The Complete Birthday Party Timeline Planner

Party day is only one day for having fun. But party planning is a whole lot of days for having fun. Get the party started early from the moment you decide on your party date and enjoy the ride. We’ve prepared a fail-safe guide to ensure you don’t end up racing around looking for matches while those naughty little guests sneak finger-scoops of icing off the cake.

Let the countdown begin.

4-8 weeks out

2-3 weeks out

  • Fill out and mail invitations.  Make sure you write your child’s last name on the invitation so there is no confusion over which Emma it is. Also, add a note with the guest list so mums can organise car pooling easily.
  • Keep a list of invitees near the phone to track RSVPs.
  • Enlist your child’s help to select activities and games for the party.
  • Assemble prizes.
  • Decide on party favours.
  • Plan the party food menu.
  • Order your cake if you aren’t baking it yourself.
  • Ask a relative or babysitter to help out during the festivities.

One week ahead

2-3 days ahead

  • Call guests who haven’t RSVPd.
  • Shop for food, candles for the cake, lollies for lolly bags or the piñata.
  • Make sure you have new batteries and film for the camera or have charged the digital camera.
  • Assemble lolly bags.

One day ahead

  • Clean the party area. Put away items that may be dangerous or distracting.
  • Bake or pick up the cake.
  • Order takeout food (such as pizza), if necessary.
  • Discuss party expectations with your children.
  • Practice saying “thank you” with younger children.

4-5 hours before guests arrive

  • Set the table.
  • Lay out crafts.
  • Inflate balloons.
  • Decorate the house.
  • Tie balloons to your mailbox or front porch so guests can locate the party easily.
  • Find matches for candles.
  • Make sure you have a pen and paper to record gifts.
  • Have a large garbage bag available to dispose of wrapping paper.

1 hour before guests arrive

  • Take pets to a safe place until the party is over. Some kids may be frightened and others allergic.
  • Dress your children and yourself.
  • Put the food on the table and candles in the cake.
  • Set up crafts and activities.

During the party

  • Greet your guests with the birthday party boy or girl.
  • If parents are dropping off children, confirm the pick-up time (and be sure you have a contact number in case of emergency).
  • Take photos (or ask another adult to do so).
  • Enjoy.

The day after the party

Source: here.


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