Easy As Pie Birthday Party

Children's birthday parties take a lot of preparation time, money and elaborate planning. But with the clever shortcuts below, even the busiest parent can throw a birthday party that your kids will remember forever.

Make Your Own Pizza

Kids love to be creative, and your child's guests will love to get their hands busy with making their own pizza. "Make your own pizza" serves double duty as an activity and mealtime.

To organize, buy or rent a foldable, portable banquet table. Purchase some mini pizza baking pans; enough for each child to have their own. Buy premade pizza dough at the grocery store, and divide it into quarters. Each child will have a quarter. Fill plastic bowls with cut up vegetables and meats and shredded mozzarella. Fill squirt bottles with pizza sauce. Set the kids up with smocks and paper chef hats and let them design their own pizzas. You should be able to bake 6-8 pizzas at a time in your oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

If you don't have the time or resources, take the kids to a pizza place like Il Greco instead.

Water Balloon Toss

Most kids love to play with water, and when adults give them permission to get party clothes wet, even better. A few nights beforehand, have your child help you with filling up water balloons. Most party supply stores will sell bags of water balloons that include a faucet adaptor to get the job done easier. Fill a few plastic laundry baskets with the filled balloons and place them around the yard on the day of the party. Let the kids run and throw the balloons at the end of the day after they've had their fill of cake and pizza.

Birthday Blockbuster

Rent a children's blockbuster that everyone's sure to love. Throw some giant pillows on the floor, let everyone flop, and dim the lights. Pop enormous bags of popcorn and serve in birthday bags along with twisted licorice sticks. Sit back and enjoy a deserved rest while the kids enjoy the dinosaur or princess movie with glee.

Word Games

The stereotype is that kids these days only respond to video and electronic games. But most kids of school age still respond to the urge to want to prove how much they know and how smart they are. Come up with some fun word and math games that allow the kids to do some thinking and showing off. To organize, come up with a list of age appropriate questions and let them get points for getting the answers right. Make two teams, and keep score on a whiteboard. Keep the questions fun so it doesn't feel like school. Maybe ask trivia questions about the movie you just watched!

Your kid's birthday party doesn't have to take two weeks to plan, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. With these tips, they'll be raving about your child's party for weeks to come.