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Children's Party Checklist
6 to 8 weeks before the birthday

  • Help child select a theme.
  • Decide on the number of guests and develop a guest list.
  • If party will be held outside your home, select a location.
  • Choose a date and time.
  • Order birthday supplies and invitations.
  • Be sure to include your child when ordering.
  • If using an entertainer, call to book entertainer.

    2 -3 weeks before the party

  • Fill in and mail or deliver invitations.
  • Keep a list of invitees near the phone for RSVP's.
  • Discuss and select 4 - 6 party activities with your child.
  • Collect prizes and items needed for activities.
  • If serving a meal, decide on the menu.
  • Order a cake (if you aren't baking one yourself).
  • If you won't have many parents or relatives staying at the party, consider asking a favorite babysitter to help.

    1 week ahead

  • Decide on the order of activities.
  • Try any games or activities with which you are unfamiliar.
  • Check out any books or tapes you'll be borrowing from the library.

    2-3 days ahead

  • Call any guests who have not responded.
  • Shop for groceries or other food being served.
  • Buy candles.
  • Purchase any candy for favors or pinata.
  • Prepare (copy, cut out, etc.) any crafts that can be done ahead.
  • Put together favor bags.
  • Check camera.
  • Charge video camera.
  • Get film.

    The day before the party

  • Clean party area.
  • Put away any items that may be dangerous or distracting.
  • Bake or pick up cake.
  • If ordering food such as pizza, call to arrange delivery.
  • If necessary, confirm entertainer or any helpers.
  • Sit with your child and discuss his or her expectations for the next day.

    4 -5 hours ahead

  • Set up decorations.
  • Put candles in cake and locate matches.
  • Get balloons filled or pick up helium latex and mylar balloons.
  • Tie some balloons to the mailbox or front porch.
  • Place crafts and prizes near the activity locations.
  • Locate paper and pencil for recording gifts (for thank-you's).

    1 hour ahead

  • Consider putting any pets in an area away from the guests.
  • Get birthday child and siblings dressed.
  • Set up food and let your child help as much as possible.
  • Set up first activity
  • Have a great party!  
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