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How to Host an Epic Back-to-School Party

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Help your kids ease back into the routine by throwing an incredible back-to-school party.

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Happy family is preparing for a costume party.Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

Start with a Theme

This will help set the mood for the party, making it easy to decide what kind of decorations to put up, what to set out for snacks and what games to play. Pick a theme that you can find on notebooks, pencils and school accessories. It’s a great year for throwing a superhero party!

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Children playing tug of war at the parkRobert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Finalize the Guest List

Do you want this to be a small party with your child’s closest friends? Or a neighborhood bash to send everyone off right? Figure out how large you want the party to be, then start working on who is invited. Don’t forget to let parents and siblings know whether they’re invited, too. This handy chart tells you how much food to serve.

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Top view flat lay with feminine hands holding empty greeting card on bright pink background. Kate Aedon/Shutterstock

Send the Party Invitations

Keeping your theme in mind, pick up invitations and get them on their way. Use the RSVP to find out if there are allergies among your guests. Knowing about dietary restrictions will help you refine your menu (though it’s always a good idea to have a few vegetarian and gluten-free food options).

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Colorful funny balloons.Irina Mitin/Shutterstock

Pick out Your Back-to-School Party Decorations

The joy of planning a party in advance is that you have time to find party decorations that suit your theme. Amazon is a great place to start—if you’re throwing a Star Wars party, you can pick up character masks, an inflatable Death Star and even little lightsabers to top your cupcakes.

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Colorful plastic ware for picnic on tableAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Stock up on Forks and Plates

You’ll need enough plates, cups, silverware and napkins for all your guests. You can head back to Amazon and get more on-brand serving supplies for the party, or you can pick up disposable sets from Target. If your party is small—and you find washing dishes therapeutic—you could use your own plates and forks.

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Bright colorful Back to School theme cupcakes with candy sugar art book topper decorationsMilleflore Images/Shutterstock

Decide on the Back-to-School Party Food

Your back to school party won’t be an elaborate dinner party, so look for easy party food to satisfy a crowd. You’ll want finger foods to serve as snacks, a main meal that’s both tasty and healthy and a dessert that requires minimal effort to serve.

Check out 50 of our favorite party dishes to get inspiration.

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Happy girl is happy about a present on the childrens birthdayRobert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Don’t Forget Goodie Bags!

As you’re picking up decorations, don’t forget to grab some easy giveaways to hand out as your guests take off. Make them school-related—like themed pencils, erasers and notebooks that will be fun to use in the classroom. We love the idea of making back-to-school survival kits, too.

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School, student, classroom.Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Plan Fun Back-to-School Activities

Consider setting out a craft that guests can take with them back to school, like making paper book covers, decorating pen holders or another DIY project. Pick a craft that’s easy to explain so you can sit back and only help as needed.

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Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal In Garden TogetherMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Enlist a Helper for the Day

There are a million things to do when hosting a party. Find a friend, an older sibling, a babysitter—anyone who would be willing to come by for a few hours to help keep an eye on kids, serve food or otherwise lend a hand. Don’t forget to give them a thank-you gift (or if you hire a babysitter, some cold, hard cash).

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Children celebrating birthday in parkAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Enjoy the Party!

Once the party is here, it’s time to sit back and have some fun. You’ll be in hostess mode, but don’t forget to stop and take pictures, learn about your kids’ friends and enjoy how much fun they’re all having.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Kate Ellsworth
Kate is an avid baker, knitter and writer. Her passions include Star Wars, stress baking and—of course—chocolate. When she's not chasing her partner around the house asking him to try her latest recipe, Kate is probably knitting (another) sweater.

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