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Introduction

By Charles (The Clown) Kraus & Linda Kraus, M.A.

Great Kids Birthday Party Ideas to consider

Birthdays. The older you become, the less you want to think about them. But when you’re a child you wish that every day could be a party day. Birthdays have to do with presents, with the gathering of friends, and with the acknowledgement of something that people have decided is important: the anniversary of a life.

This section of our web site is about children’s parties. It is written for parents and others who want to make such gatherings more than a breeding ground for pin-the-donkey tails. We feel that birthday celebrations can bring families and friends closer together, while helping youngsters find joy in their own maturation.

Many parents feel nervous about their child’s birthday party, though they can handle much more trying tasks at other times of the year. While we don’t have any guaranteed formulas, we’ve gathered a collection of possibilities, guidelines, and ideas to spark your creativity and to encourage positive interaction with your child.

As children grow and change, so do their parties. A one-year-old watches as others toast the day. A ten-year-old takes charge of the festivities. And somewhere in between, your son or daughter can learn to help you create a party that reflects his or her identity.

If we had to name the single most important element in putting together a party, it probably would be an awareness of children’s needs at different stages of their development. Growth is a continuous process, of course, and breaking development into chronological stages, though somewhat arbitrary, is generally helpful when creating your party plan.

The ingredients for success are the same on party day as on any other. These include: understanding what kids need (emotionally, socially, physically, and cognitively) in order to grow and thrive; accepting them as they are instead of trying to make them into someone they’re not or are not ready to be; and providing the time, space, and materials to let them test out their environment, experience their emerging skills, and continually strive toward mastery.


One of us is a professional children’s entertainer and the other an early childhood specialist. Between us, we’ve participated in thousands of parties. Some were frustrating and others magnificent successes. Our goal is to share with you the insights and information we’ve acquired so that you can choose the ideas that seem right for your family.

Our hope is to do more than “get you through” your child’s party. We would be extremely pleased if it contributed on a daily basis to enriching the relationship and your child share.