Planning a birthday party can be daunting and exhausting, particularly without a plan. You might think: where do I start, the decorations or the food? If you are worried about coordinating the party, it can be easy to forget certain decorations or necessities.

Luckily, the suggested list below will make things both quick and easy. Here are the seven steps to prepare your child’s dream birthday party!

1. Select a Dream Theme

The first step to planning a birthday party for children is to choose a theme. While not everyone has a theme, they can make it more fun and unique to your child.

Think of favorite sports teams or films as a starting point. Those can make perfect themes for events. Other areas that can help with brainstorming when selecting a topic are favorite places to visit, toys or characters. Finding party accessories and more can be made difficult depending on the theme, but if that happens, have the whole family pitch in, creating their own decorations or costumes.

If you have trouble choosing a theme your kid would enjoy, here are some common ideas for your kid’s birthday party:

  1. Superheros
  2. Ocean/Beach bash
  3. Carnival
  4. Princesses
  5. Dinosaurs
  6. Favorite film or television show

2. Determine the Invitation List

The next step is to decide who you would like to host and send out invites in advice.

Although this may appear to be a fairly simple step, it can actually be quite difficult. The first step in writing the guest list is to determine how many children or guests your budget allows for. Choose close family or friends first and then, if there’s enough wiggle space from there, go ahead and add more. Many gatherings may also be exclusively for friends or just a family gathering. When making the guest list, decide what kind of party you would like to have.

When making a guest list, things to remember are:

  1. How many guests fit in your budget?
  2. The maximum number of guests you would like to have.
  3. Do you need to account for an additional guest for each child present?
  4. Does your party venue or house have plenty of space for everyone you invited?

After the guest list, go ahead and send out invitations!

Three types of invitations are:

Purchased: You can shop birthday invites for a reasonable amount of money, although there can be a small range of choices. Remember, if you have a theme, you will want to look around different party stores or online to try to find ones that fit the designated party look.

Custom made: Personalized invites can be made on a variety of different websites. Using style, color, and theme, you can make the exact invitation you want. These, however, are a little more expensive than the invitations bought from the store.

DIY: Sometimes they don’t have what you’re looking for in choices of personalized invites. Creating DIY invitations are a fraction of the expense of the personalized invitations. So yes, you have to do it yourself which will take more time, but it can also be fun!

3. Choose the Location

There are lots of fantastic locations to book a party, but before settling on a venue there are many things to take into consideration.

The first thing that you can consider is whether you are going to throw the party at home or want to rent a space. Throwing a party at home can sometimes save money, but most parties include games, activities, setup and lots of cleaning, that can take a lot of time and cause stress. A party at home can even keep you and your family from attending the party you planned! When you are busy entertaining and getting things ready, you often don’t have time to enjoy the party itself. If you rent a venue and they provide a party host, this will enable you to relax and be there for the special moments.

If you decide to go to a venue, it is important to take the weather and season into account. Each can decide if a potential venue is a yes or no. When your child is born in winter, an outdoor location can be too chilly to use, but a nice warm party room is a perfect alternative. If you are celebrating in summer, outdoors can be a lot of fun, just make sure there is shade and ways to cool off in the summer heat. In case of unpredictable weather, it may be smart to choose a location that offers indoor and outdoor areas.

Some other things to consider when booking a venue:

Budget: Setting a budget is the key to success, as it can help remove options from your price range and keep you from looking at places that you can’t afford.

Private or public: Most places will offer private party venues or public (this means that there will be more than one party in the same room). Private venues are the better option as a child is unlikely to run away or risk getting lost in crowds, but public venues often provide cheaper pricing.

Age: Finally, check the site age requirements. Your child may be too young or not old enough for some places because of their rides or activities, so it is important to check before you book.

4. Ordering the Food

The next step is food ordering. You should be mindful of other allergies and dietary restrictions before feeding anyone’s children.

It is important to ask yourself these questions before deciding on your food for the party:

Are some of the guests allergic to food or dietary restrictions?
What foods allow for easy modification to fit these restrictions?
What time do we want to eat?

If you have answered the first question with “yes”, you need to contact the parents who have children with a specialized diet. You never want a child to feel left out, so when talking to the parents, make sure to ask what food is safe to eat and have it available at the same time the other food is ready.

Of course, you can’t forget about the dessert! Because the best way to end a great party is on a sweet note. Cake or cupcakes? – cupcakes are easier to manage plus you can have two flavors while most single tier cakes are only one flavor. Most importantly be sure to have the birthday kid’s favorite flavor.

If you call a week or at least several days early to order your birthday party meal, it will ensure everything is available at the right time.

5. Decor & Party Favors Purchase (or Make)

When the party is in a leased place, they can decorate for you-and they can even sell party favors. However, you can always make the decor and goodie-bags by hand if you would like!

Buy decorations/party favors

  • Balloons
  • Streamers
  • Tablecloths
  • Centerpieces
  • Birthday banner/sign

Make decorations/party favors

  • Centerpieces
  • Birthday banners
  • Party necklaces/bracelets
  • Confetti
  • Ribbons
  • Other DIY decorations

Making decorations will save you some time and make your theme fun, but balloons or party horns may be things you need to purchase since you can’t make them from scratch.

6. Choose and Collect Games or Activities

Whether you’re in a place or at home for your birthday party, it ‘s important to have fun with your guests!

There are plenty of party games to choose from, but take into account the age of the children before deciding which games to pick. It is also important to choose games for a group of children to play. You don’t want to play a game that only uses half the party guests.

The location of your party will affect which games you play. For instance, if the party is in a jumping park, there is probably no room for a game in the arena, but maybe there is in another room.

Finally, it is important to monitor the children while playing games so that nobody gets hurt or nothing gets out of hand.

7. Build a Day-of Checklist

When the day of the party finally arrives, it’s nice to have a checklist that lays out everything you need to bring or complete before guests arrive.

Five things to add to your day-of checklist:

  1. Secure number of children and adults attending
  2. Food is purchased and arrives at the right time
  3. Decorations are ready
  4. Games are organized
  5. Goodie-bags or party favors are assembled

Obviously, not everything will go on the checklist, but it’s a fantastic way to make sure the main parts are accounted for.

These seven tips will help you prepare your child and your wallet’s best birthday bash! While these will provide you and your family with a clear guide, make sure you do the best for you and contact party planners if you have any questions.

For more information about party planning, visit the website of BounceU birthday party page. 

"7 Steps to Planning a Kid’s Party" was last updated July 20th, 2020 by

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