Planning Your Child’s Birthday Party

BabyTV’s Birthday Zone is the perfect place to get prepared for your child’s Birthday Party. Look through our list of suggested party themes and games, download party invitations,inv find useful recipes for cakes and party foods, or read up on our helpful tips and advice, designed to make getting ready for your child’s special day – fun!


Planning a Birthday Party A-Z

 Invitations
 Food
 Cake
 Goody Bags
 Games & Activities
 Decorations
 The Birthday Chair
 Thank You Cards
 Tips and a Last Minute Checklist



Invitations

Top Suggestion
Make these yourself! Print the birthday invitations on your computer and distribute these to each guest. You can use a photo of your child as a background, or use an image of one of your child’s favourite characters.

To make the invitations personal, why don’t you ask your little one to print their name on each invitation, or to decorate them themselves with crayons or stickers.

Whether making your own invitations or using store-bought ones, remember to include all of the necessary information:
 
    
  • Name of your child
  • Time & Date of the party
  • Venue name and full address
  • R.S.V.P. details with your telephone number and/or e-mail address
  • Additional instructions: (should guests dress up? Are siblings welcome? Is it a drop off party? Time for collection?)

On-line Invitations
You can send a viral reminder to all of the guests using the BabyTV Birthday Clip or the Hokey Pokey clip

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Food

Fun Stuff to Eat
About half-way through your party, your little guests are going to get hungry! Here are a few suggestions for party-friendly foods that are easy to prepare in advance and lots of fun to eat:
    
  • BabyTV Butterfly Birthday Cake
  • Curly pasta – serve it plain, with sauce on the side, or just with some cheese to sprinkle
  • Mini sausages
  • Mini pizzas
  • Mini sandwiches – (with cheese, tuna or egg mayonnaise filling)
  • Snacks:
    • Carrot or cucumber sticks and dips
    • Sliced cherry tomatoes
    • Corn on the cob
    • Popcorn
    • Satsumas
    • Apple slices
    • Raisins
    • Crisps
  • Drinks: water and juice
Tip: Ask parents/guardians if their child has any allergies or special food requirements

If there is no kitchen available, you can prepare food boxes in advance:
    
  • Sandwiches
  • A few grapes
  • Satsuma or apple slices
  • Orange smiles
  • Carrot or cucumber sticks and dips
  • A drinks box
  • Serviettes
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic knife and forks
If parents or additional guests will be attending you child’s party, you can offer them finger food to enjoy including:
    
  • Crisps, crudités and dips
  • Cheese and crackers

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Cake

There is nothing like blowing out candles and hearing everyone sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to make your child feel special. Birthday cake is most likely one of the party highlights for your little one.

We suggested baking your own birthday cake, if possible. Click here for cake recipes and cake decoration ideas.

You can also try cupcakes – you and your child can decorate these together before the party.

Whether baking your own cake or buying one, don’t forget to have at hand:
    
  • Birthday candles
  • Cake knife
  • Matches
  • Serviettes
  • Small plates and forks

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Goody Bags

As a way of saying ‘thank you’ to all of the children for coming, it is always nice to hand out Goody bags to your guests as they leave. Bags can be bought or made, and the goodies inside can vary, our suggestions are:

The Bags
    
  • Buy paper or cloth bags that can be kept to play with later
  • Decorate and personalize the bags with your child
  • You can print the BabyTV characters and use them as decoration
  • Get your child to write friends names on them
  • Fill with goodies and tie the bag up with a large bow
  • Goody bags can also be bought ready-made at your local supermarket
Goodies
    
  • Stickers
  • Sweets
  • Raisins
  • Glow sticks
  • Mini sticker books
  • Crayons/colouring pencils
  • Balloons
  • Mini pots of bubbles
  • Small bouncy ball
  • Flower seeds to grow and a pot
  • A colour me mug with paints and sweets inside
  • A cardboard picture frame to colour-in and personalise
  • A piece of Birthday cake / a birthday cupcake
  • Sparklers
  • Mini toys (racing car, slinky, finger puppet)
  • A necklace, bracelet, or ring
 
Try to avoid lollipops and very sticky sweets as some parents may prefer not to give these to their child.
Always check the safety marks and labelling on the products to ensure they are appropriate for small children.


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Party Games & Activity Suggestions

There are many things you can plan for your child’s birthday activities. Depending on your child’s age, there are different things which your child and their friends will enjoy. Here is a list of suggestions for arty activities by age:

Tips for First Birthdays – The most important part of First Birthdays are the memories to show your child later! Make sure you take lots of pictures of your child, the cake, and the party guests.
You can create an album to remember the event and send it to all your loved ones!

To keep it simple, we suggest inviting some close friends, (both yours and your child’s), decorating the house with balloons and putting on some BabyTV music!
If your child has a favourite play gym perhaps you can invite friends there for a party, many gyms are equipped for hosting birthday parties.


