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The Ultimate Kids’ Birthday Party Planning Checklist

Birthday party planning for your kid is no child’s play. Children can be quite demanding when it comes to their idea of a perfect party. Whether it’s the theme, the décor or the music, every kid wants some wow factor. But planning can get very overwhelming and stressful for parents who really want to put up a great show but are pulled in every possible direction.

But do not fret! We have some great tips that can come in handy in birthday party planning. Let’s check out the birthday party planning tips and checklist that will guide you through the process and make sure you have a good time while making your little one’s birthday a memorable affair. 

I. Quick Tips

1. Stay Away From Social Media

Your child’s birthday celebration is for the enjoyment of your family and friends and should reflect your sense of aesthetics. Instagram and Pinterest may have beautiful pictures of birthday party planning with exquisite decorations, grand themes, and magnificent cakes.

But most of these parties are organized by professionals with months of meticulous planning, are implemented by pros and have budgets that may not agree with yours. So stop surfing through those pictures right at the start and use internet resources at a later stage when you have a clear idea of what you want and just require a few pointers. 

2. Involve Your Child

Your child will be excited to be involved in the birthday party planning. But their involvement can get a little tricky. Children, influenced by what they’ve seen on TV or in other parties, may have suggestions that are difficult to implement.

But at the end of the day, do take their opinions on decisions and if they are being unreasonable, talk them through the process. Both your child and you will have a great time.

3. Manage Your Time

Kids can change their mind on every tiny detail. This is the risk you run if you start planning too early. The best is to start at a time which gives you ample scope to rectify any blunders.  Also, don’t start so early on that your child outgrows his or her love for the theme or ideas you had started out with.

And let’s not start on the dangers of planning too close to the actual party. Timing is crucial to birthday party planning. 

4. Start With the Party Location and then Check with the Important Guests

There are some things you have to decide at the very outset. The location of your party is the first thing you must decide. Your venue will dictate your date, your number of invitees, the budget of your party and all your arrangements.

Then you must check with the guests that you must have and make sure that they are available that day. It would be terrible if your child’s friends from school or the neighborhood cannot make it to the party. Be prepared to make adjustments. 

5. Research Online

With your location, date, and budget is in place, this is a good time to go online and take a few ideas. With a fair idea about your theme, go through the internet to find easy ways to turn your kid’s idea to reality.

Take cues on the cake, decorations, color schemes etc. But don’t get carried away with extravagant ideas. Focus on simple elements that are easy to make or buy and don’t stress you out. And if you want to splurge on something, choose one thing; the cake, the decorations, the caterers or the venue. 

6. Go Easy on Everything

Most importantly, be kind to yourself.  At the end of the day, the party should be fun for everyone and not for the benefit of social media.

Go easy on yourself during the course of the birthday party planning, don’t go overboard and always feel free to opt for choices that are trouble-free for you. Ask for help, don’t take it all upon yourself and you are sure to have a great time planning the party. 

II. Birthday Party Planning Checklist

6 Weeks Ahead

  • Create a detailed budget which clearly outlines your expenditure on the venue, caterers, additional tables and chairs, photographers, invitations and other heads. 
  • Pick a theme (Talk to your child and pick a theme that is likely to hold his interest till the actual party and is not too difficult or demanding when it comes to organizing)
  • Make the guest list 
  • Reserve your venue; decide your venue keeping in mind your expenses, your guest list, the age group of the children and your space requirements. 
  • Settle on a date that conducive to all especially your kid’s friends. 

4 Weeks Ahead

  • Send invitations; this is quite a task for you need to consider a number of things. If the children are very young, it is best that you invite their parents. Make sure you know if a guest has special dietary requirements or is allergic to something. 
  • Book your party planner, caterer and any entertainer (clowns, magicians etc) that you plan on having. Do not leave these bookings too close to the actual party. The question of their availability is crucial and you don’t want to be running around to find other options with just a week at hand. 
  • Order the cake and piñata (in case it is a special design and not a generic one).
  • Sit down with your planner and decide on the party supplies you need to purchase.
  • Sit down with your caterer and decide on the menu. This would require quite a few sittings. 

3 Weeks Ahead

  • Buy party supplies like balloons, party hats, tablecloths, napkins, plates, cutlery, centerpieces and the piñata stuffers.
  • Ask friends and family if they’ll be available in the week prior to the party and on the day of the celebration to lend a helping hand. It is always good to have some help around. It takes the burden off you in the birthday party planning. 

2 Weeks Ahead

  • Arrange for the regular party supplies which would include drink dispensers, platters, bowls, serving tongs, spoons and forks, ice-cream scoops and extra tables and chairs. Always keep extras.
  • Make a rough timeline for the party just so that you have a fair idea of timings. But remember that parties never go according to schedule. This is just to help you keep a track of when to set up, when to cut the cake, when lunch or dinner will be served or the entertainment will begin. Don’t get hung up on everything going according to your timings.
  • Some important calls and confirmations must be made around this time. This includes guests who haven’t confirmed their presence or absence in the party. More importantly, recheck your bookings and timings with your party planner, caterers, the venue and the entertainer. 

3 Days Ahead

  • Make a grocery list and go shopping for the food. 
  • Charge your camera/video-camera battery.
  • Pick up the piñata

1-2 Days Ahead

With the party right around the corner, this would be a good time to finish as much as you can and leave bare minimum for the day of the event. Leave only what cannot be done in advance. 

  • Bake the cake if you plan on doing it at home. 
  • Prepare as much of the food and beverages you can (if you don’t have a caterer) and make sure it stored well so as to retain its freshness and taste. 
  • Stuff the piñata and wrap the gifts to be given away. 
  • With the help of your friends, start decorating your venue. If your venue is your house, make sure you give it a thorough cleaning. 
  • The birthday boy or girl and the parents should get a good night’s sleep. Birthday party planning is hectic and you’d not want to look and feel tired on your child’s big day. 

On The Day Of The Party

  • Finish last-minute cooking.
  • Set up the tables and finish decorating that remained. 
  • Make a list of the gifts (and who gave them, for thank-you).

Your child’s birthday is an occasion close to your heart and you shouldn’t forget to have a blast. 

With our week wise division of your tasks and guidelines on birthday party planning, there is no reason why this party won’t be a roaring success. Relax, go with the flow and have a great time.


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