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7 Checklist to Throw a Wonderful Kids Birthday Party!

  • June 27, 2024
  • 6 min read
7 Checklist to Throw a Wonderful Kids Birthday Party!

Birthday parties differ widely from person to person. Some parents like to keep their children’s parties straightforward, while others meticulously plan every aspect, often months in advance, in search of fresh and unique ideas.

However, regardless of your approach to planningβ€”whether you’ve been preparing for weeks or just a few days (though more time is usually better)β€”there are essential elements that every child’s birthday party should include. We’ve compiled a checklist to simplify things for you!

You can also utilize our stress-free party planning system to ensure you remember everything and meet all your deadlines.

1. Location Checklist

When researching a birthday party venue, it’s crucial to have a clear idea of what you and your child want before exploring options. Venues range from simple function rooms to full-fledged entertainment centres. To aid your decision-making process, we’ve outlined the advantages and disadvantages of venues versus hosting at home.

Top Tip: If you’re not hosting at home, bring a box or container for open presents to avoid misplacing them!

πŸ“… To plan:

  • Decide whether to host the party at home or at a venue.
  • Choose a date that suits most people.
  • Determine the party’s start time and duration.

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Arrange carpooling with other parents if necessary.
  • Assess if additional tables and chairs are needed; consider asking guests to bring some.
  • Check if the venue provides access to a kitchen if you’re renting one.
  • Consider hosting an outdoor party for kids (especially viable in spring, summer, or early autumn), but plan accordingly for catering and safety.

❌ To avoid:

  • Delaying venue reservations; book early to secure your spot.
  • Assuming last-minute availability at children’s entertainment centres; weekends fill up fast, so book well in advance if possible.

2. Guests Checklist

Once you’ve settled on a venue, it’s time to compile your guest list. The size of the party should align with your child’s age, personality, and their specific preferences.

πŸ“… To plan:

  • Guest list preparation
  • Sending out paper invitations
  • Sending WhatsApp or email reminders
  • Setting RSVP dates
  • Including all essential details (location, time, theme, etc.)

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Determine whether you prefer a smaller or larger gathering.
  • Decide whether to invite both friends and family or just your child’s friends.
  • Plan for sending thank-you notes after the party.

❌ To Avoid:

  • Send out invitations approximately 3 weeks in advance; too early might lead to them being misplaced, while too late may find guests already committed.

3. Party Theme Checklist

Now that you’ve likely decided on the venue and finalized your guest list, it’s time to select your party theme.

βœ… To have:

  • Party bags or favours
  • Small, fun gifts for the guests
  • Decorations that match the party theme
  • Theme-related props or items

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Decide if you want or need outfits or costumes. Outfits that align with the party theme can enhance the party atmosphere, but ensure they are comfortable for the children. Consider weather-appropriate materials and ensure they won’t hinder movement.

❌ To avoid:

  • If opting for a “dark” theme like vampires or zombies, avoid overly scary or realistic elements, especially for young children.

4. Entertainers and Activities Checklist

The key to a successful party lies in creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere. Entertainers and activities are essential for achieving this.

βœ… To have:

  • Games and activities that align with the party theme
  • Necessary equipment for the activities (e.g., balls, chairs, paint)
  • Designated space for activities
  • A simple schedule for activities (this reduces stress on the day)
  • Party prizes that fit the party theme
  • A music system (a basic setup is fine unless you’re planning a kids’ disco party)

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Should you hire a children’s entertainer, such as a clown or magician?
  • Do you prefer entertainers with specialized equipment, like for a sports-themed or pamper party?
  • Ensure there’s something for everyone; consider age and temperament differences. Some children may enjoy lively animations, while others might find them overwhelming.

❌ To avoid:

  • Ensure activities are suitable for the age group attending.
  • Avoid excessively long activities; aim for 15 to 20-minute sessions for optimal engagement.

5. Food and Drinks Checklist

Everyone eagerly anticipates the highlight of any party: the cake. However, it’s important not to overlook the other food and drinks.

When selecting or preparing the cake, consider its size and weight relative to the number of guests. If a full meal is also being served, children may consume less cake. Rest assured, parents often enjoy a slice when picking up their kids!

βœ… To have:

  • Snacks
  • Party drinks
  • Fruit juice
  • Water
  • A birthday cake
  • Disposable paper or plastic tablecloth (likely won’t survive the day!)
  • Lighter or matches for birthday candles

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Will there be a full meal or just cake?
  • Are there common allergens in the food? It’s considerate to avoid ingredients like peanuts and check with parents about allergies beforehand.
  • Does the cake flavour appeal to most guests?
  • How should the cake be decorated? The birthday child might have preferences.
  • Some parents might worry their kids might gain weight.

❌ To avoid:

  • After cake, kids often experience a sugar rush followed by a dip in energy. Plan to end the party around this time!

6. Pictures Checklist

Capturing memories of the party is essential for cherishing moments in the years to come. Nowadays, smartphones boast excellent built-in cameras, but a traditional camera can be a better choice if lighting is poor or you have the budget.

βœ… To have:

  • Designated photographer (friend or family member)
  • Fully charged camera/smartphone
  • Power bank
  • Spare memory card

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Should you hire a professional photographer? If yes, look for one experienced in children’s birthday parties for best results in capturing key moments.

❌ To avoid:

  • Avoid trying to be the photographer yourself; focus on hosting and enjoying the party. Enlist a friend or hire a professional.
  • Don’t turn the party into a full-on photo shoot; candid moments often make the best party pictures.

7. Decorations Checklist

Planning decorations well ahead of the party, once you’ve settled on a theme, allows you to spread out the cost over time.

βœ… To have:

  • Balloons
  • Party hats
  • Plastic or paper tablecloths
  • Cups, plates, napkins, and cutlery
  • Table decorations
  • Scissors and tape

πŸ€” To consider:

  • Streamers
  • Banners
  • Wall decorations
  • Garden sign
  • Candles? Consider the age of the children and the party theme before using candles.
  • Do children need metal cutlery? Avoid potential mishaps with plastic by considering if metal cutlery is necessary, especially if serving more than finger foods.

❌ To avoid:

  • Noisy party props like whistles and horns
  • Confetti, unless you’re up for the cleanup afterwards!
  • Getting lost in endless Pinterest ideas; use it for inspiration, but stay focused on what you really want!

Final Thoughts

Start planning your birthday as early as possible to ensure everyone’s happiness. Whatever choices you make, remember to stay cheerful and relaxed. Smiles are crucial for creating a positive atmosphere.

Your child will remember the decorations, games, and fun times, but most of all, they’ll remember the smiles on everyone’s faces. So, enjoy every moment!

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