Planning your first party or does it fill you with dread every year? Here at Everybody Party we’ve been to hundreds of birthday parties, some big, some small. Depending on your child they might like lots of fuss made over them or not a lot, no matter what size of party you’re going to have I’ve put together a quick checklist for you to hopefully make the whole job just a little bit easier.
The Birthday Checklist
Six Weeks Before
Set The Date
This is probably the biggest one, especially when booking a children’s entertainer. Get a date and set it firmly in stone, sometimes it might be on your child’s birthday but more often than not it’s held at a weekend, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest times for children’s entertainers so getting a date sorted is very important.
Plan The Guestlist
Check which family members are available and make sure you have help to hand by letting your friends and family know well in advance, doing it all on your own is s surefire way to get yourself all in a tizz and it’s much easier to have others there to help you.
Find the Entertainment
You know your child, you know what they like and don’t like, my own little girl hates mascots so I’d never book them for her, some even don’t like bouncy castles! Think about the age of the children attending, how many there’s going to be, what space is available, do you want to provide the activities yourself or hire an entertainer (I’ve got a few I can recommend ;)). Whichever way you choose to go, make sure your child and their friends will love it as it’s most likely going to be the main attraction.
Decide On A Venue
From our experience most parties are held in church halls, community centres, sport halls but we regularly provide entertainment to house parties as well, as long as there’s enough room we can fit around you, if you are having the party at home then make sure you’ve got enough room for whatever entertainment you choose. If you’re hiring a venue make sure to book it early as a lot of venues are booked well in advance and often parents ring me up asking me if I know of anywhere in their area that I could recommend!
Pick A Time
Most of our parties we go to are between the hours of 11-6, we do late parties sometimes but often the kids are tired the later it gets, our most popular time is just after lunch, about 2-4PM, 1-3PM that sort of time, be sure to pick a time that suits the age of the children, earlier parties means the kids will have more energy for fun and games.
Four Weeks Before
Organise Your Invitations
This is crucial, make sure everyone who’s on your guest list gets an invite with plenty of time to plan for it, a lot of the time we see the same parents going to multiple parties and they recognise us as well! Get your invitations ready so you get an idea of the numbers.
Get The Food Sorted
Catering or doing it yourself? Having the party in a restaurant? Get the food sorted well in advance, in the middle of our parties we stop for food and drink and they need it after partying with us!
Making it yourself? Buying it off the shelf or getting a custom cake made? If it’s the last one then get this sorted around now, oftentimes the cake is the star of the show and everyone is taking pictures of it and singing Happy Birthday. Custom cakes are wonderful but they take time to plan and make so let your cake maker know 4 weeks in advance what you need.
Three Weeks Before
Send out the invtations
Remember to send them out and not leave them on the sideboard ;).
Get The Party Bits Together
I wasn’t sure what to call this :D, this is the time to get your tableclothes, plates, balloons, poppers, sweet cones, banners and anything else you can think you might need.
Organise Your Party Bags
Think about what the children would love to take home along with the cake. You can buy premade ones online (which is way easier than getting the bits together yourself. Make sure to take into account the age of the children coming to the party and buy appropriately.
Two Weeks Before The Party
Phone the parents/familes
Give the parents a ring of those who’ve confirmed they’re attending and ring your own family members to remind them the big day is coming up, also give a ring to the ones that haven’t responded to your invite, loads of kids turning up unannounced when you’ve only planned for so many is a headache nobody needs on their child’s birthday.
One Week Before The Party
Wrap The Presents!
Wrap them and hide them well, kids are so good at finding things these days it’s getting harder to keep prying eyes and hands away!
Three Days Before
Purchase Food (or make sure your catering is still turning up)
Make sure that everything is still good to go and they’re turning up on the right day, right time and right venue!
Make sure they remember to turn up on the day, the amount of parties we’ve been too where the caretaker or someone has forgotten a party is happening is unbelievable.
Assemble The Party Bags
Get the party bags together (if you’re doing it yourself) or make sure they turn up in time by ringing the company you ordered them from!
Two Days Before The Party
Get The Cake!
If you’ve ordered a custom cake go and get it or have it delivered, if you’re making it yourself now’s the time to do it or if you’re buying off the shelf go get it now just in case the one you saw isn’t there anymore.
Assemble the Helpers
Give the people who are going to help you are still going to turn up a quick ring!
Get the Food Sorted
Doing it yourself, get to making the food then!, if you’re ordering catering then ignore this part as most of the time the party food will be delivered on the day.
Get The Essentials Together
Phone charger, music, lighter, candles, spare bin bags, first aid kit (kids are notoriously clumsy)
Get the venues phone number, contact number, name and emergency number in your mobile.
On The Day
Arrive One Hour Early
This is crucial, make sure you give yourself enough time to get the decorations up, the food in and sorted, also, if you’re hiring entertainers (wink wink) or any other form of entertainment we need time to set up, our entertainers always arrive at least half an hour before the party is starting so we can get setup and get the kids name badges on.
Keep an Eye On The Birthday Child
Often the days are hectic and it’s easy for the whole day to get overwhelming for some kids, keep an eye on them and make sure they’re ok.
Enjoy the Party
Make sure you enjoy the party as well and get plenty of photographs of the special day.
I hope you found this helpful and that your child, their friends and you enjoy a wonderful birthday party. If you need any help with getting some entertainment together then here at Everybody Party I’m sure I’ve got something your child will just love and their friends and parents will be sure to talk about for weeks, get in touch with me today on my contact form or give me a ring on 07975731475 and lets get the party started!