6 to 8 Weeks Before the Party:
- Decide on the number of guests and develop a guest list.
- If party will be held outside your home, select and reserve the location.
- Choose a date and time.
- Order birthday supplies and invitations. Be sure to include your child when choosing what to order.
- Book entertainment, if applicable.
2 to 3 Weeks Before the Party:
- Fill in and send invitations.
- Put a list of invitees near the phone for RSVP's.
- Select 4 to 6 activities and games for the party. If your child is 6 or older, you'll probably want to decide this together.
- Collect prizes and other items needed for activities.
- 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.
1 Week Ahead:
Decide on the order of activities.
Try any games or activities with which you are unfamiliar.
Check out any books or tapes you'll be borrowing from the library.
2 to 3 Days Ahead:
Call any guests who have not responded.
Copy, cut out, assemble any crafts that can be done ahead.
Put together favor bags.
Check camera. Charge video camera. Get film.
1 Day Before the Party:
- Clean party area. Put away items that are dangerous or distracting.
- Bake or pick up cake.
- If ordering takeout food such as pizza, call to arrange delivery.
- 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: 4 to 5 Hours Before Guests Arrive
- Set up 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.
- Place crafts and prizes near the activity locations.
- Locate paper and pencil for recording gifts (for thank-you's).
1 Hour Before the 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, frightened, or overly curious.
- Get birthday child and siblings dressed.
- Set up food; let your child help as much as possible.
- Set up first activity.
- Load film in camera and camcorder.
- Have a great party!