Planning Your Child’s Birthday Party: A Checklist

birthday party checklist

Your children’s birthdays are a time full of memories evenly spaced with a ton of stress. Trying to coordinate all of the details to plan the perfect party for your little prince or princess can take a toll on any busy parent.

To take some of the stress out of planning, the best idea is to start early. Don’t leave anything to the last minute and possibly miss out on some of the best parts of the party. Set your budget, discuss a theme with your, child and try to keep things simple.

In today’s world, it can be easy to get caught up in the Pinterest world of the perfect birthday party. The simple fact is that kids don’t care. They just want a fun celebration that makes them the centre of attention for the day while they play with their friends. They honestly won’t remember how you decorated the hall, or if you cut their sandwiches into teddy bear shapes!

Getting some of the larger details like the theme, the date and the activity stuff like bounce house rentals or venue reservations done early can save you a ton of headaches, and my top tip for kids parties is rope in AS MUCH help as you can – the last thing you’ll want to be doing is running around making teas and coffees for parents, sorting all the food alone or even become stuck behind the camera all day.

Take a look at our checklist, created to help keep you organised and on schedule. Use it to make your child’s special day one to remember!

4 – 6 Weeks In Advance


  • Your birthday party budget should already be set and kept within a reasonable limit. Remember that your budget needs to include all the decorations, food, activities and reservations as well as your own gifts.
  • Get a class list from your child’s teacher to start zeroing in on the number of guests that you will be expecting
  • Set your date after speaking with important family members that you don’t want to miss the party.
  • Start making your reservations. Choose and book a venue if you are not hosting in your own home – see if it is cheaper to book a hall on a different day and compare prices (our local hall only books out for the whole day on a Saturday but does a minimum booking of 3 hours on a Sunday making it far cheaper)
  • Order your cake.
  • Send out invitations with an RSVP listed as 2 weeks prior to the party 

2 – 3 Weeks In Advance


  • Start collecting your party supplies including plates and utensils, extra tables and chairs, cups, jugs fr the squash serving bowls and platters (check with the venue what they already have available for you to use)
  • Visit the party store to stock up on decorations like balloons, signs and banners, a pinata, hats, streamers and favors
  • Set your party timetable. Having a preplanned schedule will help keep the flow of the party going
  • Confirm any reservations or bookings
  • Call any guests that have not yet responded with an RSVP – this happens often and there is nothing worse than having unexpected guests turn up on the day when they’ve not replied (have a few party bags ready for this just in case)


2 – 3 Days In Advance


    • Make out your grocery list for all of your party needs and hit the supermarket (you won’t want to get too much in advance as you may end up eating it yourself, and storing it can become annoying)
    • Pick up your party favors if ordered including any special items like signs or a pinata 
    • Prepare any food items that can be made in advance
    • Wrap all of your gifts so that they are ready for the party – pass the parcel, make up party bags
  • Plan out any games or activities that will need your attention
  • Do a full house clean if the party is at home
  • Make sure that your camera or camcorder is charged and ready

Day Of The Party


  • Pick up your cake
  • Finish decorating with balloons and signs – make sure it is obvious where the party is (especially if in a hall or hard to find venue)
  • Set up tables and chairs
  • Prepare all games so that they are ready
  • Finish any cooking
  • Lay the food out on the tables if possible to save doing during the party
  • Set a table/area out for the presents
  • Have party bags set out ready to hand out at the end of the party – by the door is my favourite so I don’t forget them
  • Dress the Birthday boy or girl in their special outfits
  • Pass your camera to a family member/trusted friend and make sure you are able to enjoy the action too and are in some of the photos with your child – us parents always miss being in these memorable shots as we are too busy rushing around
  • Have binbags ready to clean up the mess after the food has finished, get a few other parents to help and it will only take a few minutes instead of half an hour when everyone has left
  • If parents are leaving their children in your care – ensure you have a contact telephone number for them and they know the party end time

**Collaborative post**


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