Kids Party Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity

Monica Gray - May 15, 2023

Even if throwing your kid a party builds memories that last a lifetime, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. A lot of the time, throwing a party is more stressful than not. There’s the stress of accommodating people in your home, cooking for everyone, planning activities, and decorating your home. It might feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to let the stress deter you from hosting your party. With proper planning and a few party hacks, you’ll be a professional party thrower in no time. Whether you’re building a DIY creation to help you stay organized with utensils, hiring a babysitter, or planning your party with proper help, these hacks will keep your mind stress-free. That way, you can fully enjoy your kid’s party and make the preparation and cleanup a lot more seamless.

News Week

Hire A Babysitter

It might seem obvious, but hiring a babysitter on the day of the party will save your sanity. Extra help goes a long way, and if you’re throwing a huge party with a lot of little children, you’ll crave the extra help. Trustworthy teenagers are the ones who can get the job done, as they’re full of energy and will keep the kids entertained. The babysitter can even dress up for the kids, to give them that added bonus of fun. That way, you’ll have moments of free time where you can enjoy the party and don’t have to constantly stress about the safety of the little ones. If hiring a babysitter isn’t in your budget, consider asking your parent or friend for help (Mary Pop).


Have One Adult Game

The best way to break the ice is to have at least one adult game. Just because your kids are having fun, doesn’t mean you can, too! Having adult games at your kid’s birthday party can lighten up the mood and help ease your mind. Acting like a kid is a fun way to involve yourself more in the environment. One idea is to have a White Elephant gift exchange. This is where you exchange hilarious, impractical gifts. A bouquet of liquor? Why not! If there are parents joining your kid’s party, you can also create fun games, where the teams are the parent and the kid. That way, everyone at the party is involved (Pinterest).


Get Your Kids Involved

Teach your kids a valuable lesson in responsibility by having them help you set up for their party. This is a fun way to get them involved and show them that they need to work to play! It doesn’t have to feel like a chore, either. Put on some music and have them help you set up chairs and make party decor you can hang on the walls. We’re sure they’ll love showing their friends the drawings and colorful paintings they made to help decorate the party. They can also help pick a theme and send out the invites before the party (Vogue).


Purchase Temporary Tattoos

One way to keep the kids entertained is to purchase temporary tattoos. This is a fun, easy party activity that’ll distract the kids from running around the yard for a little while. Temporary tattoos are inexpensive, and you can buy several sheets of fun designs. Have the kids pick their favorites, and then have them help each other put it on. By the end of the activity, most of the kids will probably have tattoos all over their arms and faces. You can even have temporary tattoos custom-made that fit the theme of your party. If it’s your kid’s birthday, you can have their name printed on the tattoo (Pinterest).


Use An Acrylic Pen Holder As A Utensil Holder

Part of the stress that comes with a kid’s party is the spread of germs. No parent wants that phone call post-party, saying their kid got sick. There’s nothing more unsanitary than having a bunch of utensils in a container. The kids have to stick their germy hands and touch all of the utensils until they find the one they need. To prevent the spread of germs and keep your party as sanitary as possible, use an acrylic pen holder. That way, the kids can still see what utensils their grabbing, without having to touch everything (Romper).


Decorate With Pool Noodles

Pool noodles are fun and cost-effective ways to decorate your party. You can easily transform them and use them on an obstacle course or as swords in a fun game. Place them around your backyard, in easy reach for the kids. Because they’re soft and lightweight, they make a safe party decoration. Their fun colors are a bonus! (Pinterest).


Use A Marshmallow To Stop Ice-Cream Drips

What’s a birthday party without ice-cream cones? Even though you know the mess that’s on its way, every party needs ice cream cones, especially in the summer. But you don’t need to fear the dripping ice cream any longer or worry about the mess that’ll inevitably end up on your patio furniture. If you line the bottom of the ice cream cones with marshmallows, they’ll absorb the drip and stop the ice cream from leaking. They’ll also give your kids an amazing surprise they weren’t expecting once they finish their ice cream. Opt for an all-natural marshmallow if you want to keep your snacks on the healthier side. Add the marshmallows to the top of the ice cream, too (Today).



Ice Your Drinks With An Inflatable Pool

Buying a large cooler for drinks is inconvenient. Depending on the size of your party, you’ll likely never find an effective cooler that will get the job done. A better alternative is to ice down your drinks using an inflatable baby pool. Not only is this cost-effective, but it’s large enough to fit tons of drinks. You can even use it again for its original purpose, a pool! You can fill it with juice boxes, bottled water, and soda, so it’s easy for the kids to grab a drink on the go. It’s also easy to clean out. When the ice melts, simply dump it into your grass. You get to water your grass on the go, too (Pinterest).


Use Beach Pails To Serve Snacks

Beach pails serve both decorative and functional purposes. This hack doubles as decoration and as a way to serve food, making it a two-for-one deal. Fill beach pails with delicious snacks like popcorn, chips, and pretzels. Leave them around your backyard so the kids can easily grab whichever snacks they feel like eating. You can get colorful pails, or even paint the pails white and have your children decorate them themselves. Filling the pails with single-serve snacks is the best way to keep an eye on portion control and make sure the kids aren’t filling up before the delicious food. For smaller parties, you could grab a bunch of buckets and label them with kid’s names, so they each have designated snacks. This also works well for kids with allergies (Pinterest).

