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Home Birthday Parties for Children

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

So many of us look back with pleasure on the childhood birthday parties we went to. We remember the ice cream, cake, party games and excitement of the piles of presents.

Yet many children today consider a home birthday party to be a rarity, a treat. They donít often get invited to simple home parties so they have novelty value.

When my daughter turned 5, she and her friends were very happy to have time to play and use their imaginations in group play in a way they donít normally get the chance to do.

It isnít really that hard to organise a home party, and it certainly can cost a lot less than going to an activity centre or fast food place.

Children of all ages can enjoy a home party; you just need to adjust the activities and time frames to suit.

Here are some tips for making the party fun for the kids and easy for you:


  • Limit the party to one or two rooms of the house. This makes them easier to supervise as well as meaning less cleaning up.
  • Play games and eat outside if the weather allows. Not only is it easier for keeping things tidy, fresh air is good for everyone and being outside like that is something different for many children.
  • If you include prizes for games, make sure you have enough prizes for every child, and make sure every child wins one. You can make the rules up as you go along; for instance, the prize may go the most careful or the most enthusiastic, rather then the first or the best.
  • Apply some structure to the party, but also allow children time to just play and choose their own activities. You might find that giving them play time between organised games can work well.
  • Old fashioned games like pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey are still favourites, especially as they are not often played anywhere but at home parties. You can adjust these games to suit the ages of the children invited and the party Ė maybe it becomes pin the wand on the fairy or the patch on the pirate.
  • Decorations help set the scene for a party as something different to normal, something special. It is always nice to have balloons hang up and then send one home with each guest. Decorations can be added to suit the theme of the party, but they donít have to be overly fancy.
  • A few balloons hanging off the gate or fence is fun as well helping guests find your house. Even Passers by get some pleasure out of seeing balloons out the front of a party.
  • The cake is obviously a feature of any party. Children will happily eat it no matter what it looks like, but there is a thrill in seeing a special cake. You donít have to be a cake decorating genius, or spend a fortune on an ordered cake, to have a special cake. Cover a normal cake in icing and stick on some lollies, make a face from fruit pieces, have individual cakes and decorate each one, use weird coloured icing or use multi-coloured icing. You could even make a cake out of lamingtons or doughnuts in a tower drizzled with chocolate or strawberry sauce.
  • Get involved. You donít need to play with the children every minute of the party Ė in fact, itís better if you donít Ė but some playfulness on your part will increase their enjoyment. For instance, dress to the theme in some way, allow the wrapping paper to lie around, fall down in ring-a-ring-a-rosie or have a dance with them.
  • Play music the kids will like Ė whether it is Playschool songs or the Wiggles, or the top 10 pop songs, music can keep the party happy and energetic.
  • Involve your child in the planning process. Ask what they want in terms of a theme and activities so that the party suits them. Of course, you set the limits and account for the fickle nature of young children, but make it feel like it actually is their party.
  • Send out invitations Ė donít assume children can make verbal invitations accurately. For children, you need to include a party ending time as well as the start time, date and place. Also include your name and contact details and whether any costume or such is required.
  • For your childís sake, follow up invitations not replied to as they will be heart broken to have few or no children at the party. If numbers are dwindling, catch it early and compensate for it with more invitations or some other treat.


Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation and web site content. Tash also writes parenting and business articles for inclusion in newsletter and web sites.
© 2004, Tash Hughes

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