Top 7 Ways to Add Character to Your Child’s Birthday Party

Thank you to Love of Character for sponsoring this post and for providing stylish and adorable parties and events for Wichita families!

As your child’s birthday draws near, what comes to mind? Do you have a party theme you’ve been dreaming about? Are you stressed because over-the-top Pinterest parties seem impossible? Worried because your kid just came home from the “best party ever” and you don’t think your wallet can compete? At Love of Character, we’ve encountered each of these senarios when talking to party-planning mamas. Our goal is to help you throw a magical, memorable birthday party, no matter your budget!

Sally Cavanaugh Photography
Sally Cavanaugh Photography

Here are the Top 7 Ways to Add Character to Your Child’s Birthday Party:

1. Listen to your child’s inner party planner. I remember the parties I had when I was little because my mom let me be involved (I once decorated Twinkies to look like girls in sleeping bags). I love when adults ask the child which plates or napkins they’d like to use. So what if their choices aren’t a perfect match? They like them! You can always give them a couple options to choose from to help steer them in the right direction. 

Alison Moore Photography
Alison Moore Photography

2. Figure out what is important to you and save your money for that. Has your daughter always dreamed of having Elsa or a ballerina at her party? Budget for entertainment. Does your son want everyone to wear super hero capes? Budget for costumes. Once you have the “big” item worked out, you can figure out what to spend on the other supplies.

3. Find a place to host the party. A lot of times, you feel like you need to host a party at your house for budget purposes, but when it comes down to it, hosting a party at your house isn’t that much cheaper. In fact, by the time you have your housekeeper come (or use your free time to clean), get extra decorations to make your space look party ready and bring entertainment to your house, you are probably spending more than you think. Plus when it’s at home, it’s easier to keep buying stuff because you don’t have to haul it somewhere. Find a place where you can come set up, have fun and leave. Bonus points for venues that include set up/clean up services.

Love of Character
Sally Cavanaugh Photography

4. Entertain the party guests. Some kind of activity is a must for the party because you have to keep the children entertained for a decent amount of time. Have a coloring sheet, decorate a super hero cape, book an entertainer, or make paper dolls. Find a fun and easy (but manageable) activity that fits your theme – i.e. don’t have 20 five-year-olds finger painting.

5. Don’t “theme out” the party setup. You do not have to buy everything to match one specific look. You can mix in solids, patterns and then some of the specific themed items. For a flamingo party we recently hosted at the shop, I loved mixing pink striped and solid plates with flamingo napkins. I know it can be easy to just buy everything from the one section that has the matching napkins, plates, cups and hats, but you will have a more “Pinterest looking” setup if you mix it up a little.

6. Don’t overthink food and drinks, but offer something. Parents can get overwhelmed and overspend on food and drinks for a party. Your main focus is probably going to be the dessert situation, so do something that goes with your theme, is within budget and is tasty! Outside of that, plan around the time of day and have snacks or an easy meal. Kids are going to be focused on their friends, the activities and dessert. Don’t overspend on a fancy meal if you don’t have the budget for it. Also, don’t forget about parents staying. If your guests are 5 or under, parents are probably sticking around. Make sure to entertain them as well. Pro tip – take the labels off of water bottles for a cleaner look in pictures.

Sally Cavanaugh Photography
Sally Cavanaugh Photography

7. Give fun and useful party favors. If you go out and buy a bunch of penny candy and trinkets, you will probably spend as much in the end as you would have buying one nice thing for kids to take home. Some of my favorite recent party favors have been paperback books, cardboard dollhouses, pineapple sippers and tea time accessories. Have too many kids coming to afford something like that? A cute bag of popcorn or a balloon is also fun!


love-of-character-logo-300x300Love of Character is paper goods, party supplies and gift shop located on a little corner in the College Hill area. There is also a small event space where you are able to host kid birthday parties, showers and get togethers. In this shop, we believe that a life full of character is a life well lived. Our commitment is to add Character to your parties, gifts and life! Please let us know if we can do anything to assist you and make your experience fulfilling.

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Love of Character Mary BillingsAbout Mary: I am a fun-loving girl with a knack for crafts, decorating and party planning. Growing up, my favorite thing to do was party planning, whether it was for my birthday or a Valentine tea, and I am so excited that I have found a way to make that a career. I live in the College Hill area, which I love because of the character, with my extremely supportive husband and cute little dog. I was an accountant after college and recently decided to go full time with the shop. So excited to make my daydreams a reality.


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