Kids birthday parties. The little ones love them, and although us parents love seeing them have a good time, if we’re honest, we find them a little stressful. We want our kids to have the best possible day celebrating their birthday with friends and family that we pile so much pressure on ourselves and by the time the party comes around, we’re too worn out to enjoy it.

If you don’t want your next kid’s party to damn near kill you, here are some tips to keep things in check and organize a great party without the stress:

Be Careful with the Guest List

You might not think that kids’ parties could be a major cause of arguments, fall outs, and tantrums, but they really can, and most of the time, that’s down to the guest list. You see, there are actually etiquette rules that must be followed when organizing a young kid’s party, at least. Ideally, you should invite every kid in your child’s class if you want to avoid tears and angry parents of kids who’ve been left out.

Of course, this isn’t always possible due to budget constraints, and when that’s the case, you should try to either invite just girls or boys, depending on the gender of your kid or only invite a handful of your kid’s best friends. This isn’t so much of a concern when kids are older and have a very defined social group.

Avoid Date Clashes

What could be worse than organizing a party for the same day as one of your kid’s classmates, forcing them all to choose between the two? Not much. That’s why it’s always worth checking with other parents about their party plans, especially if you know another kid has the same birthday or a birthday that falls around the same time. Then, you can organize your party for another day, avoiding bags of stress in the process.

Alternatively, you could combine parties. This is an even better option because, by doing this, you can not only split the costs but split the work too!

Hire a Caterer

I know, you might think that hiring a caterer for a kid’s birthday party is extravagant and I suppose it is, but if you can afford to do so, hiring a professional to cook up lots of tasty treats and perhaps finding an affordable place to buy a ready-made cake from, will certainly lower your stress levels, especially on the day of the party, because you won’t have to worry about getting all of the food cooked and presentable before the guests arrive.

If it’s not in your budget to hire a caterer, at least rope the rest of the family, or perhaps your besties, into helping you with the catering, and start cooking as far in advance as possible – the freezer is your friend.

Keep the Decorations Simple

Sometimes, you’ll see pictures on Facebook of ridiculously elaborate party decorations – where some mom has all but torn her hair out turning their back garden into a scene from a Disney movie. However, while fancy decs look great for pictures (and social media) – they aren’t going to be your kid’s primary concern. They’ll be more interested in laughing with their friends, getting the first slice of chocolate cake, and opening their presents. 

Therefore, you should try to keep decorations as simple as possible. Chose a theme (such as their favorite film or TV show) and buy or make a few decorations based around this. For example, if they are a huge fan of superheroes – you can DIY a superhero garland by printing out pictures of their favorite characters and tying them together with some string – this looks great and can also save you a lot of money. 

However, when it comes to decorating, you can’t go wrong with Helium Free Balloons. They can help create the perfect party atmosphere, look great, and are far better for the environment than helium-based balloons.  When it comes to selecting balloons, opt for a range of different colors and shapes – as this will create a cool party backdrop that your kids will love. 

Be Prepared for Gate Crashers

It happens at pretty much every child’s party – parents bring their children along and they, and sometimes some of their other kids, end up sticking around for the whole event. In a lot of ways, this can be a good thing, because they’ll usually pitch in and help you keep the overexcited guests under control and give you some much-needed adult company. But, it can be pretty stressful if you haven’t prepared any adult appropriate food or you don’t have enough gift bags to cover the extra kids. So, if you can, cook up a few extra snacks for parents and make up a few more gift bags than you think you will need, then there’s no need to panic.

Hire Babysitters or Activity Coordinators

This photo, “Batman Birthday Party” is copyright (c) 2013 by Janet on Flickr and made available under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license

One thing that a lot of parents don’t think about, but which can really help to take the strain off a kid’s party is hiring either a few babysitters or an activity coordinator from, like a children’s entertainer, to help you out. Babysitters are great because they will help you keep a close eye on the kids, and you can have them help you play games, serve food and keep the kids from running off and activity coordinators are great because they keep the kids engaged in fun activities, so you don’t have to deal with bored kids or children running wild because they have little to do.

Are you a kid’s party queen? Are your events always picture-perfect? What’s your secret? What do you do to ensure that everything goes smoothly and you don’t end up a stressed out mess on the day?