Craft / DIY

How to Plan a Kids Party at Home: Top Tips, Tricks and Party Picks

Cut down on the costs, the booking fees and the crowds by planning a kids party at home. While the thought of hosting a gaggle of hungry kids (plus potential parents and siblings) can be a bit daunting, it can also be a lot of fun and give you a chance to spread those creative party-planning wings.

Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry – we’ve got you!

Behold our very best tips, tricks and even party suppliers in Australia to ensure your best birthday bash yet. We’ve got some seriously amazing kids’ birthday party themes and set-ups for inspiration, cool cake and food ideas, easy games and activities and so much more.

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Source: Adobe Stock

Best of all, you can do it all from the comfort of your home. No need to book a venue, pay a deposit, transport the kids AND the food to and from the venue, and battle the birthday crowds. So, prepare for an epic day, evening or overnight event that your little one will remember for years and years to come.

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CHECKLIST: How to Plan a Kids Party at Home 

Your party checklist will depend on what you want to do with the kiddies, how old they are, how long the party is going for and if you want to hire extras like entertainment or a photographer. But here are the ten basic things to tick off your list every time.

party suppliers in Australia
It’s easy to plan a kids party at home if you have the right checklist! Source: Bigstock
  1. THEME: Decide on a theme or colour scheme (Your little one will probably be more than happy to help you out with this!).
  2. GUESTS: Create a guest list and send out invites.
  3. SPACE: Decide on your party space whether it’s in the backyard, main living area, on a deck, or even the garage. You may need to move some furniture to accommodate the party area.
  4. ITINERARY: This doesn’t have to be set in stone but you might want to make a list of how you’d like the party to go. Consider things like games, entertainment, present opening, snacks, activities you may have set out and of course, cake.
  5. FOOD AND DRINKS: Create a grocery list or menu of what you’d like to serve. If you are getting it catered, book a catering company.
  6. ENTERTAINMENT: Decide if you’d like any hired entertainment or equipment such as a face painter, magician, photographer, animal experience, laser tag, etc.
  7. GAMES: It might be a good idea to organise a few party games to play (we share a few good ones below). You may need to purchase some small prizes for the games too.
  8. DECORATIONS: Decide on what you need – balloons, streamers, table settings, fairy lights, signage, etc.
  9. CAKE: Order one or make a list of what you need to make your own. Don’t forget the candles AND a lighter!
  10. LOLLY/LOOT BAGS: Purchase lollies, small gifts or thank-you notes for your guests.

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Tips and Tricks to pull off the BEST Birthday Party at Home 

Once you have a basic checklist of what needs to be done, you’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty.

But where do you begin? Here are our top tips and tricks from our expert birthday party-planning mums, plus Mum Central’s picks for the BEST party suppliers in Australia for everything you need:

1. Let’s Talk Entertainment 

How are you going to keep a group of kids entertained for anywhere from 2-4 hours? This is probably the thing party planners struggle with the most which is why we love the idea of a themed party that comes to your door, such as a Painting Party, an at-home salon party, a themed sleepover party or Laser Tag Hire.

Below are our two top picks for entertainment party suppliers in Australia. 

FEATURED PARTY SUPPLIER: Boxful’s Ultimate Kids Painting Party Kit

RRP: $24.95 per child
WHERE TO BUY: Boxful Events 

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Source: Supplied

Hosting a painting party is one of our top choices, especially for creative and crafty kids looking for at-home birthday party entertainment.

Boxful Events delivers everything you need to transform your home into an art studio, including access to an easy-to-follow, step-by-step painting video tutorial that can be streamed from any smartphone or television screen, making sure anyone can create a masterpiece. Each kit also includes a canvas, acrylic paint set, and brushes – all of which can be taken home by each child as a keepsake with their artwork.

Boxful’s Ultimate Painting Party Kits are available in two sizes (mini and standard), starting at just $24.95. You can easily add as many kits as needed to accommodate all your young guests.

While you’re at it, check out the additional party supplies that Boxful Events can also deliver to your door, including party games, unique and affordable party favours, and other kids’ party activity boxes, such as the Pottery Palooza Party Kit, another great party activity for kids.

