Planning a kiddie Birthday Party ? If your doing it all yourself, its not easy. Unless you plan to outsource everything to a Party planner here is an easy checklist for you to follow :
When to start planning for the Party – Planning all the details well ahead of time is the key to being stress free and avoid rushing around at the last moment.Start well ahead, at the minimum give yourself a month, but i recommend at least a month and half prior to the date of the Party. This is to give you time to plan your decor and if you are ordering everything online then giving yourself time for everything to arrive well ahead of the Party.
Date and Time – Do you plan to have the Birthday party on the day of ? Or do you plan to do it on a weekend (if the birthday falls on a week day) to allow for everyone to make it. Once you decide this work backwards.
Venue – Where do you plan to have this ? At home or an outside location. Will it be indoor or outdoor ? Is it safe for kids ? Parking ? Access ? What are you expecting the weather to be like ? If you choose an outside location make sure you book well in advance to ensure that it is available for your dates.I personally love outdoor locations with a covered space for Food and Cake cutting. This helps if there is unexpected rain.
Time – What Time do you plan to have it ? Is it at Tea time or lunch ? Is it a day party or an evening one. If you plan lunch or dinner make sure you serve food appropriate for children as well as adults. I love the evening 4-7 pm time for children’s parties. It usually doesn’t cut into any child’s nap time or bed time.
Guest List – Make your birthday party guest list. Plan the number of kids and parents who will be there.Know if they have siblings who will be coming with them to the party. Also account for their nannies or anyone else that may be accompanying them.
Block the Date – Send out a “Block the Date” message or email 3-4 weeks ahead of the party to your guest list. So they are informed in advance and make necessary plans for the party. Follow up with an invite 2 weeks prior. Again remind people 1 day prior to the party and/or on the day off. (Cant even begin tell you how many people tend to forget the birthday party)
Theme – Kids parties usually have some kind of theme keeping in mind the child’s current favorite cartoons or interests such as Peppa pig, Ben10,Disney theme, Cars, Horses,Frozen and so on. Choose your theme. Once this is done plan the following based on your theme and colors that you plan to use.
- Invite ( I like to send beautifully designed invites as per the theme. E-Invite for most Birthdays and a printed one for special birthdays eg- 1st Bday or 5th or 10th Birthday parties)
- Birthday Cake
- Cake Table Decor
- Return Gifts
- Gift Bags
- Thank you cards
- Party games or activities
- A Pinata
Food – Plan your menu. Make sure it doesn’t have spicy food and has food that children will eat. Finger foods are great. Pizzas, Burgers, Chips, Nuggets, Pasta are all big hits with kids. This is one area i find that a lot of people miss. Especially when the menu is Indian and its a lunch or dinner menu, I’ve found there isn’t anything planned for the kids, they are expected to eat the spicy, masala laden rice,rotis and curries. I’ve had to come back from children’s birthday parties as after arriving i discovered there wasn’t anything on the menu my child would eat and had to leave fast as she was hungry. Lesson learnt I now carry a snack and some fruit to tide us over if we are in a situation like this again.
Decor Inspiration – There are now tons of resources for ideas and inspiration online via Pinterest , on the Internet, Instagram and so on for Party decor. Use these to plan your decor. Once you know what you want figure out where your getting your decor from? If you plan to order online, do so well in advance to allow time for delivery. Same with return Gifts too. Don’t put it off to the end.
Plates and Napkins – If your serving on Paper Plates and Cups, the choice of Plates, Cups, Napkins, Popcorn Bags, Bowls and cutlery is immense. Online too you get some lovely stuff. You can buy in these as per your theme or color scheme. Get these in place well ahead of the party.
Lastly don’t forget to keep these handy. A candle for the Cake.Matches to light it. A cake knife and serving spoon. extra chocolates and gifts especially if your having games. Party favor bags for the kids to put all the goodies they collect from the Pinata and Music.
The above is meant to be ready checklist for all those planning kids birthday parties.You may have some of the elements or all. I hope you find this useful.
Resources: For decorations I like to order online from the following places. Amazon, Firstcry, Hopscotch. I love Paperless post for invites.Party Hunterz is a one stop shop in India for everything a party needs.They even have someone do to do your balloon decorations.
All Images via Pinterest.Cover Pic via Paperless Post