Tips for 2nd Birthday – Whether your child is ready to participate in his party or not, the highlight of the party will most likely be the birthday cake and candles. No matter how the party went until this point, make sure the spotlight is on your child as you dim the lights, bring out the cake, sing Happy Birthday, and wait for your child to blow out the candles (s/he may need help at this age).

For the party activities, whether planning an event or a small gathering, to entertain your little guests all you need is to bring toys, games and balloons and let them play! Put on music! Have a cake with your child’s favourite character or animal on it and candles for him to blow out. Take pictures and have fun!

3 and up – Your child is growing into a toddler and will most likely be more ready to enjoy party games and activities. You can inquire about a local entertainer to help you host the party, or plan some activities to conduct yourself. Ideas include:


Activities:
    
  • Tattoo transfers
  • Paint on T-shirts:
    • With t-shirt paints
    • Glue and paste accessories
    • Finger stamps
  • Soap bubbles – fill a pail with water and dish-soap, use a stick with a string tied in a loop, and make big bubbles!
  • Make necklaces with sweets that are ring shaped
  • Decorate a picture frame
  • Decorate a cookie/cupcake – everyone gets to take them home in their goody bag
  • Face painting (for 2 and up) – parents or a friend can do this, you can buy simple face colours at the store.
  • Make a crown
  • Make a ballerina outfit
  • Dancing
 

Party Games
    
  • Pass the parcel – a birthday party classic! A small-medium sized prize is wrapped in many layers of wrapping. In each layer of wrapping you can hide one sweet or a small prize. Children are asked to sit in a circle and music is played as the parcel is passed around the circle from one child to another. When the music stops – the child holding the parcel gets to unwrap one layer of wrapping and keep the prize!
  • Song Circle – one person is the host of this game where everyone joins in to sing popular children's songs. Use hand movements and props to make the activity fun and interactive. We suggest creating a song list in advance and preparing relevant props for each song.
  • Songs – do you have a piano? A guitar? A friend who likes to sing? Lead a sing-a-long with your child’s favourite songs. You can get children to get up and dance.
  • Baby TV Karaoke
  • Musical islands – this is an active game where children dance or walk around the room, and when the music spots they must stand on an ‘island’. (You can create islands by cutting out shapes from coloured paper). Each time one island is removed and a child who doesn’t reach an island sits out of the game. If there is time, get children to make their own island before the start of the game.
  • Pin/Stick the tail on the donkey/crown on the princess / sword on the pirate
  • What’s the time Mr Wolf
  • Sleeping princesses/lions
  • Simon says
  • Musical statues
  • Musical chairs
  • Bobbing for apples

Outdoor Games
    
  • Piñatas
  • Treasure hunt
  • Obstacle course

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Decorating the Party

Whether you’re hosting your party at your house or a venue, here are some tips for decorations:
    
  • Bring balloons, with helium or without – at the end of the party each child can take a balloon home
  • Hang a Happy Birthday sign or bunting (you could make this on your own at home)
  • Make paper chains with your child
  • Decorate the party table with colourful serviettes, tablecloths or colourful plates and cups.
  • You can also try decorating the table with sparkles, confetti, table streamers, or fun mini prizes such as small whistles / yoyos / blowers

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Birthday Girl/Boy’s Chair

    
  • Decorating a birthday chair for your child:
    • A queen / king chair
    • Princess/pirate chair
    • Fairy/dragon chair
    • Underwater chair
    • Heart chair
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Thank-you Cards

A nice way of saying thank-you to each guest is to write cards and place them inside the goody bags. You can ask your child to help having them decorate these or sign their name. If you would like to thank each guest personally for the present they bought you, you will have to write down what present each guest brought so you can thank each personally at a later date. Another idea is to print a picture from the party and write your greeting on the back.

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Tips For a Successful Party

Make a list beforehand so you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything on the day. Call the invitees so you know how many guests to expect (account for siblings that may show up!)

Have music playing! This is always a good way to set the mood for a party.

Entertaining a group of young children, feeding them and looking out for their safety is a lot of work. Make sure you have a friend or two to help you out during this day. Talk to the parents before hand to inquire if they are planning to stay for the party. The more help you will have, the more relaxed you will be throughout the day to celebrate this special occasion with your child.

Last Minute Checklist
    
  • Balloons
  • Cake
  • Camera
  • Candles/matches
  • Card
  • Colouring pens
  • Decorations + tape
  • Drinks
  • Food
  • Game prizes
  • Invites
  • Knife for cake
  • Paper plates and plastic cups
  • Party bags
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Ribbon
  • Rubbish bags
  • Table covers and serviettes
  • Tea/coffee/milk/sugar for parents
  • Wet wipes
 

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