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: 
SAVE: 15% OFF
CODE: MUM
EXPIRY: 20 OCTOBER 2023

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FEATURED PARTY SUPPLIER: Laser Tag in a Box

RRP: From $362
WHERE TO BUY Laser Tag in a Box

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Source: Supplied

For the ultimate backyard entertainment, you cannot go past Laser Tag in a Box! We’ve sung the praises of laser tag hire parties in the past and Laser Tag in a Box delivers the fun straight to your door! With Laser Tag in a Box, you can set up the game in minutes and the rental pack includes everything you need, including taggers, re-activation points, and a master controller. You can also choose to add other party supplies to your box including decorations, lolly bags, a camo net and even a trophy to crown the winner.

There are sets for all ages and numbers of kids and you can also choose from different game modes, weapons, and scenarios to suit your preferences and skill level. Another great thing about Laser Tag in a Box is that you can play indoors or outdoors, perfect for whatever the weather is doing on party day.

Expect cool sound effects and a voice coach, long-lasting batteries for hours of play and some very happy (and sweaty) kids after the battle! Such a fun experience for them and an easy party choice for parents too! It’s a win-win! Laser Tag in a Box delivers Australia-wide and free shipping to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane metros if you spend $350 or more.

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: 
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2. BIRTHDAY PARTY GAMES

Games are another great way to keep the kiddies happily entertained and playing nicely. We always suggest having a few games on your itinerary. You may find the children are more than happy to just free-play but it’s nice to be ready if they start to get antsy or to defuse any potential problem situations.

Here are a few backyard birthday favourites to set up, depending on the age and stage of the kids.

kids' birthday parties - party suppliers in Australia
Source: Bigstock

For younger kids: 

  • Pin the tail on the donkey (or whatever theme)
  • Pinata or a water balloon pinata
  • Any game involving balloons
  • Pass the Parcel or Hot Potato
  • Musical Statues or chairs
  • What’s the Time Mr. Wolf
  • Duck, Duck, Goose
  • Four Corners

mum centralTOP TIP: Sometimes little ones can get a wee bit upset if they don’t win. Be sure to have plenty of ‘prizes’ on hand for everyone involved or pick games where there isn’t a winner or everyone gets something special.


For older kids: 

  • Salon or Spa Activities
  • Relay races
  • Treasure and Scavenger Hunts
  • Make Your Own Slime or PlayDoh
  • Make Your Own Friendship Bracelets
  • Rock Painting 
  • Wink Murder

mum centralTOP TIP: If you’re hosting a summer party outside, add water! Set up a sprinkler, blow up TONS of water balloons, buy some cheap water guns or make your own slip ‘n slide. Ask guests to bring swimmers and a towel on the invitation.


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Just add water (and an airtrax) for the ultimate backyard fun! Source: Supplied

3. Pick a Theme 

Kids’ birthday parties don’t need a theme but many younger children may request one. While having a theme may seem like a lot of hard work, it actually makes things easier because it narrows down your choices.

Another great thing about themes is that many party suppliers in Australia do have decorations, table settings, costumes, banners, and even lolly bags in common TV characters such as Bluey, Peppa, Paw Patrol, Care Bears and Disney Princesses.

Care Bears party
Source: Jack Hirst Photography

For more inspiration, have a look at these incredible themed kids’ birthday party at home ideas. From party-planning parents who absolutely nail it. You may be able to pinch a few of their ideas for your own party.

mum centralTOP TIP: Don’t overthink it. You don’t have to make everything matchy-matchy. Focus on a few key elements to the theme (like the cake and maybe the place settings) and then try to find decorations to match the colour scheme such as balloons, tablecloths, etc.


FEATURED PARTY SUPPLIER: Blossom Costumes

RRP: $43.50
WHERE TO BUY: Blossom Costumes

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Source: Supplied

One of the best ways to add to any theme is by including costumes in the mix. You may want to ask guests to come in costume or you may prefer to just dress your little birthday star in something extra special. Blossom Costumes is our top pick for party costumes in Australia and they deliver absolute adorableness!

They’ve got costumes for every birthday theme – superheroes, Disney, Harry Potter, Minions and so much more. Take their Barbie Princess Deluxe Costume, perfect for your little Barbie Girl and sure to set the stage for an amazing party day! This satin dress comes with the iconic Barbie logo in a glittery gold sequin design on the bodice plus organza peplum embellishment on the skirt and printed details. So fancy!

