Smart Tips for Hosting a Tear-free Birthday Party for Kids

Even the most carefully planned children’s party can have some hitches. The kiddie guests end up out of sorts, bored or even in tears! How to avoid all these and ensure an enjoyable, memorable and stress-free gathering for all (including you)? Take some tips from our list below—which we observed from some amazing party planning sites we’ve been fans of for years. Here’s to party fun minus the meltdowns!

Smart tips and suggestions for a tear-free kids birthday party

  1. Choose a party area that’s appropriate for the age group invited. For toddlers, is it a spot they can move around in freely, and you don’t mind getting some spills on? For energetic school-age kids, you may want an outdoor venue like your patio or garden where they can let loose (and you can relax!). If it’s sunny out, be sure there’s a shaded portion for all to cool off in.
  2. Provide comfy places to sit, like on small party chairs or benches. For activities, set out kiddie-height tables so supplies are within their reach. And of course, the same goes for eating time. Some games can have the little ones sitting on floor pillows, quilts or mats.
  3. Offer a variety of food that kids will like, but are also parent-approved. Think popcorn, crudites (a.k.a., veggie sticks) with a cheese dip, mini fruit skewers, homemade chicken salad or grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter on whole wheat squares.
  4. Serve party food in handy single portions and on kid-friendly party ware. This avoids waiting time while serving, and helps prevent spills and breakage. If you invest in good quality plastic plates, bowls and glasses in basic party colors, you won’t have soggy paper plates or too-soft plastic cups—plus you can reuse them for many other occasions!
  5. Prepare pretty, colorful desserts that are non-sweets. Some great choices would be fruity ice pops or frozen yogurt pops, oatmeal cookies, mini banana splits, fresh fruits with tiny cups of chocolate dip, rice krispie treats, homemade fruit rollups, and frosted grapes. Do consider any food allergies, though (e.g., to peanuts, eggs, dairy, and gluten).
  6. Have a variety of appealing drinks served in decorated containers. Freshly-squeezed fruit juices, milk in cartons, and even simple bottled water can look really cool displayed in colorful tubs of ice. Just add decorative labels or sleeves to match the party theme, or to personalize the drinks for each guest. That way, you can stay away from soda or other artificial drinks that will cause too much excitement.
  7. Keep the guest list within a certain age range close to that of the celebrant. When you plan who to invite, think about what your birthday boy or girl most enjoys—and who among his/her friends would find that fun, too. Having far younger or far older guests means some will not be happy!
  8. Plan “safe” games and activities. Nothing too rough or will cause some kids to feel left out. Some popular choices are a treasure hunt (modified according to the party theme), lawn games like ring toss, bowling, fishing small toys or tokens out of a tub, building things out of blocks or Lego, or decorating a costume accessory (e.g., crown, shield, mask, helmet, cape).Note: If you plan to have a piñata, consider having several ribbons for the children to take turns pulling on to release the goodies, rather than swinging a stick! You can even do without the blindfold if smaller kids find this scary, and just make it a “guess which ribbon” game.
  9. For favors, provide loot bags filled with items you would find usable and fun for your own child. Try to go non-edible and opt for things like small school supplies, bag tags, book labels, bookmarks, lunchbox containers or utensils. If you’d like them to match the theme, simply choose them in the right colors then customize them with stickers or bag toppers.
  10. Keep a first aid kit on hand for those scrapes and scratches. Prepare a basket of bandaids, antiseptic wipes, Betadine spray, maybe a gel pack you can chill in ice water if needed.


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