Tips for Hosting a Successful Children's Birthday Party

When you choose to host your child's birthday party instead of opting for a pre-planned party at a venue like a movie theater, bowling alley or batting cage, you take on a lot of roles. You'll not only have to be the planner, but also the entertainer, organizer and supervisor. Luckily, a few tips for hosting a successful children's birthday party can help take the stress off.

It all starts with a little inspiration

Though it's not absolutely necessary to have a theme for your child's birthday party, picking one can help you create a more cohesive event. When you pick the right theme, the games, favors, cake and decorations seem easier to choose. If you do decide to go with a theme, involve your child in picking it -- her special day will be even better if the party reflects her interests and personality.

Make a flexible schedule

Scheduling party events like present-opening, cake-eating and games will make your day feel more structured. Not worrying about adhering religiously to the schedule will keep everything from feeling too rigid. If the kids are having fun playing a game, there's no reason to make them stop, even if the schedule says it's time for the next activity. Always schedule more events than you think you have time for -- it's better to not get to everything than to be out of activities an hour before the party is supposed to end.

Classics can be cool

Don't be afraid to schedule party games that might seem cliche. Just because musical chairs has been a party fallback since the dinosaurs doesn't mean it isn't fun. Remember, kids haven't been around that long. Games that might seem stale to you are still new to them. So go ahead: Buy a pinata. Play duck-duck-goose. Chances are, the kids will have more fun with these classic go-to games than they would trying to figure out something complex that you chose because it seemed more interesting.

Divide and conquer

The most important thing when planning a child's birthday party is to have a plan that's clear and organized. Divide your party into sections (decor, games, cake, etc.), and make a to-do list for each individual section. Use a different color to write down tasks that can be accomplished weeks in advance, and get them done far before the party. That way on the big day, you'll be collected and in control instead of frazzled and frustrated.

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