Kid's Birthday Party Frequently Asked Questions

A child’s birthday party can inspire anxiety or excitement in your heart! Is it possible to plan an event that your child will love; friends will have fun at and won’t break the bank? Of course! Read on for answers to questions that will help you plan a fabulous children’s birthday party that everyone, including you, will enjoy.

Should the first birthday party be a special one?
Every birthday party is important but the first birthday party is the “sentimental favorite.” It’s the one where you will take the most photos and the one where the birthday child is sure to put his/her hands in the cake! There are lots of choices for a first birthday party, a special meal with family, cake and ice cream for few friends (and their children) or a full-blown affair. There’s no right or wrong type of children’s birthday party but when making the decision keep the child’s personality and your budget in mind. You don’t want to make either one unhappy.

How long should a birthday party be?
Remember less is more for young children. A birthday party for children under the age of 6 should last 1 ½ to 2 hours. The best birthday party is long enough to be fun keeps all the children engaged but short enough that none of the guests (or guest of honor) “loses it” before the birthday party is over.

What’s the best time of day for a birthday party?
The time of your child’s birthday party should be based on his/her best time of day. Some children are happiest in the morning, others following an afternoon nap. Keep in mind that if you have a birthday party near a mealtime, you will have to serve more than cake and ice cream.

How many children should you invite to a birthday party?
There’s a general rule that you should invite the same number of children to a birthday party as the child’s age, plus one. It you have a large family with lots of cousins, and/or many friends with children, this may be hard to do. So, try and limit the birthday party to children that the guest of honor really knows.

Should the parents of the guests be invited to the birthday party?
Most young children won’t be comfortable at a birthday party without their parents. They might ignore their parents at the birthday party but will want to know they are there. And, you will have additional help at the birthday party if you need it.

Should you send a birthday invitation or is a phone call good enough?
If you’re only inviting one or two children to the birthday party, a phone call or email is fine. However, sending out a real invitation to the birthday party will make the guests feel special and start generating excitement for the birthday party right away. Feeling creative? Make your own invitation or choose a birthday party invitation designed especially for you from Party411.
 
When should you send out the birthday party invitations?
Everyone leads such busy lives that it’s always better to send a birthday party invitation out sooner rather than later. Unless you’re having a birthday party during the holiday season, mailing invitations 3 weeks in advance is early enough.

What type of birthday party is best?
There’s no best or worst birthday party. Choose a birthday party theme that you know your child will like and is age appropriate. The guest of honor may have some definite ideas about what kind of birthday party to have – princess, pirate, superhero, sleepover or scavenger hunt – are always popular.

Where’s the best place to have a birthday party?
Where you have a birthday party will be influenced by the size of your house, how many children you’re having, the time of year and the theme of the birthday party. If you’re just inviting a few children over for games and cake, home is a perfect place for the birthday party. A park or playground is great for a summer birthday party or scavenger hunt. Museums, nature centers, toy stores or ice cream shops are all great birthday party venues and may provide the theme, activities and food all in one.

Should you open the gifts at the birthday party?
Present opening is always a tricky question at a birthday party. While all the guests love to see the birthday child open his/her gift, it can easily turn in to a free for all with wrapping paper flying and a lot of pushing and shoving. Waiting until after the birthday party to open presents is common these days. As long as the child sends a thank you note within a reasonable amount of time, guests (and more importantly their parents) don’t mind.

Are goodie bags a “must” at a birthday party?

There are two schools of thought on goodie bags. The less traditional approach is you have just fed and entertained a group of children for 1½ to 2 hours at a birthday party so why do you need to give them a goodie bag? That said, most children expect and enjoy receiving a goodie bag when they leave the birthday party. And, it’s a nice way for the birthday child to say “thanks for coming to my birthday party.”

What do you put in a birthday party goodie bag?
An easy way to decide what to put in a birthday party goodie bag is just to continue the party theme. Princess party goodie bags might have play jewelry, a crown, stickers and of course some candy. For older children, consider a single item favor such as a wiffle ball and bat, craft kit or puzzle. Include a personalized candy bar from Party411 and guests will have wonderful souvenirs from your child’s birthday party.