Stress Busting Party Tips

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We all know children’s birthday parties can be stressful to organise when we are trying to juggle busy lives.

Over the years I have picked up some good tips on how to organise a party with minimal stress… I love running Detective parties for children (but admit I still get stressed running parties for my own children – it’s the emotional involvement)!


  • Don’t leave anything until the last minute – if you are booking entertainment do it at least 6 – 12 weeks before the big day to avoid disappointment
  • Think about the venue – hire a venue or a hall so your own house remains clean, however hiring a hall can be expensive so if you have space at home – go for it, children love being there.
  • For children under 10 – two hours is ample time for a birthday party.
  • Having food towards the end means the sugar high will coincide with home time, always a good call.
  • Fifteen kids appear to be the optimum number so that the birthday child doesn’t get ‘lost’ in the throng.

Who to invite?

  • You do not have to invite the entire class even if other parents have set a precedent of inviting everyone – it’s your child’s party, you get to chose.
  • Not all parents RSVP to invitations so chase up non-responses and always have a couple of extra party bags ready for that unexpected child who floats in.
  • Printed paper invitations given to the parent with an RSVP slip are a fun way to invite guests. Invitations through verbal communication or social media don’t get taken as seriously and therefore the RSVP rate is low leading to a skewed expectation of guests.
  • 50% of the parties I run have no shows from invitee’s. Don’t be that parent – ALWAYS respond when you receive the invite.
  • If invitations are handed out to the children via school, they may get no further than the book bag!


  • Party food can be kept simple and fun. Kids love having pizza delivered and a big shop bought chocolate cake. Don’t feel you have to spend hours peeling grapes for it all to get wolfed down in a matter of minutes!
  • In my non-scientific survey, 90% of parties involve pizza
  • It’s not your job to get 5-a-day into the kids on the party day, don’t worry about it.
  • The most important bit is everyone singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and the blowing out of candles. Everything else is – well, icing.

Party bags – love them or loathe them, they are here to stay.

  • Children love to receive a party bag at the end and will often come to expect it so make sure you’re prepared. We include them in our party cost so it’s a no-brainer for parents (and you don’t end up buying toys from the pound shop)
  • A bar of chocolate would suffice – they’ll have something in their hands as they leave.

After the party……

  • Bask in the glory of a brilliant party – it’s the highlight you child’s year
  • Crack open the wine, and relax!!

But, don’t forget to send thank you’s – it’s still expected.