For a child—and some adults—their birthday party is the most amazing and magical time of the whole entire year. A time when all eyes are on them, they receive gifts and love, and they can showcase their passions and dreams. But, a detailed birthday party planner checklist is required to deliver on this.
Because little Jessica has gone to all her friends birthday parties she has, strongly, formed some expectations of her own for the big day. She doesn’t want some hodgepodge, thrown together, last-minute do. She wants to have the BEST day of her entire life. It’s that simple.
Here are 7 tasks you will need to tick off on your birthday party planner checklist:
1. Confirm Your Guest List
Depending on the age of your child you might consider a family-only affair. Or you might consider inviting their whole class and parents to the party. Alternatively, they might have their own list of attendees that they’d like to celebrate with depending on how social circles have been formed at the time.
It’s crucial to involve your child with this part of the journey so that they can feel as comfortable as possible during the party. It will also confirm numbers for the party which brings us too…
2. Confirm Your Budget
The amount you are prepared to spend on the party will be crucial to making the choices in the following steps. Me and my partner like to alternate years with our children so each ‘off’ year is where we have a bigger celebration. This saves both money and personal sanity in organising birthday parties.
Of course, milestone birthdays need to be made a deal of.
3. Confirm Date and Venue
Yes, the date will need to be as close to the birth of your child as possible (of course) but you need to work on the best days available for working parents. Get out your calendar and confirm this first.
Next, confirm the venue which requires the following considerations:
My child has a strong preference for the venue; depending on the age they will or won’t.
I would prefer to minimize cleaning; this will move you away from your home.
I have too many guests; the size of the party is a big factor for venue choice.
I have a child who needs to burn energy; entertainment is key here.
I have a really detailed experience I need to deliver on; outsource if required.
Once you’ve made your mind up you’ve finalised all the boring birthday party planner checklist stuff. Hooray!
4. Pick A Theme
So, it’s time for some fun! And, no, turning 7 is not a theme.
Picking a theme is not only fun for kids to run wild with their imagination and share all that great stuff that they (and, possibly you too) love! It’s also a great way to tie all the steps of your birthday party planner checklist together and create a memorable experience for your guests.
I’d start with a conversation with your child but come prepared with some ideas of your own that you’ve seen them enjoy. Make a list of things they love and then get down to business exploring Pinterest and Instagram for party ideas and tips.
On a practical level, you’ll see what’s popular and what’s achievable. It might even push you in a certain direction for ideas that you can share back and get feedback on.
5. Book Your Entertainment
Your venue might come with entertainment and so job done.
And, additionally, entertainment may not mean there is a requirement to hire a band or magician necessarily (although, I would recommend this as it’s a great way to keep kids entertained and away from the snack table) but more of a consideration of games and fun for the day.
In line with your theme though there are lots of professional solutions such as:
Princess theme; get an entertainer.
Farm theme; get a petting zoo.
Magic theme; get a magician.
Superhero theme; get a jumping castle.
Wiggle theme; get a band.
And so on… Make sure it fits your budget but these are the low-cost steps that can lift your day.
6. Send Your Invitations
I didn’t realise how important invitations are until recently. They set the theme for the day. They instantly get kids excited and made to feel special about. They get everyone talking about the activities and entertainment and OMG just all the cool stuff.
They also confirm numbers of attendees to ensure you can confirm with your venue and entertainers too. That’s cool too I guess…
7. Order the Essentials
Ok, let’s tick off a few of the key tasks on your birthday party planner checklist you’ll need on the day:
Supplies and Decor; in line with your theme I would set a base colour palette (I know, sounds super professional and I’m ok for you to tell your friends you have one) for selecting your streamers, balloons, flowers, table cloths, decor, stands and tableware.
Food and Beverages; it’s been scientifically proven that food creates vivid memories of an event and it will be one of the most talked-about aspects of the day. In my opinion, a well-placed grazing table is both pleasing to the eye and to the stomach.
A caterer for your event is one of the best investments you can make. They will work with your goals and themes and will cook, clean and serve food so you don’t have to.
8. Order the Big Ticket Items
Let’s tick off the two biggest ticket items on your birthday party planner checklist you’ll need on the day:
Cake; this is super crucial and really all of your decorations, games and music should be centred around this superbly created and themed masterpiece.
Present; out of all the day’s activities, I’m sure your child has provided the most advice around this part of the day.
If you correctly check off the cake and present you are 90% done for the day LOL.
9. Plan and Schedule the Day
You will be giving off pro party planning vibes if you make the following flow seamlessly:
Schedule; you’ll need a brief activity sheet with times for the day to ensure you keep on top of all the fun you have planned.
Activities and games; you’ll need to prepare all your games, prizes and equipment beforehand so it is ready to go.
Playlist; you’ll need to organise a sound system and playlist (don’t go overboard here) and get that uncle to be nearby for pausing and playing.
Look, I know you’re not a professional at this and it’s not about being OTT about schedules and pieces of paper but you do want to keep control of the day so you don’t forget any of the magic.
10. Brief Your Helpers and Set Up Your Space
Grandparents, aunties and uncles, faux aunties and uncles and everyone close to you is as excited as you are about the day and keen to help out so make sure you ask for it. You can’t do it alone so reach out early and make sure that they can come over on the day to give a hand. You’ll need to:
Set up decorations
Set out the food and treats tables
Assign presents and games spaces
Brief any entertainers who arrive
Check out food prep areas
And so on… but that moment your child arrives and checks it out will be worth it times a thousand.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun Once You’ve Finished Your Birthday Party Planner Checklist
All successful events create lasting memories so make sure that you don’t forget to have some fun during the day. And, don’t wear yourself out working in the background during the day. Offload those tasks and make sure you are front and centre to see the excitement on your child’s face.