of the party.
  • Get help. Find a reliable friend or family member to help you plan and run the party. If you’re hosting a party for younger children make sure you have ample adult supervision. A parent should always accompany very young children.
  • Keep it simple. Your tiny guests are not expecting haute cuisine; chicken fingers and pizza will do just fine. Sure, you can break the bank and hire clowns, ponies and inflatable rides but “Pin the Tail on The Donkey” and “Hot Potato” can be just as much fun for little kids.
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