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Parents’ Guide to Planning your Daughter's Birthday Parties from ages 1 - 8

by Tina Bryant 25 Jan 2019

If you have a daughter with a birthday coming up, you might feel at a loss trying to think of something special enough to celebrate your baby girl turning another year older. Will you opt to go all out, planning for weeks, making cute DIY projects to decorate and invite the whole block? Or do you rent a bounce house and call it a day? Maybe you happen to have a sandbox or swingset and you decide to just have your daughter’s friends over.  That all depends on your daughter’s age and personality, as well as your budget. The truth is, to make kids happy in this age range, it really doesn’t take much. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan

Ages 1-3

One thing to keep in mind is that the younger they are, the more the party is actually for the parents. From ages 3 and under, they’re highly unlikely to remember the party at all as they grow up, so keep in mind why you’re really throwing the party. At age 1, for example, you’re really celebrating the year anniversary of you becoming a parent. Once they start getting to ages 4 and older, the celebrations will stick in their memories more and your efforts will be noticed more. But while they’re tiny 1 year olds, 2 year olds and 3 year olds, your “party” will be more of a family and friends get-together featuring babies/toddlers.

One year olds will need a baby proofed room, but very minimal decor. No  need to spend on intricate decorating. Singing songs and blowing bubbles might be all that’s needed to elicit smiles from your or others’ babies. Take a lot of photos and keep the party limited to an hour, since other babies in attendance will have all kinds of sleep and feeding schedules.

Two year olds are better known as “terrible twos,” so buckle up for a bumpy ride here. They’ll go from 0-100, so make sure your room is again, baby proofed. Hosting the party outside is probably best, so they can be messy when they want to be. Hands on activities like playing with sand, water or clay works fine, but don’t have balloons within reach in case they should pop - this presents a choking hazard.

Three year olds start to really ‘get’ parties better. Circle games work great, as long as the game or activity isn’t too complicated or requires their undivided attention. Simon Says could work since three year olds enjoy imitating. Its best not to open gifts in front of the other kids since some may not understand why a toy can’t go home with them.


Ages 4-5

These are the ages when we start to see more sophisticated party goers and we can get a solid 2 or more hours in to the party time. They’ll start being more likely to remember their party later on in life, so your decorations won’t go unnoticed.

4 year olds have plenty of energy, so its recommended to plan plenty of games and activities. Scavenger hunts work well with these ages, as well as games like duck duck goose or hide and seek, even musical chairs since four year olds enjoy music and singing songs.

5 year olds will most likely be extremely excited for their birthday party for weeks even months before. They’re able to contribute with decoration and theme ideas and will most likely come to you with their opinions before you’ve even had a chance to remember the birthday was coming. Their imagination will run wild, so things like tea parties or princess parties are perfect. Decorations will go a long way to creating the mood for her. This age group really gets into the play, so having a costumed party (even if its not Halloween) could work as well as having plenty of props to play make-believe games will be a hit.


Ages 6-8

By age six and on, your daughter will likely have a well developed understanding of the importance of parties and spending time with friends. You won’t have to come up with ideas anymore because your daughter will have plenty of them - she’ll come to you with exactly what she wants, so whatever’s within reason is fair game. Organized games work well since this age group is already used to school and structure and rules.

Kids these ages will start to present desires to have the birthday party at other places, such as bowling alleys, parks, theme parks and more. Girls this age might even want to do a sleepover if it’s something you’ve allowed in your household. If it is, building a fort out of sheets and, watching movies and making cookies or brownies could be a very memorable way to celebrate for your daughter and her friends. Games and activities with clues and puzzles work well; so do dance-offs and sing-offs, if that’s what your kids are into. It will be all about bonding time between her and her friends, so even having a dress up theme like “everybody wear purple” or everyone wear florals can be fun.


Make her Feel Special All Day

Making her feel special is key; so even planning surprises before her party starts throughout the day will make her feel like Christmas morning. Things like decorating her doorway with streamers, planting little treats or balloons in her room before she wakes up on the morning of her birthday will be an amazing way to get her excited about her big day. Making her favorite breakfast, Planning to wear a mother and me matching outfit with your daughter the day of or surprising her with a custom printed tee with her name on can keep the attention on her. If she has to go to school, pack a surprise in her lunch bag - a cupcake, cookies, or anything else you know she’ll love.


What its All About  

If you happen to have a swing set, mini playground, trampoline, swimming pool or sandbox, any of these things will make for an easy way to entertain guests, but if not, there are plenty of other ways to make your daughter’s birthday fun. Regardless of what you opt to do, remember that spending tons of money on a party does not necessarily mean it will be fun and memorable. Think about what your daughter will have fun doing the most and keep the celebration about that.

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