My Frugal Adventures

Use Plastic Cups For Dessert

Keep the crumbs to a minimum using clear plastic cups for dessert. If you serve large pieces of cake on plates, most of that cake will likely end up on the floor. To keep the dessert contained and make cleaning much easier, put the dessert into plastic cups. The kids can also see exactly what they’re eating. It’ll also help keep portion sizes under control (My Frugal Adventures).


Use A Craft As A Party Favor

One of the easiest party hacks is to have the kids do a craft that they can take home. This is a great way to use something that reduces waste and doubles as a party favor. It’s also a lot better than buying plastic toys that might collect dust once the party is over. You can have them paint and glue together wooden sticks to make a house or animal bookmark or have them decorate magnets they can hang on their refrigerator at home. Even though painting can get messy, if you keep them outside or in the playroom, it’ll reduce the amount of mess you have to clean up. The mess is worth the activity! (Pinterest).


Kid-Proof Your Snacks With Plastic Swizzle Sticks

To prevent splinters or any cuts on the kid’s lips while eating shish kabobs or fruit skewers, use plastic swizzle sticks. These have rounded tips that make eating safe and comfortable. You can even purchase colorful ones to make eating food that much more exciting. They’re easy to clean and you can reuse them again and again, helping lessen waste and saving you money in the long run (CBC).


Kid-Proof Your Utensils

Another way to help prevent the spread of germs and make it easy for the kids to grab their utensils is to put them closer to the ground, more in line with their height. One simple way to do this is to hang a pail on a gardening hook and stick it next to the serving area. Place the acrylic pen holder inside, so it’s easy for the kids to grab what they need, on the go. When the party is over, you could even decorate the pail with plants and flowers for an added decoration to your backyard (Pinterest).


Keep Your Dishwasher Empty Before The Guests Arrive

The last thing you’ll want to do when the party is over is clean up your house. If you have a full dishwasher, it makes it that much harder to clean up. Before the guests arrive, be one step ahead of the game and make sure your dishwasher is empty. That way, when the party is over, you have extra space for all the dirty dishes and can clean up efficiently and quickly (Pinterest).


Don’t Stress About The Music

The last thing you’ll want to stress about during your kid’s party is the music. It’s the least important part of the whole ordeal, and even though you’ll need some fun music to add to the party’s environment, let streaming get the job done for you. Find an age-appropriate station and let the playlist find songs about the kid’s ages. You might even find a few new songs your kids love or old ones they know the lyrics to! (Pinterest).


Treat Yourself To Help Via a Cleaning Service

Hiring a cleaning service is worth the money. It’ll save you tons of time and mental exhaustion. The last thing you should worry about before and during a party is having to clean up after everyone. If you know a cleaning company will get the job done, you can fully enjoy the party without worrying about every crumb that falls on the floor. If you can’t afford a cleaning service, then you can put your kids to work or ask a friend for help (Playdates Parties).


Party Hats As Snack Holders

Keeping your party as germ-free as possible is one of the most important aspects of throwing a party. The best way to do this is to use fun and colorful party hats as snack holders. Not only do they fit the theme of a birthday party, but they’re sanitary. You also won’t have to worry about scrubbing down a bunch of plates after the party, since you can just toss them into the trash. Get different colors and patterns for an added touch. The birthday boy or girl can have their very own golden hat to make them stand out from the rest of the crowd (Pinterest).


Label Your Food

Labeling your food is a great way to let your guests know exactly what ingredients were used. This is especially important if there are any kids with allergies, although you may need to accommodate them and make sure no allergens are in any of the food. If someone is gluten-free, you can easily label a cake or dish to let them know which food to eat. It also lessens the number of food questions you’ll get. You can cutely label the food, like using pieces of wood or colorful pieces of paper (Pinterest).


Play A Movie With A Projector

If your kid’s party is in the evening, entertain them with a movie projector. After food and games, settle them down into a comfortable area in your home, full of cushions and pillows. Invest in an affordable projector that you can play on a blank wall. The kids will love watching their favorite movie as if they’re at the theatre. This also gives you a break from entertaining the kids and will give you the space to start cleaning up. If they’re all settled in one space, they’re not making any more of a mess (Pinterest).


Invest In A Face Painting Kit

Since most of us are unlikely to be face painting experts, investing in a face painting kit for your kid’s party is your next best bet. Kids will love running around with flowers or ladybugs on their cheeks, and if you have a stencil kit, reaching that level of expertise is easy. Kits will come with reusable stencils and face paint safe for kids’ skin. If you want to get into it, you can watch a few tutorials to impress your kid’s friends and give them an experience they’ll remember forever (Pinterest).

My Fussy Eater

Build A Salad In A Plastic Cup

Just as you would for dessert, use a plastic cup to build salads. It helps prevent a slew of questions from the kids at your party, asking what’s inside. That way, they can see exactly which vegetables are inside, and if they don’t like a certain vegetable, they can eat around it. It’ll also help prevent unnecessary spills and prevent tiny, dirty hands from touching the serving spoon of a larger bowl of salad (Pinterest).


