Child’s Birthday Party Planning Checklist

Child’s Birthday Party Planning Checklist

4-6 Weeks Ahead

  • Choose a theme with your child. Use our Kids Party Themes and Ideas to help identify themes and ideas that you and your child think would work well.
  • Select a date and time for the party.
  • Choose location for party and make reservations, if necessary.
  • Develop the guest list (neighborhood friends, class mates, team mates, cousins, etc.). 
  • Develop party agenda (example: 1-1:30 arts & crafts, 1:30-2:15 games and entertainment, 2:15-2:30 refreshments, 2:30-3:00 present opening, favor distribution, and free play).
  • Book entertainment, if any (magician, bounce gym, etc.).

4 Weeks Ahead  

  • Make or purchase invitations.
  • Mail invitations 2 1/2 weeks before party
  • Rent appropriate chairs, tables, linens if necessary
  • Plan games and activities

3 Weeks Ahead  

  • Purchase party supplies (decorations, favors, games & activities). Purchase enough for siblings and a few other extra guests. Utilize local supply stores, as most of them have everything you will need to host a successful kid’s party.
  • Plan menu and make grocery shopping list. Use our Kids Party Themes and Ideas to help.
  • Order cake and balloons
  • Arrange for help. Identify family members and friends who can help set-up/clean-up, prepare and serve food, and coordinate games and activities.

1 Week Ahead  

  • Gather tables, chairs, toys, coolers, serving dishes, and other supplies you’ll be using at the party.
  • Follow-up with the invited guests who have not yet RSVP’d to determine final guest count.
  • Prepare any foods that can be frozen for the following week.

2-3 Days Ahead  

  • Charge video camera battery and make sure cameras are working.
  • Do grocery shopping.
  • Get cash or make out checks for any paid helpers or vendors.
  • Prepare favor bags. 

1 Day Ahead  

  • Prepare remaining food, including the cake or cupcakes if applicable.
  • Clean and child proof party area.

 Party Day!  

  • Finish last minute food preparation.
  • Pick up cake and balloons
  • Set-up and decorate party area
  • Set-up games
  • Have fun and enjoy all of your hard work!
  • First stage of clean-up.

2-3 days after  

  • Second stage of clean-up / finish-put away
  • Have your child prepare thank you notes for guests who came and gifts received.  Send thank you notes to party helpers, vendors, and friends/family members who gave special help
  • Process pictures, send to get developed, upload on line, email to relatives and friends, print and save for family albums and child’s scrap book

Great job, now just relax until next year!

Childs Birthday Planning Checklist (click to download)


Tuesday, October 19th, 2010. Filed under: Tools