Blossom Costumes is your go-to for all costumes – adults, kids, and infants – and is ideal for any fancy dress occasion. Expect the highest quality and super-fast delivery every time you order too!

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4. Decorations Matter

For creative parents, the decorating aspect of hosting a kids’ birthday party at home is pretty much the best part of it. We love the idea of designing a special space that oozes with cuteness, charm and chaos – it is a kids’ birthday party, after all!

Not only do you need to decide on your space (we love outdoor garden parties), but also how you want to display the food, the place settings and anything extra you’d like to feature such as a balloon wall, photo booth or birthday signage.

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Decor can really transform your party. Source: Supplied

You may also need to consider hiring or borrowing extra tables and chairs, setting up a picnic area for the kids with rugs and pillows or setting up specific spaces for games and activities you have planned.

mum central TOP TIP: Fairy lights are absolutely fantastic to set the mood for pretty much any backyard or garden setting. Hang them from the ceiling, around a trampoline or drape them from nearby trees. Have a look for solar ones so you don’t need an outlet – just be sure to charge them before the party!


FEATURED PARTY SUPPLIER – Event Signs

RRP: Starting from $75 + GST
WHERE TO BUY: Event Signs

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Source: Supplied

For a show-stopping birthday party at home set-up, you’ll LOVE Event Signs. They create high-quality custom signage for kids’ birthday parties and beyond! Their signs are completely customised so you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to what colours, themes and personalisation you want. 

Event Signs has an extensive range of signage and digital printing stock including foamboard, corflute, PVC and more. What we love about Event Signs is that they deliver a personalised approach that’s hard to find these days. The team stress the finer details as these are essential in bringing your mood board/inspiration to life. Wherever you are in Australia, their service is smooth, stress-free and delivered right to your door.

If you are after something extra special, we highly recommend Event Signs. Make sure you consider them for all parties in the future too, from weddings to baby showers and more.

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5. Food for thought – Try DIY! 

Although not everyone will agree with us on this one, we find that the best birthday party foods are the simple classics. Fairy bread, party pies, sausage rolls, cupcakes, fruit platters, veggie sticks and anything that’s easy to eat with their hands.

mum central TOP TIP: One fun way to serve the food is through a DIY experience such as a DIY pizza station or a DIY cookie or cupcake decorating station. This can be a fun activity for the kids and also helps transition them from play to eating.


The cake will be your piece du resistance and often children will request a cake to match their theme. If you aren’t a whiz in the cake-making experience, you might want to budget for a cake maker which can save a lot of time and stress. Just be sure to order your cake at least three weeks in advance.

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Making your own cake doesn’t need to be complicated! Source: Mum Central

If you want to go the DIY cake route, we’ve got plenty of amazing cakes to recreate. Check out just a few of our faves below:

mum central TOP TIP: Another thing to keep in mind if hosting at home and the kids are little is to also have adult beverages on hand such as tea, coffee or champagne if you’d like. You will also need to invest in an esky and ice to keep drinks cool. If you are serving hot foods, we suggest setting a timer to make sure you don’t forget to put the food in the oven or take it out (trust us, it’s easy to forget!).

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Source: Adobe Stock

6. And, finally, the Great Sleepover Debate

If you’re hosting a party for older kids, you may have been asked “Can it be a sleepover?”

Sleepovers are tricky, especially birthday party sleepovers. The kids are wound up, it’s hard to get them to bed and you’re responsible for keeping them safe and entertained for several hours. It’s A LOT of work, but, having endured several sleepover parties in my life, it’s also a lot of fun for your kids and they really do love them.

teepee sleepover party ideas for girls
Sleepovers can be so much fun with a little planning and prep! Source: Bigstock

mum central TOP TIP: If you are going the sleepover route, it’s a whole new ball game. You’ll need plenty of activities and lots of coffee for you! Check out our Sleepy in a Teepee Inspiration Guide for the coolest sleepover ideas as well as these 27 Sleepover Activities to Try. 


Well, that about wraps up our biggest-ever guide to planning a birthday party at home.  We’ll leave you with our most important tip and that’s to have fun with it and try not to stress if things don’t go perfectly to plan.

No one is going to care if your cake is slightly lopsided or if you left the Cheerios in the water too long and they turned weird and gross (speaking from experience here). Your main role job is to make sure the kids (and parents) are safe and having fun, that everyone is fed and that your birthday guy or gal is enjoying their special day.

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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