Home Party Checklist
Party Checklist

Getting Ready!

Simple planning can make a party a lot more fun (and less hassle). Here are some things to consider:

Make sure you have enough adult supervision. A rule of thumb is the number of children invited should match the birthday child's age (for example: a 7 year old should invite 7 guests). If you have more, you should have another adult to help supervise.

Where would you like to have the party? Your home may be a handy choice, but if you could also consider such places as a local sports club, pizza place, church hall, or service lodge. If you plan an outdoor party, have an alternate plan ready in case the weather changes.

When having a performer to entertain, it's usually best to have the kids sit on the floor rather than chairs. The kids can usually see better and participate more easily. It also creates a kind of "stage" for the performer that kids repond to. It is also easier to manage kids if the performer has a wall behind him and a good light source on him (not behind). Little things like this help maintain control and keep the show rolling with fun.

The end of the party is a great time for refreshments! Some parents make the mistake of trying to feed the kids too early. Not only can this make a mess early on, but some of the kids may be ready to settle down. You shouldn't have a performer perform WHILE kids are eating. It's just too distracting for everyone. Nor just after they eat because sticky hands can be a problem and you don't want to interrupt the flow of the part to "have everyone wash-up." By waiting until after the games and entertainment, the kids are more focused and YOU can keep the mess to a minumum!

Not everyone arrives on time! Plan a few "getting acquainted" activities (see my activities page). You could have them make name tags, or add some decorations. Some have let the early arriving kids make a big "scarecrow" out of paper bags and newspaper. They paint it and put it by the door as a greeter and then have a drawing to give it away at the end of the party!

Some things you may need:

Paper plates & cups (to fit your theme)
Balloons & Decorations
Ice Cream & Cake
Party Favors & Prizes

Here's a brief planning guide:

The month before...

Send the invitations! Ask guests to RSVP.

Decide on party activities and games to play.

Find party supplies, prizes for games and decorations.

Plan Food items.

Arrange for help from friends or relatives.

The week before ...

Make any foods you can ahead of time and put them in the freezer.

Order a cake, if you are not baking your own.

A few days before...

Buy remaining food for the party.

Buy film

Check batteries for the camera and/or camcorder.

Cofirm exact guest count. Call those who haven't responded.

Arrange to have balloons filled with helium to pick up the day of the party.

The day before...

Finish decorating the cake, or pick it up from the bakery.

Make sure you have plenty of candles and matches.

Pick up helium-filled balloons if you ordered them.

Child-proof the party area. Have a "First Aid" kit handy!

Decorate any indoor areas.

Prepare any other food that can be made ahead of time.

Party day!

Outside Decorations. Balloons on the mailbox or gate.

Prepare last minute foods and drinks.

Take a lot of pictures and videos.

Plan a quiet time of rest for yourself!

Remember, youngsters will be excited and accidents happen!. Just be sure to enjoy the day no matter what!

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