Kids’ b-day parties

I love to create birthday parties for kids at home, the possibilities are endless and the time with your kids is priceless. The tradition of having my kid’s birthday parties at home every year started from necessity, Jessica’s and Nicholas’ dates of birth are, Jan 1, and Aug 13 respectively, and all the fun spots and party venues were either closed or booked solid so I became a home party master.

At Jessie’s party this Jan(she turned 18 and is heading off to college), I listened as she and her friends talked,(at what I thought would be my last homey get together with this gang), about which weekends they would all be home from college and able to get together.I started feeling sad and getting quietly emotional until I heard one of the gang say, ” don’t forget that we’re always together at Jess’ house for her b-day”.

Here are some tips for throwing a kids’ b-day party at home:

Stay organized, and keep it simple, and you’ll have the best party and most fun:

-Confine and focus your party in one area of your home or yard

-Organize games and activities and do them with the kids

-Pick a theme and co-ordinate games, activities, and decorations to match

-Keep party to 2-3 hours

-Keep the food simple

-Make the cake and ice cream an event

-Pinatas and party poppers are always fun

-Have an indoor back up plan for outdoor parties

-Think about making goody thank you’s, like candy apples, or fudge, if you buy something how about a ticket to a local movie theater, go carts, mini golf, skating rink,etc.

-Always set party up the day before, only leave the food and fun for the day of the party

Over the years we’ve played musical chairs, tag, volley ball, bocce ball, ring toss, horse shoes, charades, pin the tail on the donkey, pin the nose on the snowman, arm on the skeleton. We’ve had races (3 leg, swimming, relay), water balloon fights, treasure and scavenger hunts (frisbees, cards, jump ropes, slinkys, barrel of monkeys, balls, sand pails, bubbles-there are many fun toys at the dollar store to use for prizes in hunts and races). We’ve had activity stations like face painting, tattoos(temporary), nail painting, hair do’s. Last but not least ice cream is fun so make an activity out of it, we’ve made ice cream sundae’s in small sand pails(pool party), to a killer sundae bar(converted a backyard gazebo into a candy shop, to having Mr. Softee pull right into our driveway.(the older kids may prefer sushi to popcorn chicken but at any age the ice cream truck is welcome)- use paper everything, and give the kids a buck to pick up after the party!

Your Basic Cake recipe

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven.
Use either one 13×9 inch rectangular pan,  two standard 9″ round cake pans, or one cupcake


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups light cream
  • 3 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs


  • Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blend with electric mixer on low until combined.
  • Turn mixer to high speed for 3 minutes, pour into greased and floured pans of your choice.
  • If using a rectangular pan, bake for 40-45 minutes, two rounded pans, 30-35 minutes, or a cupcake pan 20-25 minutes or until top springs back when touched or knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Here’s a great recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from, which would go well on this cake.

10 Responses to “Kids’ b-day parties”

  1. DebG says:

    Happy Be-lated Birthday to YOU, Maria!!! Hope your day was special! You Son’s Birthday is the same day as my Mom’s :) Thank you for all your fun and informative blogs! I just love them!

  2. Melissa M. says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas. @ of my 3 kids have summer birthdays so an at home party is a must. Thank you for the cake recipe, I am going to make it this summer.

  3. brenda says:

    my older daughter(14) wants to be a events planner/baker. she plans her sister’s parties every year. last year was hannah montana goes to the carnival. she made a guitar cake, had many games and prizes. we had over 30 kids for 4 hours. all kids said it was the best party ever and didn’t want to go home.everyone can’t wait for july 7 this year! i am excited to see what she has planned too. it sure helps me out greatly. plus they are working together on something.

  4. Kristina S says:

    Hi to all. I have 4 daughters, so these are great tips! With 4 kids it is too expensive to do the big grandiose birthday parties at the event places every time like they would like to do! We just did a birthday party a couple of weeks ago again for my 5-yr-old. The ages of my girls are spread out enough, too, so that makes their interests vary a lot when it comes to what they want for a party. They are 2, 3, 5 and 13 (our oldest was adopted 5-1/2 years ago from Russia).
    If any of you are interested in adoption or its’ surrounding topics, please join me at my blog:
    Thanks again for the great ideas!

  5. Tonya D says:

    I love doing birthday parties at home…you are so right about the possibilities being endless! I have a 9 yr old and a 7 1/2 mth old so you know their interests are going to be way different! Thanks for all the great advise and the cake recipe!

  6. Kirsten says:

    Thank you so much for the tips and the recipe! My daughter’s first birthday is coming up in May and we plan on doing it at home… but I’m nervous. Stay organized, stay organized, stay organized! Oh, and I like that you suggested to keep it simple. Thanks again for the advice!

  7. Ruth W says:

    My goddaughter who is now in her late 20′s had a birthday party when she was about 3 yrs old. My sister, the “creative corner” in our family, put all the decorations 1/2 way up the walls and had balloons tied to chairs and tables, etc., closer to the little one’s scale. When we walked into the party room we felt like giants. It was a thoughtful gesture for the small guests.

  8. Ashley says:

    The party ideas you have are so creative thanks for the tips! my dads birthday just passed and I haven’t got to see him yet :-(, he lives 2 hours away I am going to see him over the weekend and planned to bake him a cake! This sounds perfect and will be a great surprise. Ill let you no how it comes out. Thanks Maria more recipes please!

  9. kim says:

    Maria, I love the cake recipe…love your party ideas…My son has a pool party every summer…End of the year party! I kept it to 3 hours this year, kept it simple, in the past it tended to go all day and into the early eve…I did the ice cream bar last hour of the party and it was a great idea…Everybody had a great time…absolutely love your recipes and ideas…really enjoy reading your blog, love to see alot more…Please keep them coming…Thank you so much Maria…Your wonderful…

  10. Bob says:

    I wonder, if I can use some different sweet 16 party ideas for boys, as my twin brother and me were born on Christmas, and our parents have always pampered both of us on our birthdays, but I would like to give a surprise to my brother this year, because he has stopped fighting with me for using his articles.

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