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Five birthday party trends of 2014

Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty, says

Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty, says favors, food and themes figure big among the top birthday party trends for kids in 2014. Credit: SMP Living

Many parents will agree that planning a child's birthday -- whether it's the first or 15th -- takes a lot of preparation. Along with the location, decorations and possible entertainment, there's choosing the cake, favors and whole lot more.

Last year, all the rage at first birthday celebrations were smash cakes — a smaller cake for the birthday boy or girl to smash, explore and enjoy. So, what are the trends in 2014? Here, Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty and Style Me Pretty Living, offered this year's birthday party trends, including miniature desserts, themed tables and more.

Favors: Gone are the days of the plastic loot bag filled with dollar-store candies and bubble wands, said Larson. "Parents are getting more creative with unique kiddo-favors. Some of our favorite ideas: a plastic shovel tied to a cellophane bag of gummy worms or sending kids home with DIY s'more kits."

Themes: "Planning children's parties off of a single item or storyline is taking center stage," she said. "We love this trend, as the inspiration is really specific and helps guide you through every last party planning element effortlessly. We've seen it all, from Peter Rabbit to Garbage Trucks to Paper Bag Princess parties and more."

Showstopping food tables: Food tables have always been an important element in any successful event, but recently they're proving to be showstoppers, said Larson. "We've seen some of the most amazing and elaborate spreads, all perfectly themed and paired with incredible backdrops. Think oversized balloons, pastel-hued pom-poms, floral garland and more."

Extravagant cakes: "Cakes are all the rage, and we can thank 'Cake Boss' for that," she said. "They act as the focal point of every event, and they're borderline too amazing to eat."

Designer cookies: Over-the-top cookies are making waves at kids parties. "Not only are they a great way to further extend any party theme, but they make for the perfect favor post-party as well," said Larson. 

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