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Home Party Checklist

Planning the Party

When choosing the date, try and make sure it doesn’t clash with another child’s party or an important event, e.g. mother’s day, school sports day etc. Discuss the type of party you are planning with your child – i.e. will there be a theme, what type of numbers he/she can invite etc. If you are having an entertainer of some kind, phone and make sure of their availability, costs, duration of performance etc.

It’s a good idea to invite the kids to arrive 15 – 30 mins before the entertainer is due – in this way nobody will miss out on the entertainment. Make a list of the kid’s names to be invited and prepare the invitations. Consider what party decorations you will use – balloons, streamers, party banner etc.

The Invitations

The obvious – make sure it contains your child’s name, date & times (start & finish), address. It is common to put RSVP (regrets only) on the invitations. Make a list with your child of the kids to be invited. If there is more than one child with the same firstname in the class, make sure you have the correct surnames. If your child is quite young and you haven’t got a class list, check with the teacher or other parents to ensure you are not leaving anyone out.

The Food

Discuss the food with your child – they usually have quite strong views. Don’t go overboard – younger kids in particular will leave most of the food behind. Disposable party cups and plates reduce accidents and tidy-up time. It can be a good idea with young kids to share the food out onto individual party plates - they can then swap what they don’t want to eat. If ordering a cake – make sure they have the correct spelling of your child’s name. Many supermarkets have themed birthday cakes available. Make sure you have candles. Avoid foods with nuts – just in case of allergies.

The Entertainment

If you’re having an entertainer, e.g. magician, you will probably only need a few party games as by the time the entertainer is done and you have the food, there will only be time for a few games. Check out our party games section for a few ideas. If you have a party planner who is hosting a theme party, e.g. princess party, cowboy party, jewellery/make-up party for you, you won’t have to worry further about the entertainment.

If you are having a bouncy castle or trampoline, make sure you have additional assistance as you will probably need an adult to supervise the bouncy castle or trampoline at all times so as to avoid injuries. (Have a few ice packs available for the bumps and bruises that can’t be avoided.) Have a few indoor party games planned in case the weather lets you down. If you are having neither an entertainer or a party planner, make sure you thought out your games in advance. Check out our Party Games section for ideas. Again, have a number of indoor as well as outdoor games (in case the weather lets you down). Buy some prizes for the party games. – Check out our party suppliers section for ideas for party prizes.

Party Bags

Prepare a party bag for every child and have a few spare – you never know what unexpected guest or sibling may turn up. It’s a good idea to put a label on each child’s party bag. In this way you can be sure everyone gets one and if any child wins a prize during the party you can put it into their party bag for safe keeping.

Additional Tips

Make sure you have film and batteries for your camera and camcorder. If the kids are young, it is useful to have name labels for the kids as they arrive as you may not know many of the kids in y our child’s class. Decide beforehand, and agree with your child, when the presents will be opened, i.e. during or after the party. If the kids are quite young, a few teenage nieces or nephews can be a great help – make sure to tell them what you want them to do. Put away any breakables before the guests arrive!