Children usually have bigger birthday celebrations than adults, so it can sometimes be difficult for parents to plan their parties. You want to make their day special, but you also may have a budget to balance while trying to fulfill their birthday wishes. Start your birthday party plan by remembering these four basic elements that are essential to each event.

1. Food and Drinks

The birthday cake is a timeless centerpiece in every child’s party and this should be no exception. Pay attention to your children’s interests and try to request a cake themed around it. Of course, cake alone will not satisfy hunger, so make sure you have an ample supply of foods and drinks. You do not have to prepare anything more complex than pizza and healthy snacks that involve vegetables and fruits. Substitute soda with juice and fruit punch.

2. Activities

Children need to do something beyond eating food and opening presents to stay engaged in a birthday party. Some parents even save the gift opening for after the guests have gone. Make sure you plan activities that encourage participation from your children and the guests and always have an extra activity or two in case one doesn’t hold interest or you finish early. Even free printable coloring pages and crayons will be better than nothing. You can choose a venue dedicated to a specific activity, like a bowling alley, a laser tag arena or an arcade. If you choose to keep the party at home, try out board games, dancing contests or arts and crafts.

3. Decorations

The right decorations can turn any birthday party into a memorable affair. This is another one of those areas where you will have to find out any potential interests or themes they enjoy. There are party decorations for nearly any TV show, movie or video game that you can look up. Try to also tie in the cake with the overall party theme. Some of the basic decorations you can get include banners, balloons and table cloths, as well as eating items like plates, cups and utensils.

4. Meaningful Gifts

No birthday celebration can end without gifts for your children. While you cannot completely control what the other kids will bring, you can make some suggestions to the parents about certain themes or considerations. Pay attention to what your children enjoy and think about a gift related to that interest. You can also try giving them something customized to them, like a personalized birthday book for child. This meaningful, personal touch enhances the value of the gifts.

Organizing a birthday party for your children can sound overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Incorporate these important ingredients to your overall plan to ensure the celebration feels complete.