5 Tips for Planning A Birthday Party For Little Ones


As a birthday party manager for a local kid’s gym, I have hosted over 300 children’s birthday parties! It doesn’t matter if you are holding your child’s birthday party in your backyard or at a local business—these five tips are helpful when planning a seamless birthday party for your little one.

Planning a Birthday Party for Little OnesFood

Kids never want to eat. There are too many distractions. Eating two slices of pizza is not happening when your best friends, family, and a bounce house are near. Little kids are much more likely to snack on something and hold out for the sweets. Let’s be honest—the food is for the adults.


Gifts don’t have to be a taboo topic. In my experience, gift opening is when the meltdowns and tantrums occur. I do believe little kids should learn how to celebrate other people and understand the act of giving. This idea does not make sense with kids until age five. Here is what I would suggest. If it is a friends’ birthday party, ask the friends to draw or color the child a picture or request no gifts. This allows for more time to play together.

If it is a family party, go ahead and open gifts. If it is a mixed invite list of friends and family members, take a moment before or after the party with the family only. This way, family members can witness the birthday child’s authentic reaction.

Birthday CakePictures

Capturing should not be stressful. My top two pointers are to one, put someone in charge of taking pictures throughout the party. This is a good aunt or uncle’s responsibility. Parents should spend their time enjoying the day and celebrating their child.

Two, family and group pictures MUST happen before the party starts. Again, with all those distractions, a temper tantrum is bound to occur as you try to pull your child away from the fun. If you want your best chance of everyone looking and faces free of frosting, snap that picture before the party starts.

Party Favors

Less is more. I would suggest one quality item as opposed to cheap trinkets and toys. Think about giving each child a book or small stuffed animal. Those types of party favors will not only last much longer but will also hold a special memory for the party guest.


Ninety minutes is the sweet spot. I know what you are thinking; there is no way we can play, eat, open gifts, and take pictures all in 90 minutes. Let me remind you: pictures before, snacks instead of a meal, and gift-opening optional.

Previous articleThe Curly Journey:: What I Learned About My Hair Post-Baby
Next articleOctober 15:: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness — Forever Loved
Becka is an Iowa native who moved to Omaha in June 2015. She is one half of a higher education couple, a mom to identical twin boys (Avery and Elliot 2014) and two sassy wiener dogs (Nora and Knox). Becka enjoys the craziness of twins and the unpredictability of each day. Even with three degrees, most recently a doctorate in higher education, she continues to find herself googling things like “pachycephalosaurus + herbivore” or “excavator vs digger.” With two very energetic and curious preschoolers at home Becka enjoys the peacefulness of her daily commute to Lincoln where she is a coordinator in the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. Becka loves being outdoors in her garden, on the lake with her family, or sitting on the patio with a friend. Her kryptonite is diet coke, peanut m&m’s and a kid free Target trip.