by McKenzie Stalkenburg

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Throwing a fun and age-appropriate party for your child can be hard on both your budget and your imagination. Don’t worry: if you don’t know what kids today enjoy, that doesn’t mean you have become like your parents. There are timeless birthday ideas that will always be a hit, and also newer birthday ideas that fit in more with modern interests. There is no one answer for every child.

The good thing about planning parties for young children is that you don’t have to overwhelm yourself with the details. As long as your kid and their friends have fun, you will get an A on the cool parent report card. If your young son or daughter has an upcoming birthday, these tips and ideas can make planning their party a little easier.

Use your connections

You wouldn’t normally think that your contacts could be helpful when planning your child’s birthday party, but you’d be surprised. Just about everyone has a talent or knows someone who knows someone. Before you go looking to outsource your entertainment, consider your network of family and friends.

Tapping into the talents and resources of those around you is an excellent way to make your party a blowout without busting the bank. The people in your network may be able to provide your child’s party with everything from supplies and decorations to entertainment.

Keep them busy

Bored kids are a real hazard to everything around them. They can become irritable, whiny, combative, and even destructive when they don’t have something to occupy their excitable minds. Your main responsibility as the host of a party for children is to keep them busy.

If you really want to keep them going for hours, then try an activity that engages their imaginations. A scavenger hunt or obstacle course will challenge them to develop and use their problem solving and teamwork skills. It also gives them that since of adventure that children so long for. The best thing about keeping kids active at parties is that they’ll eventually tire out. And for that, their parents will thank you!

Let the kids make the birthday cake

Right now, you’re probably saying, “Let the kids what?” As mentioned before, you want to keep the kids busy. If you throw the party in your home, that is the only insurance policy you have against them tearing your house apart.

Although you have to go through some measures to ensure that your kitchen doesn’t get too bad, letting them help you make the birthday cake will be a blast for you all. Once again, you will flex their teamwork muscles and also help them learn to follow instructions. Not only that, but you can save money on that fancy, custom ice-cream cake you were going to buy. What kind of cake do you make? Why, a chocolate chip cookie cake, of course!

Classics never go out of style

Although the temptation to try something new may be powerful, don’t forget that classic party themes never go out of style. So relax, because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. The same things that made you laugh and say “wow” when you were your child’s age will still amaze your child today.

Clown and magician birthday parties still elicit the same feelings of wonderment in children today as they did when you were missing your two front teeth. Clowns and magicians might actually be refreshing to today’s youth, who are more inundated by gadgets than any generation of kids before them.

Whatever you decide to go with for your child’s birthday party, remember to keep it simple, engaging, and creative. If all else fails, just ask your child what kind of party they want. Certainly, they will have a million ideas to help get you started!