There’s a lot that goes into planning a children’s party before the big day. From themes and venues to decorations and catering, it’s a big task to get everything ready.So you’re getting close to your child’s birthday and everything’s bought and prepared, but what do you actually do on the day of the party? We think the ideal order of events at a kid’s birthday party is…
- 15 minute arrival window
- 30 minutes for party food
- 45 minutes for games and entertainment
- 20 minutes to open presents and serve the birthday cake
- 10 minutes for goodbyes and party bags
Kid's Party Duration and Timing
0:00-0:15 Let the Guests Arrive
0:15-0:45 Party Food and Drinks
Leave around 30 minutes for the kid’s to enjoy some party food and drinks. We think serving party food is the first thing you should do after the children arrive. Usually everyone arrives to the party hungry so getting the food out of the way first means the kid’s can enjoy the party games and entertainment a bit more.
But if you think it’s too early to serve food, you can swap this time slot with the games and eat afterwards. This is just a guide after all, do what works for your party and decide what order of events fits your child’s party best!
Kid's Party Food Tips
There are plenty of choices to make regarding the party food for your child’s birthday.
Decide first if you’re going to hire a caterer or make the party food yourself. You can even order party food from your local supermarket that can be collected on the day of the party for a cost-effective but convenient option. Check out our ultimate party food guide to decide which option is best for you. It’ll give you an idea of how much food you need per child, where to get it and give you some more ideas!
What about the adults? Some parents think you should offer food to the adults helping out at the party. But what kind of food, how much and what if you’re on a tight budget? Take a look at our answers to these questions to help you decide if you should serve party food for adults at a kid’s birthday party.
Children's Party Drink Ideas
If you’re planning a children’s birthday party, fizzy drinks are always popular, but not so healthy. Fruit juice is a better option, but a tad boring. So why not try this healthy strawberry and banana smoothie recipe? It’s easy to make in batches, tastes great and isn’t too unhealthy either!
Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Recipe (makes 10 drinks)
- Peeled banana
- Strawberries 400g
- Natural yogurt 3 tablespoons
- Runny honey 1 tablespoon
Blend 400g of ice with the rest of the ingredients and then garnish with some strawberries.
0:45-1:30 Party Games and Entertainment
There are plenty of times of entertainment for kid’s birthday parties. You’ll need to allocate a set amount of time for the entertainment depending on which type you choose. But 45 minutes is usually a good rule of thumb for how long this should take at the party.
But what entertainment should you go for? If you’re looking to hire someone, you can go for a classic magician of DJ, hire a character appearance. If you want to keep things cheap then you can sort the party music yourself. Check out our guide to making the perfect party playlist.
You can also think about throwing some party games in too. These are great to keep the cost low, and give you more flexibility with the timings. We think these are the best party games for a children’s birthday:
- Musical statues
- Pin the tail on the donkey
- Pass the parcel
- Treasure hunt
- Musical chairs
- Hot potato
1:30-1:50 Birthday Cake and Presents
Now’s the best time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the birthday cake! If you’re struggling for birthday cake ideas then think about what hobbies, movies, books, or sports your child likes in to get some inspiration. Or you could even get their favourite photo printed onto their cake!
If your child wants to open the presents at the party, this should be the next thing to think about when planning the order of events. Some children can get a bit shy about opening presents in front of everyone and other young kid’s can get a bit jealous too. So skip this step if you need to. Just remember to keep a track of the gifts so you can thank everyone later.
1:50-2:00 Home Time
So now it’s time to start wrapping the party up and think about saying all the goodbyes and thank-yous.
But no children’s birthday is complete without some party bags!
Check out our complete guide to party bags for some help! It’s full of unique and classic party bag filler ideas, tips to stay under budget, and will tell you where to buy everything too!