Throwing a birthday Party Planning for your child is both a rewarding and a stressful experience. Birthday parties help children create and maintain important relationships with their peers, build lifelong memories they’ll cherish, and boost their self-esteem in a healthy way. So as a parent, you may be under a lot of stress because you want to get everything right.
Birthday Party Planning Guide
Taking out the Stress
Nothing helps a party go off more smoothly than a party planning checklist, and a smart checklist starts early. If you divide your party workload, you’ll free up space in your brain and create a structure to support both you and the event.
Four to Six Weeks Out
This is when you need to nail down the basics of the party and build the foundation of a successful event.
- Choose a couple dates and clear it with your child’s best friends/their parents (and your BFF who will be helping you).
- Decide where to hold the party. If it’s not at a private home, call now and book a space.
- Connect with and book a photographer if you want one.
- Decide on the time of day and whether or not you’ll be serving a meal.
- Choose a theme and book what you need. A royal wedding for your princess? Now is the time to find throne chairs for rent and book a “court jester” to entertain.
- If you need anything that has to be shipped, order it now.
- Order the invitations, if you aren’t just using some from a local party supply store. If you want any kind of unique design, it’s a good idea to get started early.
Two Weeks Out
Now things are starting to get serious, and it’s time to follow up on plans you created a few weeks ago.
- Pick up any general decorating supplies you haven’t already ordered.
- If you’re having the event catered, going to a restaurant, or ordering a cake, go taste the offerings and make final choices.
- If you’re making the food yourself, plan the menu. Assign out cooking tasks to other friends and family who might be helping.
- Hire a babysitter for any younger children or arrange with family and friends to take them on the big day.
- Make sure all the invitations have been mailed or hand delivered. Ask for an RSVP by a week before the party.
One Week Out
Hopefully at this point you’re just as excited as your child! The big day is almost here, and if you’re following your checklist, then everything is going to work out just fine. One week from the big day you should:
- Call anyone who hasn’t gotten back to you and find out if they’re coming or not.
- If you have any new games planned, now’s the time to try them to make sure they’re going to work out.
- Confirm, confirm, confirm. Call the venue, the entertainer, the photographer, the babysitter, and your best friend who said she’s definitely coming to help. Make sure they’re all still on board.
- Call around to borrow anything you might need, like extra chairs.
The last day or two before the event is a prime opportunity to deal with lots of little things that would otherwise pile up on the day of the party and push your stress levels over the top.
- Prepare any party favors you’re planning on handing out.
- Make sure you have enough of everything you need, like spoons and cups. You don’t want to be running out to get more on the day of the party.
- Get family to help you clean up all the rooms you’ll need for guests.
- Put up the decorations. If you’re having an outdoor party, save this step for the night before or the morning of so weather doesn’t get the best of you.
- Pick up the cake or get to baking.
- Get extra ice!
If you follow this checklist, you’ll be a bit more at ease and able to relax just a little. And you’ll have more time to appreciate your child, the day, and all your own efforts.