Birthday Party 101: Themes, party favors and enlisting helpers!

Confetti and whistles


Low-stress, high-fun party themes

Make-something Party

Animal Interaction Party

Bounce or Jump Party

Pool Party

Movie Party

Tea Party

Pony Party

Bowling Party

Garden Party

Roller Skating or Ice Skating Party

Spa Party

Slumber Party

Indoor Fun Center Party

Outdoor Playground Party

Reusable Party Favor Holders

Water Bottles

Chinese Food Buckets

Flower Pots


Beach Buckets

Fabric or Felt Sacks


A Frisbee or Outdoor Toy

Books, Comics or Workbook


Brown Paper Bags

Small Canvas Totes


Push Pops

Bottles or Jars

Socks or Gloves


Who can help?

Both parents need to contribute. Don’t forget to factor in Dad’s strengths before, during, and after the festivities.

Babysitters or neighbor teens make great party helpers. I pay our sitter to attend because I always need extra help, and I also want her to share in making memories.

Exchange party help with a friend. You help with her child’s party and then ask for the favor back for your child’s party.

Just ask! You never know when a guest’s parent might enjoy helping and you might make a new mom friend this way. Once you have the final attendance list, use to inquire if anyone is available to pitch in.

Some people make better “special guests” than helpers. Siblings of yours or the guest of honor may fall into this category, as may elderly grandparents or visiting relatives. For peace of mind during the party, only invite those you know in advance will be gracious helpers.

Savvy Party Planning: Countdown to a stress-free birthday celebration

Freelance writer Christina Katz has planned some fun birthday parties over the years including a pony party, a bowling party, and a roller skating party. But her all-time favorite was the sleepover spa party.

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