Throwing a Kids Party? Use this Checklist

Throwing a Kids Party? Use this Checklist

Gone are the days when we could dish out some fairy bread, fill some bowls and bags full of sugar, bribe your husband to dress up in a clown suit and pass it off as a birthday party for your child. Today we know just how important a child’s birthday is as they grow within their social circle. Whether you’re hosting an event, or inviting your child’s friends into your home, it’s important to plan things out to get that perfect balance of ceremony and spontaneity.

As with most successful endeavours in life, organisation is key for your child’s birthday party. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist for hosting the perfect child’s party.

One month out

Budget

First things first, work out how much funding you have available for the event, and make a detailed budget outlining where those funds are going.

Date and time

Lock in a date that will suit everyone and get those invitations out with plenty of notice.

Work out what time to invite people – remember to plan around other common commitments, like if there are school activities going on that may require the attention of parents.

Theme

Work out a theme – kids love to get dressed up, and a well thought out theme can bring that sense of wonder to the event. Talk with your child about the kind of theme they’d be most excited about.

Venue

Do you have it at home or do you look for somewhere to hire out?

Guest list

While ideally you’d just send out invitations to everyone in your child’s class, it’s really a better idea to go through the guest list with them to make sure you’re not creating any potential traumas for the birthday girl or boy. Also make sure you’re not creating any traumas for other children in their class by leaving them out.

Invitations

Whether you’re going for the homemade approach or commissioning specially made ones, it’s important to get the invitations sorted early to get them to guests as soon as possible.

Entertainment

It’s tempting to just let your child’s friends gather and let them do their thing, but really it’s best to have something to entertain your guests to give them some unified experience they can take away at the end of the day.

Food

This is an important one, and requires attention. You’ve got to get food that your child loves, food that her friends are going to love, as well as stuff that the adults can eat. Don’t forget to make sure you have any special dietary restrictions covered.

2 weeks to go

Contingencies

Work out what’s going to happen if you need to account for wet weather, and be sure to let other parents know of the potential venue change. Make sure the guests’ parents all have your contact information so that they can keep up to date. You could even make a Facebook event for their parents to follow to keep them in the know.

Confirmations

Make sure your bookings are all set to go so that there are no last minute surprises.

Personnel

Do you need a photographer? A DJ? A caterer to prepare and serve food? While it’s tempting to save on costs and do it all yourself, hiring a professional for something like catering can really make or break the success of the day. Be the accomplished party organiser and delegate these important roles to people who do it for a living. You’ll thank yourself on the day.

The week of the party

Shopping

Make sure you’re ahead of the game when it comes to stocking up for the party. This includes food and drinks for the kids as well as for the adults. Decorations will need to be sorted out, as well as any costume gear you might need for the special day.

Cake

If you’re making your own, make sure you have all the ingredients, and have planned out when and how you need to create it. If you’re ordering, of course, work out when you’ll need to pick it up, and make some space in the fridge before you do.

Goody bags

Organise what you need to get to send your guests home with something to remember the day. Besides lollies you might want to include a few nick-nacks that suit your theme. Remember to plan for extras in case there’s a few siblings that come along.

The night before

Preparations

Put up your decorations, make sure the cake is good to go, and set up the areas that are to house the guests.

Emergency contacts

if kids are being dropped off at your party, it’s important to make sure you’ve got immediate contact numbers for their guardians just in case anything out of the ordinary should occur.

Rest

Make sure your child has a good night’s sleep so that they’re ready to have fun!

One last thing

Thank you cards

After the big day, you might want to send out thank you cards to the guests (and their parents). A good idea is to include pictures of any presents that might have been passed along to the special boy or girl to show your appreciation, as well as any pictures you may have gotten of the kids as they enjoyed the party. You can easily hand-make these (even just writing on the back of some photos like a post-card can be effective) but there are plenty of options for buying them ready-made if that’s a better option for you.

And that’s a wrap! If everything has gone to plan (more or less), your child will have a memorable experience that will resonate throughout their lifetime. Now all you need to do is start planning again for next year!

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