Kid’s Birthday Party Checklist – Don’t Forget the Small Things!
The Ultimate Kid's Birthday Party Checklist
Birthdays happen to all of us, although they’re not always celebrated depending on how old we are or our religions. But it’s hard to say "no" to throwing a birthday party for those turning special ages, especially for children.
Planning one of these events can be overwhelming particularly because there is so much to consider and, in some cases, so much to plan and coordinate.
To make life easier, below is a list of the most important items you’ll need to have ready for your child’s birthday party. You’ll also find suggestions for party bag fillers, food ideas, and more.
This is the ultimate kid's birthday party checklist.
You need to start off by planning the basics:
- Picking a date: Considering holidays, other school parties and sporting events.
- Deciding on a theme: Color schemes or animal/favorite character theme.
- Choosing a location: Your home, a local park or a kid's play centre, for example.
- Setting a time: Will it be a maximum of two hours? Will it cover lunchtime?
- Track RSVPs: Make a list of those you plan to invite and keep a track of responses. Decide whether it will be a family affair, whether you plan to invite the whole class or simply a few select friends.
- Communicate Specifics: Ensure to specify the start and end time, whether it is a fancy dress, or if they need to stick to a theme. Be sure to ask if there are any dietary concerns.
- Invitations: Even if you’re planning to invite people on Facebook, by email or phone, it’s a good idea to follow up with a printed invitation so they don’t forget and can easily put it on their fridge.
- Thank You Notes: Some people like to send thank you notes out after the party.
Tissue Paper Flowers
You can blow up balloons and prepare decorations a few hours before the party. If it’s an outdoor party, you may want to wait till an hour or a half-hour before.
- Streamers: Great for hanging around the room and you can even fold them into patterns.
- Banners: A big “Happy Birthday” banner or feature banner related to the party theme.
- Party Blowers: These honking toys may be annoying for adults, but kids love them.
- Confetti: Although usually seen at weddings, it can be a great addition to a birthday party, or to put in a piñata.
- Centerpieces: Will you have themed cardboard or plastic centerpieces? For instance at a Spiderman party, a big spiderman to lean against the wall or smaller ones to place in the middle of tables.
- Party Hats: These come in a variety of colors, themes and are also age-specific
- Wall Decorations: Depending on the theme and color scheme, wall decorations help to provide ambience. Have you ever thought of creating tissue paper flowers? They are easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time and are long-lasting.
- Yard Sign: To welcome guests and let them know they’re at the right place. You can make your own out of a piece of cardboard with a few balloons attached.
Always make sure you have more than enough with tableware. Plates and cups can easily get dirty, lost or thrown away.
- Plates: For both mains and enough for cake
- Table Runner or Tablecloth
- Cutlery: Knives, spoons, forks
Make sure you’ve checked if there are any special dietary needs you have to cater for—including allergies, gluten intolerance, vegetarians or vegans.
- Snacks: Chips, dips, fruit skewers, icy poles, marshmallows, cookies, macaroons.
- Party Food: Sausage rolls, sandwiches, popcorn, mini-burgers, mini-pizzas, mini-quiches, mini-pies, hot chips, frankfurters, chicken or fish pieces, macaroni, parfait, hot dogs, brownies, chocolate crackles, muffins, ice cream, waffles, pancakes, jelly cups.
- The Cake: Of course! You can make one yourself or get one made ahead of time by a bakery or cake shop.
- Ice: Either buy a bag or make your own ahead of time
- Drinks: Preferably a variety for different ages and tastes. Some ideas include kid’s PopTops, poppers, mixed drinks, cans, water, tea, coffee.
Games & Activities
- Music and a portable CD player
- Game Supplies: Do you have everything you need for your games? Wrapped pass the parcel, cut out donkey, tail and pins, eggs and spoons, treasure hunt items hidden well, bubble blower.
- Game Prizes: Lollies and cheap toys.
Other Things You May Need
- Tables & Chairs: If needed, ask guests to bring some as well.
- Camera, Video Camera and Memory Card
- Candles & Matches: For the cake
- Batteries: Ready for presents and cameras.
- Cake Platter & Knife
- Serving Plates
- Ice Bucket
Party Bags/Favor Bags/Party Boxes
- Sweets & Lollies: Suckers, chocolate bars, hard-boiled lollies.
- Cheap Bag Fillers: Many stores sell cheap party bag filler packs. But if you want something unique you can try: stickers, toy cars, bubble blowers, kid’s necklace sets, hair clips, hair ties, keyrings, inked stamps, bath toys, plastic animals/dinosaurs, whistles, coloring books, crayons, plush toy, Rubik's cube, high bounce balls, foam balls, rattles, pinwheels, jigsaws, windup toys, card games, coin holders, frisbees, sunglasses.