Make Your Juice

The ingredients in juice boxes aren’t always the most nutritious, and a lot of the time, they’re full of sugar. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of kids during a sugar rush and the inevitable crash that comes after. To keep the kids at your party healthy and full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, try making your juice. If you don’t have a juicer and only have a blender, you can make strawberry, apple, and banana juice by cutting the fruit into tiny pieces and easily blending them. With preparation, this won’t take a lot of time and will add a bit of nutritious flavor to your party (Kitchen Aid).


Use Plastic Covering Instead Of A Tablecloth

Trying to find a decent tablecloth for a birthday party creates more stress than not. A lot of the time, the material is thin and rips easily, or it doesn’t perfectly cover your table. One way to prevent this is to use a plastic covering to cover your entire table, which you can cut to size. You can also use it for multiple things, like photo backdrops or in your backyard to catch spills under the table while everyone is eating (Plastic Mill).


Have A Photo Booth

What better way to entertain a group of children than having a photo booth? As long as you have the necessary props and set up for the photobooth, this hack is easy to set up, and clean, and keeps the kids busy. The photos also serve as beautiful memories from the party, which they can bring home for their parents to see. Hang up a colorful plastic sheet in the background and have a few props lying around. Use your iPhone to take photos of the kids, and then send them to their parent’s phones. Invest in a phone holder or a light stand to hold your phone and give proper lighting for the photos. This is a lot more affordable than hiring a photographer (Pinterest).


Have A Party Potluck

What better way to hack the food system at your kid’s party than having a potluck? This way, all of the kid’s parents get involved, and they can all bring their favorite dishes. You can ask some people to bring an appetizer, others a main dish, and others a dessert. This helps take away the stress of cooking or ordering food, and cleaning up after everyone. A lot of the time, parents are more than happy to contribute to a party their child is attending (Pinterest).

Mama Gourmand

Think Ahead And Contain The Cookie Icing

Making cookies is a fun way to bond with your kids. The mess from the icing afterward is not. You can completely prevent this problem with plastic condiment squeeze bottles that contain the cookie icing and make it easy to decorate the cookies with. You can die the icing with bright, fun colors to give your cookies that added pop (Mama Gourmand).


Catch Melting Popsicles With Muffin Cups

Just like preventing ice cream drips, preventing popsicle drips is equally as important. Paper muffin cups make a great hack for dripping, sticky popsicles. Catch the drip before it stains anyone’s clothes or your furniture. Place a muffin cup on the bottom of the popsicle. It’ll catch the drip before your floor does (Yahoo).

The American Patriette

Use Bandanas To Make A Birthday Banner

Use a pack of multi-colored bandanas to make a birthday banner you can string across your living room. These bandanas are great because they’re reusable and not made from plastic. Avoiding plastic at all costs is not only great for the environment, but it makes your party decorations a lot more aesthetically pleasing (Pinterest).


Text Or Email Your Invites

While it’s beautiful to send out invites in the mail, it’s time-consuming and costly. Snail mail is a thing of the past! You have to gather the supplies, make the invites, put stamps on them, and then send them. It’s easier to make a fun graphic design online and send out the invites via text or email. It gives the adults an easy way to respond, so you quickly learn who can and cannot attend the party. If your kid wants to make something, have them design thank-you notes at the end of the party, since it’s not time-sensitive (Pinterest).


Have A First Aid Station

It’s inevitable to have at least one scrap or cut during a kid’s birthday party, especially if they’re actively running around all day outside. Because of this chance, it’s important to have a first-aid kit on hand and within easy reach. This will prevent you from having to scour your bathroom cupboards for a bandaid. If you know exactly where the first-aid kit is, you’re always one step ahead (Romper).

Kieva Realm

Protect Your Food From Bugs

There’s nothing worse than a summer party that’s infested with flies and mosquitos. It’s inevitable during the summer months, so it’s important to protect your food. Use mesh food covers to protect your food. Invest in a collapsible food tent that’s large enough to accommodate large platters and serving bowls. The mesh is breathable and won’t spoil your food. It’s also easily accessible for your guests to use (Kansas City).


Create A Kid Zone

The best way to keep the mess to a minimum is to designate an area of your backyard for the kids. If it’s raining or cold outside, designate a corner of your living room or basement for the kids. Place crafts, snacks, and games in this area to keep the kids entertained and prevent them from roaming to other areas of your home. This will help contain the mess and make it easier to clean up once everyone leaves (Pinterest).

Sticker You

Decorate With Stickers

There’s nothing more stressful than trying to scour every store and website for themed decorations. If you’re coming up empty-handed, don’t fret. Go with custom-made vinyl stickers. If your child has a unique theme, like a television show or movie, it might be hard to find decorations for that theme. You can use custom-made vinyl stickers to decorate your party. Stick them around your home, on water bottles, party hats, banners, and balloons. If there are any extras, you can use them as party gifts and send the kids home with a few (Sticker You).