Birthday Party Ideas

There seems to be a lot of pressure out there to host really great birthday parties and hand out over-the-top loot bags. Whatever happened to pin the tail on the donkey and candy bracelets? Don’t stress, you won’t make or break your reputation for coolness based on your child’s next party. There’s plenty of other opportunities for that.


Inside of the Crib: Home-based party ideas

Outside of the Crib: Location or theme-based theme party ideas

Whether you host a party inside or outside of the crib here are a few survival tactics and ideas:

Survival Tips

  • Don’t go overboard, remember the K.I.S.S. principle (keep it simple stupid). Kids don’t need a lot to have fun. They also don’t know how much things cost, so watch your budget!
  • Don’t plan too many different activities.
  • Don’t invite too many people.
  • Don’t plan anything else major the day of the party, it can be overwhelming for the child and they could be tired by the time of the party and ready to meltdown.
  • Do have the party at your child’s best time of day.

Visit for other tips of avoiding the stress and madness of the birthday party!

Non-Candy loot bag ideas:

Giant sunglasses, barretts, headbands, shovels and pails, glow bracelets, playdough, tattoos, stickers, skipping ropes, dinky cars, balls, bubbles, funky straws/cups, markers, pencils, books, notepads, stamps and ink pads. The larger dollar stores have a great selection of items.

Good gifts to have on-hand for those last-minute birthday invitations

  • Nerf guns/games
  • Sporting equipment for land or water
  • Lego
  • Puzzles
  • Polly pockets/ Barbies
  • Play Dough/Crayola items
  • Gift certificates for a local attraction

Altruistic Gift Ideas

  • World Wildlife Federation. Adopt an animal as a gift for the birthday child. There are 10 different species available and each adoption kit includes a plush toy, reusable bag, personalized adoption certificate and more. You will also receive a tax receipt for every adoption.
  • Heifer International. Choose a meaningful gift to give a loved one and help children and families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant. Choose from a variety of animals like heifers, sheep, llamas, goats and more.
  • ECHOage. ECHOage's concept is simple: guests are invited, rsvp and donate to a charity online. Half goes toward the purchase of one gift for the birthday child and the other half goes to the selected charity. The hope is that the one gift becomes more memorable and symbolic rather than receiving the 20, soonto- be-forgotten, toys.