June 7, 2012


Birthdays are a frequent event in this household….. With seven children, there seems to be a birthday almost every month and deciding to have a birthday party with school friends is something to consider too.

Organising a children’s birthday party does not need to be expensive and simple ideas can make the day fun and exciting for the little guests too.

Having everything sorted and organised way in advance is a good idea, including the invitations, party theme, venue, games, food, party bags (if you do these)  and of course the birthday cake.


1. Party Invites

Some party invitations can be expensive.  On the other hand you could buy a party invitation pad and just fill in the details.

Or if you are able to design an invite on your computer, you can make them original and as fancy as you wish – you could even use a photo of your child.

Here are couple of examples:  A4 sheet of paper – 4 invites per page.

These are very simple ones that I printed on a plain white sheet of paper.  Invites once used are either left in the car after taking and picking up the child from the party or thrown straight into the bin, hence the reason why I don’t spend too much money on the invitations.

2. Party Theme

This alone is not that important,  however if you wish to go this way and have the children dress up perhaps, keep in mind that it will be an extra bit of work for each of the parents to come up with an outfit for their child to wear to the party (and possibly more of an expense too).

Keeping it simple is the way to go.  An example is a cowboy or cowgirl party; my daughter had one of these (quite a few years ago) for her 8th birthday party.  The girls came in their denim skirts/jeans, a scarf around neck, gumboots and a cowgirl hat (if they had one).

When it comes to decorating, again, keep it simple.  Balloons blown up and placed on the floor are effective, streamers over window frames and on the indoor fans is a good idea too.  Balloons on the letterbox to guide your guests are also a bonus.

3. The Venue & Party Games

Whether you are having the party at home or at a venue, this needs to be decided way in advance.  Booking a venue is essential and should be done at least a month or more in advance.  Most places have their own party invitations and games set out, so all you need to do is invite your guests, bring along the cake and leave it to the party planners to do the rest.  However, bear in mind that all this comes at a price!

Having the party at home may seem daunting, but if you have a schedule it will make the party go a lot smoother.

There are plenty of games you can do outdoors:

  •  Running races
  • Lolly or chip hunt
  • Musical chairs
  • Red light, green light
  • Balloons with a chocolate or sweet (natural ones) inside tied to a string and attached to the clothes line – a popping balloon game.
  • A piñata (see here for my cheap and easy homemade Piñata).

And many more. ….

Boys on the other hand are easy to please, just give them a football or soccer ball and they will do their own thing.

If wet weather sets in, there are a number of indoor games too:

  • Pin the tail on the donkey (or other variations of this game).  If you are creative you can draw your own.
  • Pass the Parcel
  • Freeze game
  • Musical Tiles (instead of musical chairs).

Again head over to my blog to see my homemade PIN THE TAIL ON THE HORSE and the MUSICAL TILES game.

Prizes can also be simple things:

GIRLS ~ stickers, coloured pens and pencils, hair ties and ribbons, bangles, diaries, writing paper packs etc.

BOYS ~ toy matchbox cards, plastic animals, whistles, small balls, colouring books etc

4. Party Food

This of course is entirely up to you, whether you want to go all out or keep it simple.  Personally, at my birthday parties, I don’t serve any ‘junk food’.  I don’t have fizzy drinks and any artificial colouring and preservatives.

I detest it when my kids come home from a party full of fizzy drink, sweets and green tongues.  They then are hypo, aggressive and downright painful.  So I will not do the same to other parents.

When I do a party, I normally only do healthy foods, no food colouring, fizzy drinks or lollies that are full of colours and preservatives (I get the natural kind).  I also normally do a sausage sizzle for lunch or party pies and sausage rolls.  The children also will get an icy-pole or ice-cream cone.  I never give out lolly bags (to take home), they eat the birthday cake at the party and get a packet of chips to take home instead or even homemade popcorn in a bag (it’s healthy too).

Not giving out lolly bags may sound stingy, but I like my kids to come home from a party ‘tired’ rather than hyped up and on a sugar fix.   As for drinks, they get fruit juice or water (none of those cordials that are red or green), writing the party guests individual names onto plastic cups is also a good idea too! I also normally serve up platters of fruit for snacks at the party too.

5. Birthday Cake

You don’t have to be a fantastic cake decorator when it comes to making a kid’s party birthday cake.  No matter what the cake is most kids love them regardless of their shape.

Here is a Jungle Cake  I made recently for my son’s birthday party (very simple indeed).

The party preparations can also be fun and exciting for the other siblings in the family too.  If you have older children, let them be involved in organising the games and activities. Give them charge over the decorating, get them to set the table, have them prepare the chip or lolly hunt.  There are many things the other children can do for you while you prepare the food and meal for the party.

So when you are planning your next Childs birthday party; plan out your day, have a timetable and schedule listing the games, meal times, opening the presents and blowing and cutting of the cake.  With all this organised, the day should run smoothly, be fast quick and over in no time, but most of all, make it FUN!

  • I’m a freak when it comes to organising!
    I think I over think things all the time and I freak out at the littlest things like being late or if a lot jar isn’t filled to the brim.
    Good to have this list as I have an upcoming 2nd birthday to plan.


  • I used to always ask the kids what they wanted. If we could provide it, they got it. It’s their special day after all


  • I remember having a birthday party. My parents didn’t like them so I only had a couple. No one turned up, I often wonder if it was because of sonething my parents did. It was extremely upsetting for me


  • Pinatas are a good idea but make sure the treats are shared amongst all the kids, not just the one who breaks it or the birthday kid. We never had kids parties when we were young. The budget was always too tight. With a physically ill Dad who often ran out of sick leave, if we hadn’t grown some of our own vegetables we would have struggled even more. We always had clothes even if they were homemade from remnants of material, shoes, enough to eat and a house to live in. They were my parents’ first priorities.
    Also some emergency money for medicine if needed.


  • just enjoy it, that’s what the day is about


  • This is interesting! Thank you for sharing this!


  • Great article, thank you for the tips.


  • basically simple is the best method. fun but simple (and less expensive)

    • if all else fails, have it at macca’s lol


  • Im throwing a party next weekend can’t wait


  • Very cute jungle cake. I’m planning a party at the moment and am quite new to the process, so finding it a little stressful!
    Just one thing, I don’t agree with having separate goodies for boys and girls – kids are constantly being told that boys and girls like and need different things, but I prefer to give them a chance to experience everything and not be forced into narrow gender roles at such a young age.


  • Ill give it ago this way and see how I go I usually get a bit flustered so only keeping it small now


  • I love planning and organising birthday parties for my kids. When they were little I was even known to be crazy enough to throw a birthday party for my daughter’s favourite soft toy with some of her friends invited over for fun and games and cake.


  • My girls love making their own invites.


  • Planning a child’s party is so much more work then planning a big person party!


  • I find keeping it simple is the best


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