We know there’s lots to do in the run-up to and on the day of your child’s birthday party, including looking after very excited birthday boys or girls so we believe in keeping things simple. If you’re holding your party at home or hiring a hall check out our party checklist below…
To avoid date clashes chat with other parents to check the date you’re planning is free. Paper invites still work well but so do Whatsapp/Facebook groups and that way you can easily send updates in the run-up to the party. Make sure you include all the party details, so people know if food is provided and what the entertainment is. Allow parents to let you know about any special requirements e.g. dietary requirements, allergies, etc. Make it clear if siblings are invited too and if parents are expected to stay or not. And make sure you follow up with everyone invited so you can plan well in terms of numbers expected.
Tying balloons on the front door is a great way to let people know where the party is. Banners and welcome posters work brilliantly too. You can create some great simple, personalised designs welcoming guests using free sites like Canva and then all you need is some paper and a colour printer. If your poster needs to be waterproof use either a laminator or a clear pocket to put the poster in before attaching to the door.
Venue or at home remember these items
Bin bags for rubbish, recycle bags for items that can be recycled, white tack or drawing pins for attaching decorations, candles for the cake, matches or a lighter for the candles, a knife for cutting the cake, paper cups, plates and napkins, cups and drinks for parents, jugs for juice, bowls/platters for snacks/food, tablecloths, food and drink, a present table/area for people to deposit their gifts, balloons and banners, prizes for party games and party bags!
Do as much as you can in advance, blowing up balloons, preparing party bags, deciding on party games, and organising prizes will all help. If using a hall, make sure you book it for at least 1 hour before the party for set up and at least 30 mins after the party to pack up. Ensure furniture is included for your use.
We’re not talking military precision here but having a loose idea of what time things will happen will help make sure things run well on the day.
After the initial wow when they arrive, kids just want to have fun so keep decor simple but effective. Choose a theme and reflect that theme in your tableware, banners, and balloons. Party hats and masks enhance your theme and provide both fun and great photo opportunities! Balloons are a really simple and cost-effective way of adding colour and creating a wow factor. You can do them yourself (invest in a good hand pump to save your breath!) or work with your local party shop. They should be able to suggest designs, work within your budget, and set up on the day, giving you one less thing to worry about.
If you’ve organised entertainment, a magician, bouncy castle or disco, for example, make that the focus but it’s also a good idea to provide a few other activities for those children who may not be comfortable getting involved. A table with colouring books, jigsaws, or crafting works well.
Make a playlist of your child’s favourite songs and be sure to have some saved for games like pass the parcel and musical statues! Don’t forget something to play the music on, Bluetooth speakers are perfect for connecting to your phone.
Nominate someone to take pictures of special moments like the party games, blowing the candles out, etc. as you’ll probably be busy at this point and it would be nice for you to be in those photos too.
We suggest using a smaller pre-cut cake or cupcakes to save time. Your celebration cake can then be enjoyed with family after the party! We like to try to avoid unnecessary plastic contents in party bags; seeds, colouring pencils, and pads, craft items, and books can all make good alternatives.
When it’s time to open the presents, try to make a list of who gifted what so you can personalise your Thank You cards.
Parties are timeless
Trends come and go but some things are timeless. Remember what you enjoyed at parties when you were young and replicate them. Pass the parcel and musical statues are still enjoyed by children today, as are the cheese and pineapple hedgehog and jelly and ice cream!
Have fun making some great memories!
If you’re holding your party at an activity venue keep your eyes peeled for our next post!