Throwing a party for your little one can be stressful, but know that it’s well worth the effort.
If you’re looking to celebrate with family and friends another year in your child’s life, but the mere thought of planning overwhelms you, below is a kids’ party checklist that’s as essential as it is (fairly) easy to tick off:
- Guest List
- Party Favors
- Food and Beverage
The theme is the motif or central idea that ties visual elements together and gives the celebration a unified look. While some opt for a superhero vibe or a fairy-tale feel, others go for something that truly resonates with them.
Unless you are giving a surprise bash, ask what your son or daughter wants for a birthday party theme. Is it a popular movie setting? A fantasy world? A personal choice, maybe?
Some theme recommendations:
- Sesame Street
- Underwater adventure
- Space exploration
- Red, yellow, and blue colors.
The venue is the location where everybody gathers to mark your kid’s birth anniversary. This is where you will be creating an atmosphere that brings enjoyment and comfort to the celebrant and guests.
If you have short-listed the most suitable places to hold the event in, but you’re still having a hard time deciding which of these best works for you, ask the persons in charge if they can accommodate further requests: entertainment system, extra chairs and tables, the like. Their answers will help you pick the perfect fit.
Some venue suggestions:
- A kid-friendly restaurant with a playroom
- An entertainment center with a function room
- An indoor pool with a dry area for dining and socializing
- A park or farm with picnic benches
- Home, sweet home!
#3- Guest List
A guest list will give you an idea of how big (or how small) a party your dear son or daughter is having this year. It will also aid you in determining the budget, laying out the required tasks, and building a schedule.
Things to consider for the guest list:
- Person/s responsible for the RSVPs
- Welcome committee and ushers
- Venue provisions for guests with disabilities or special needs
- Food options for kids with allergies or dietary restrictions
- Food options for adult guests and/or guardians
- Invites and thank-you cards that match the theme.
The décor sets the mood and enhances the ambiance. It kicks up the festive spirit and is usually consistent with the theme.
Décor matters to consider:
- vibrantly colored balloons, buntings, and trimmings
- Decked-up stage, backdrop, and cake area
- Post-event clean-up.
#5- Party Favors
Party favors are small gifts that guests get to bring home, and these are always highly anticipated and appreciated. Putting the treats together is fun, especially with the birthday kid’s assistance.
A few party-favor suggestions:
- Theme-based activity sheets
- Child-safe craft kits
- Chocolate bonbons in personalized boxes or tins.
Entertainment stirs up the energy in the room, making the occasion more delightful and unforgettable. Its standard, simple form is the set of nursery rhyme songs and pop tunes streaming in the background that kids can hum to in between chatter and giggling.
Should you want to take amusement to a whole new level, you could enlist volunteers (relatives, for instance) or hire professional entertainers to play the “life of the party” role.
Recommendations for the occasion’s entertainment include:
- Program emcee
- Singing clown or dancing princess
- Face-painting artist
- Photo booth
- Games with prizes
- Do-it-yourself activities like topping and cooking pizza.
#7- Food and Beverage
Children attend birthday parties to greet the star of the day, first and foremost, and be merry with peers. But they also look forward to relishing the “eats and drinks” that they will be served.
When planning your little one’s birthday, decide what meals or snacks to provide the young well-wishers and their adult companions. As mentioned in “#3- Guest List” above, you may want to offer options for guests with allergies or dietary restrictions.
Some questions on food and beverage you will want answers for:
- What will the birthday cake (with candles) look like?
- Who will prepare the cake and sweets?
- Who will supply the meals, snacks, juices, and water?
- What will the dinnerware be: stoneware and silverware or eco-friendly disposables?
- How will the leftovers be handled?
Documentation in this case includes invoices to be settled and, of course, photos and videos to be taken for posterity.
A few tips on documentation:
- Keep a dedicated folder or envelope for supplier receipts and other transactional paperwork.
- Follow through with vendors within two weeks of the event to make sure that they’re set to deliver well and on time.
- If you’re looking to hire professional photographers and/or videographers, book them weeks (or even months) ahead.
The checklist above serves as your guide to covering all the bases, so your child’s birthday bash will be a hit.
When creating your checklist:
- Fill in the details for each of the eight (8) items discussed above, doing so according to your resources and your little one’s preferences.
- Create a timeline and write down all the tasks to be completed. Break up the bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable assignments, then set a target date for each.
- Take a breather every now and then.
- See if loved ones could give an extra hand. It’s perfectly okay to ask and, if you’re in luck, to get an affirmative answer.
- If no one from your social circle is free to assist, consider having a reputable event planner on board. Many super-busy parents have benefited from trained and experienced people who do the legwork for a living, so can you.
More importantly, try not to stress over the thought of throwing a kiddie party. Remember that your precious child’s birthday is your own life milestone, too, so just enjoy the process!