A surprise birthday party might be one of the best memories of your kid’s childhood. Spend a little time refining the details to make the party as amazing as possible.

Choose a Theme

Every great party needs a theme behind it. Your kid might be a fan of a specific movie or a video game franchise; if they love Five Nights at Freddie’s, you might want to supply the party with Five Nights at Freddie’s toys, games, and decorations.

If no obvious theme comes to mind, select a color, an animal, or something else that you know your kid loves. Use your theme as a template to select matching treats, party favors, and wrapping paper. This will give the entire party a sense of cohesion and birthday magic.

Order Supplies in Advance

As a parent, you might have a hard time getting the birthday shopping done in secret. You certainly can’t keep a birthday cake in the fridge without your kid seeing it. Luckily, many bakeries and party supply stores will hold your items until you are ready to pick them up.

It’s always smart to place your order at least one or two weeks in advance. Call the store and arrange a pickup time for the day of the party. If you plan your route well, you can pick up all of the supplies and get them home while your kid is still out of the house.

Coordinate with Other Parents

A birthday party needs guests, but other kids aren’t great at keeping secrets. Call the parents of your kid’s friends and ask them to help you plan the surprise. Tell them how important the secret is; they will know whether their kid is mature enough to stay silent while helping them find a present. If not, have a list of gift suggestions on hand to make shopping easy for everyone.

Remain open to the advice and suggestions the other parents have in mind. One of them might be able to watch your kid for a few hours; another might be willing to pick up the cake if you’re short on time. Surprise parties are exciting for everyone, and the other adults will definitely want to join in the fun.

Plan a Distraction

You’ll need at least an hour or two to decorate for the party, so find an excuse to get your kid out of the house. Consider having the other parent take them out for an ice cream cone or another birthday treat. Alternatively, you could schedule a play date with a friend who is in on the surprise.

Remember to give yourself enough time to adequately prepare for the party. If you think you’ll need extra time, ask your co-conspirator to take the kid to a movie or out to the park. Keep your cell phone handy; once everything is ready, you can text them that it’s safe to come back home.

The key to a good surprise party is keeping the secret. Do all of your shopping and planning while your kid is at school or an after-school activity. Don’t tell younger children unless they can keep the secret. If you coordinate your schedule well and only tell the right people, your surprise party will go off without a hitch.

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