A thorough party planning gives a greater chance for a successful party. The easiest way is to rent a professional party planner to organize the party. If you want to be your own party planner print our party planning check list and sit down and think through these things:
Should the party have a theme?
It’s not necessary more difficult to arrange a theme party. It could even be easier when thinking in a theme. A simple masquerade could be enough, where the children dress as they like. There are a lot of masquerade costumes to be found in stores and on the Internet. If you don’t want to spend so much money you could, with a little imagination, create your own costumes with only a needle, thread and for example a sheet.
Is there anyone who could give a hand and help out at the party?
If both the birthday child and the guests should be satisfied it is important to have enough TIME; best is if you could get some help from other adults (maybe the guests parents?) to be let off the stress from having to act as both waiter, game leader, photographer, cleaner and so on. Ask around and try to find volunteers wanting to help with the serving, games, photographing, video shooting and so on.
How many guests to invite to the party?
Decide how many guests to invite. The number depends on how many volunteers who are helping out. Without help, up to ten children are enough – the younger the less. Fewer children are easier to gather, especially for the games. Too many children might create to much noise and the planning might easily stray off. Children below the age of five should have a parent accompanying.
Where to hold the party?
Do you have enough chairs and tables? If you don’t have enough space at your home you could rent a meeting place. Ask around. Maybe there is a school or preschool nearby letting out their premises during the weekends. If the weather allows it you could hold the party outside in a park or at an outdoor adventure park or water park. If you have planned for an outdoor party, make sure you have a backup plan in case it should start raining.
If you don’t have much time or space there are lots of places holding birthday parties for children, for example bowling halls, museums, restaurants. Letting someone else hold the party might be quite expensive but you could compromise with the birthday child about the number of guests.
Another idea is to invite just the best friend for a hole day in an amusement park for example.
For how long should the party last?
One hour is enough for the youngest children. The elder the children are, the longer the party could last but a limit of three hours is enough.
Letting the guests have a sleep-over is very popular. If it’s summer and nice weather you could let the children sleep in a tent in your garden. An idea is to let each child paint their pillow case – buy white pillow cases and colours. Or why not make personal invitations out of sheets! Explain bedtime rules already when the party begins (or on the invitation).
If you want a special surprise for the birthday party you could rent for example a clown or a magician to entertain – bribe your neighbour or search on the Internet! If the children are older they might want music; ask the birthday child to gather his/her favourite music cds and place in front of the stereo.
Think about a suitable menu; search for party menus and inspiration in cookbooks, on the Internet or special food magazines.
Nothing advanced is not required for the children to be pleased – it could be enough with just hamburgers or pizza slices and simple birthday cake made of ice cream topped with cream and colourful hundreds and thousands for desert and a couple of bowls with popcorn and potato chips. Don’t forget a bag of sweets for everyone!
Plan the menu and what you shall shop. A lot of the food might be prepared in advance.
A lot of balloons and streamers help to create a good party atmosphere. Hang them in the ceiling, on the front door, place on tables and anywhere there is room. The more the merrier! Tape a welcoming poster on the front door together with balloons. Print your personal welcome poster.
It is a good idea to well think though the guest placement if it’s a big party but even for a smaller children’s party to avoid having the children quarrel about who should sit where. To let every child know their seat you could print each childs name on a balloon and tie to the chairs or you could print personal place cards here >>
Games and activities
At a children’s party, games are a must – it is guaranteed to raise the party mood! Start with action filled games and end the party with more quiet games to allow the guests to calm down before they will leave. Decide which games to play – you’ll find ideas on our party games page – and print on a paper together with any accessories needed. Print a couple of extra games in case there should be time left; sometimes children will play very fast! Find ideas for party games here >>
A nice and funny invitation card creates happy expectations for the party. You could do a simple but personal invitation card for example with just a folded paper with the birthday child picture glued to it. If you have a party theme follow this at the invitation card. On our page invitation you’ll find free printable invitation cards >>
On the card you should write date and time for the party, address (maybe even with a map), phone number, if RSVP is required (RSVP stands for the French phrase "répondez, s'il vous plaît" meaning "please reply") and a note if the party has a theme.
Send or leave the invitation cards at least a week before the party. Don’t hand out the invitation cards at school if not all children in the school class are invited.