Family Magazine

Kids Birthday Party Planning Based on Ages and Stages

By Stevezany @stevezany

Kids birthday party planning based on ages and stages - RI Magician Kids Party Ventriloquist Steve Zany

Your child’s birthday is fast approaching. Where do you begin your party plans? What’s appropriate? What can you expect based on the age and stage of development of your birthday child and their young guests? These are three questions that moms often ask me when I speak with them about their party planning efforts.

So here’s a two-part guide that helps answer those kids birthday uncertainties and will give you a better idea of what you can expect as you plan a birthday party for your child.

In Part 1, we’ll look at the baby through preschool years. In Part 2, we’ll explore the kindergarten through 6th grade years.


Your child’s expectations

How many kids to invite

Ideal number of adult helpers

Ideal party length

Things to keep in mind

1 year old birthday

None. At this age a baby doesn’t even have any concept of a birthday nor a party.

It really doesn’t matter. Your one-year old is too young to be aware of their party guests.

For all age groups, it’s a safe bet to have one adult on hand for every three or four children.

An hour and a half is best

If you’ll be hiring a kids party performer, you’ll usually want to do so to entertain your guests, rather than the birthday child. Your son or daughter will be too young for something like a magic show. But your older guests, especially those 4 and older, will be at a suitable age.

2 year old birthday

Your child is often excited about a birthday because they are old enough to understand the concept. Be aware your young guest of honor is still a baby in many regards. Don’t expect too much from your child. Be cognizant that your child may tire, need an afternoon nap or want you to be close to you, their parent, throughout the party.

3 – 4 kids works well. Here’s why: One view of child psychology suggests adding the number one to your child’s age to come up with the ideal number of kids to invite. Another school of thought (and one I subscribe to) is to take your child’s age and multiply it by two, to arrive at the perfect number of kids to invite to the gathering.

One adult is best

An hour and a half works well

Kids at this age are often too young to sit through an entire magic show, for example, although I’ve seen it happen on occasion. Those kids tend to be mature for two-year-olds. Usually, parents who hire a kids magician, or other form of kids party entertainer, for a two year old party are more interested in having the older kids entertained (i.e., ages 4 and older) as well as the adults.

3 year old birthday

Your child is now at an age where he or she fully grasps what a birthday party is all about. It is about fun, blowing out candles, opening presents and more.

4 – 6 kids

1 – 2 helpers is suggested, especially if/when kids bicker, which gets more common at this age at birthday parties.

Two hours is ideal. Any longer and you could be asking for trouble or creating unnecessary work and stress for yourself.

By the time a child enters pre-school, they are just at the cusp of enjoying party entertainment o its fullest, like a magic show. At 3 and older, kids often will be entertained by silly antics. At age 3, the idea of magic is still not comprehensible because everything in the world is magical when you are three.

4 year old birthday

Your boy or girl will be so excited about their birthday party by age 4. They will even be thrilled to help you plan the party. Kids at this age are a bundle of energy (and that’s exacerbated by sugar).

5 – 8 kids

2 helpers will serve to make your kids birthday party run as smooth as silk

Two hours is perfect

This is the ideal age to start considering hiring birthday  entertainment, like a kids party magician for your child’s big day. Kids at this age have a better concept of the world around them and start to understand that magicians make the impossible possible. Adults who are kids at heart love to act like big kids too.

Many things begin to change when your child enters elementary school. Be on the lookout for my next post as we look at what’s suitable for your birthday party as your boy or girl grows older.

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