November 10, 2016

Essential kids party planning checklist for any occasion

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What could be better than a kids' birthday party? It's a chance to bring your child's friends together for a day of fun, games, food, and celebration. Talk about fun!

We love planning kids' parties, as there's nothing better than seeing their little eyes light up at some new surprise or discovery. It's a challenge to us to come up with bigger, more creative activities for their party.

But before the party ever begins, we make sure to go over our kids party checklist and make sure we have everything ready for the big event. Using the checklist helps us to be sure we're not forgetting anything important.

Our City Nights Disco experts have compiled a kids birthday party checklist below so you, too, can check the important items off the list and ensure all is prepared for the moment the party begins.

Kids Party Checklist: 4-6 Weeks Ahead

This far in advance, you need to make sure you've got all the "big picture" items planned out. That means coming up with the theme for the birthday party. A few of our favorite themes include:

  • Disco Night
  • Jungle Party
  • Tropical Fun

Of course, you can come up with your own themes, according to your child's preferences and your abilities to decorate your home/party salon and prepare/purchase the right food.

Important!


Get your kid in on the discussion. Talk to them and find out what they'd like for their birthday. But don't just talk about the theme—discuss the guest list as well. See which of their friends they want to invite, and how big of a party they want to make it. This will help you to prepare ahead of time and start setting aside money for the party.

Now is also the time to line up your entertainment. Many of the top-rated birthday party entertainers in your city will be booked months in advance. Make sure you contact the clown, face-painting service, DJ, club, party venue, or exotic animal trainer far ahead of the birthday party date.

Finally, reach out to the guests' parents and find out when is a good date for them. Perhaps one of the child's best friends will be out of town, or another has a big presentation or sports game the weekend you wanted to hold the party. Make sure your guests can actually make it on the date of the party before setting it in stone.

Kids Birthday Party Checklist: 3 Weeks Ahead

You've gotten all the "big picture" items out of the way, so it's time to move on to the smaller details. These items are no less important, so make sure to check them all off your list. 

Important Steps


  • Sending out the invitations. Make sure the guests know at least three weeks in advance. Send out a printed invitation or e-vite, complete with the date, location, time of the party, and theme details.
  • Plan the party. You'll want to make a clear list of activities that you'll be planning for the party: games, food, entertainment, birthday cake, etc. Sketch out a rough itinerary so you know how to keep the party moving.
  • Make a list of supplies. This includes anything you'll need for the party: paper plates, cups, and eating ware, napkins, tablecloths, coolers for food, tables for presents, music equipment, sports equipment, game items, and so on. ANYTHING you could need for the party should be included on this list.
  • Start making those party favors. Everyone loves a goodie bag, so buy the items you need for the bags now. If you can fill them a few weeks in advance, it will make the last-minute preparations easier.

    Kids Party Checklist: 1-2 Weeks Ahead

    The days until your child's party are slipping by, and there's a lot that still needs to be done. In the week or two leading up to the big day, there are a few more items to check off your list. These include:

    Important Steps


    • Plan the menu. Once you know what the party theme is, it's time to plan the food. Think about what foods the child wants to eat, and whether you should prepare it or simply order catering. Plan the menu so you know exactly what to prepare on the day of the event.
    • Enlist help. If you've got friends and family you can enlist for the big day, now's the time to contact them and ask for their help. Enlisting them can take a lot of the burden off your shoulders, as well as give you extra hands, eyes, and ears to take care of the children.
    • Follow up on RSVPs. Make sure you contact anyone who hasn't answered so you have a final head count for the big day.
    • Buy party supplies. Balloons, streamers, banners, and party toys can all be found at your local party supplies store. Now is the time to go out and buy them!

      Knock these items off the list, and you'll have far fewer things to do in the last few days leading up to the party. Trust us, avoiding that pre-party stress is the key to success. Why else do you think our City Nights Disco experts prepare these checklists?

      Kids Birthday Party Checklist: 2-5 Days Ahead

      You're coming down the home stretch, so it's time to check those final items off your list. There are just a few more things to do before you're ready for the party. We like to spend the last few days:

      Important Steps


      • Going food shopping. You know your menu and what you're going to feed the kids, so now's the time to go shopping for the items you need for the snacks, cake, and treats.
      • Clean the house. You're going to have a lot of guests in your home, so you want to make sure it's as clean and organized as possible. If you're having an outdoor party, make sure to include yard cleaning in your cleaning checklist.
      • Order the cake. If you're ordering the cake, do so at least 5 days in advance. That will help the baker to avoid any last-minute problems.
      • Do a safety and preparedness check. Do you have a place to hang coats, store gifts, and change diapers/clothing? Is your home safe for all the children you will have running through it?
      • Charge the camera batteries. The last thing you want is to run out of battery life on the big day!
      • Get the cooking out of the way. Do as much of the cooking as you can before the event. You may not be able to prepare everything, but get as much ready as possible.

        You've got everything in readiness for the big day! There's still a lot to do, but it's not going to be overwhelming when the guests start rolling in. You're ready to party!

        Kids Party Checklist: On the Big Day

        Today is the day. You're going to have guests in a few hours, but there are a few last-minute items to prepare. These include:

        Important Steps


        • Finishing food prep. Put those pigs in a blanket in the oven, add the last decorative flourishes to your cake, and get the grill ready to fire up. Last-minute food prep should be mostly done by the time the guests arrive.
        • Make a list of all the gifts. As the guests arrive and leave their gifts, make sure to make a list. You'll need that list when it comes time for the birthday child to write their thank-you notes.
        • Delegate. You can't do everything, so make sure each person attending the party has a task to handle. It will take the stress off your shoulders.
        • Have fun. This is the most important item on the checklist! You're here to have a good time at your child's party, so don't spend all your time running around. Enjoy the time you spend with your child and their friends.

          What do you think of our checklist? We like to think it covers everything you could need for the party, but let us know if we're missing anything in the comments below.

          We at City Nights Disco love hosting children's parties. We can provide not just the full entertainment package (lighting, equipment, DJ and all), but we can provide top-quality catering, access to some of the best venues in London, and the expertise to help make your event as stress-free as possible. Get in touch and find out how we can help you make your child's birthday party an event to remember!

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