Birthday Party Planning Timeline
Prepping for a birthday party? Don't panic. This schedule will help you get everything ready ahead of time, so you can enjoy the day of the birthday party with friends and family.
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Six to Eight Weeks Before the Birthday Party:
- Decide on the guest list.
- If the party will be held outside your home, select and reserve the party venue.
- Order birthday supplies and invitations. Choose a theme for decorations and supplies based on the birthday boy or girl's favorite character, color, or activity.
- Book entertainment.
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Two to Three Weeks Before the Birthday Party:
- Send party invitations.
- Put a list of invitees near the phone for RSVPs.
- Select four to six activities and games for the birthday party. If your child is 6 or older, you'll probably want to decide this together.
- Collect prizes and other items needed for party games.
- If serving a meal, decide on the menu.
- Order a cake (if you aren't baking one yourself).
- Consider asking a favorite babysitter to help at the party.
Two to Three Days Ahead:
One Day Before the Birthday Party:Creative Birthday Cakes
- Clean party area. Put away items that are dangerous or distracting.
- Pick up cake or bake one of our creative birthday cakes.
- If ordering takeout food such as pizza, call to arrange delivery.
- Prep party appetizers and snacks.
- If necessary, confirm entertainer or any helpers.
- Sit with your child to discuss his or her expectations for the party. For younger children, practice opening gifts and saying, "Thank you."
Party Day: Four to Five Hours Before Guests Arrive
- Set up party 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 to mark the location.
- Finish party recipes that can be kept in the fridge, and prep those that need to be kept warm.
- Place crafts and prizes near the activity locations.
One Hour Before the Birthday Party
- Consider putting pets in an area away from the guests. This is for their sake as well as for guests who may be allergic or frightened.
- Get birthday child and siblings dressed.
- Set up food; let your child help as much as possible.
- Set up first activity.