Super-creative, ultra-crafty parents who thrive on creating the perfect theme for children's birthday parties year after year scare me. Don't get me wrong, I'm in awe of their talent — and of course the pictures are great for Pinterest — but most of us are looking for birthday party ideas that require a little less effort and a lot less swearing.

Need a cute but easy idea for your kid's fall birthday party? Skip Pinterest, save your sanity, and use these ideas for planning the perfect fall harvest birthday bash.

Invitations

A party starts with invitations, so try making your own Fall Leaves Birthday Party Invitations. Need an easier solution? Buy pre-printed invitations decorated with apples, pumpkins or fall leaves at the party store, or go the paperless route and create your own fall-themed Evite.

Decorations

Small bales of hay, garlands of autumn leaves, pumpkins, gourds, apples, and Indian corn are all inexpensive, seasonal decorations that can be used indoors or out.

Location

The backyard is the perfect place for a fall harvest birthday party at home, particularly if you have trees on your property with leaves that are starting to change. Another option? Host the party at a local farm or pumpkin patch, where the seasonal decor and fun fall entertainment are built right in!

Menu

Chili is a seasonal favorite that feeds a crowd, or simplify your party by serving snacks. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip is a hit with kids, as are fall treats like s'mores and caramel apples. For more ideas, check out Family Fun's long list of Fall Appetizers and Snacks.

Since it's a birthday party, don't forget the cake! Try frosted pumpkin or apple cupcakes for a fun seasonal twist.

Games and Activities

Fall party game and activity ideas for children are endless! A few to consider:

  • Go bobbing for apples.
  • Jump in piles of leaves — not officially a game, but it will keep kids entertained.
  • Hire a petting zoo or a pony to make it feel like a farm.
  • Have a nature-based scavenger hunt.
  • Play Pumpkin Bean Bag Toss or the Dangling Donuts Game.
  • Have a pumpkin-rolling contest.
  • Play Pin the Nose on the Scarecrow.
  • Make crafts using apples.

Party Favors

Send each child home with an individual bag of Candy Caramel Corn, a pumpkin they've decorated at the party, or even just an extra cupcake. Children's birthday parties shouldn't be about prizes and party favors and making each party more elaborate than the one before — kids just want to have fun with their friends.

When it comes right down to it, you could probably throw a pretty good fall birthday party with just a cake and a few piles of leaves for everybody to jump in.

But then that wouldn't look good on Pinterest, would it?