But if you break it down and plan in advance, it can be a success without the stress.
Take a look at our kids' party ideas and use our planner as a checklist to make sure you’ve covered all birthday bases.
If you break it down and plan in advance, your child's birthday party can be a success without the stress
Let the fun begin!
ONE TO THREE MONTHS BEFORE
If you’re not having the party at home, then you need to get going! Popular venues need to be booked well in advance, so pull together a shortlist of your child’s favourite places to avoid potential disappointment.
Magicians, fairies and face painters run lucrative businesses. Ask other parents if they can recommend anyone and when you follow up with your chosen entertainer, ask if they have any set-up requirements as this can make a big difference to your budget.
Decide who to invite
This can be one of the hardest parts of organising a children’s party. You want everyone to feel included but, let’s face it, children’s parties can be hard work. Stick to the rule that the number of candles on the cake dictates the number of kids to invite, with room for two more attendees if necessary. Remember to be strategic with invitations to avoid any hurt feelings or uncomfortable silences next time you’re at the school gates.
FOUR WEEKS BEFOREConfirm essential guests
It won’t be a happy party without your little one’s best friend there, so before you set a party date double-check in advance that this special person can attend. If you need to lock in a venue, ask the question before you put down a deposit. The last thing you want is teary birthday boy or girl on the day.
Send out invitations
Hand out or send out your invitations three weeks before the party with all the finer details such as:
- Your child’s name and which birthday they’re celebrating
- Your address and phone number
- The date, drop-off and finish times and RSVP date (generally one week before the party)
- What to wear or bring if it is a themed party
- What special activities will be taking place
- What food will be provided. Check for any allergies or special dietary requirements so you can cater accordingly.
THREE WEEKS BEFORE
Making your own decorations is a great way to get your child excited about their celebration. Bunting is a clever way to add pops of colour to any area and can be easily made with scissors, coloured paper, glue and string. If you want a centrepiece that screams ‘birthday’, then hanging lanterns will do just the trick. Don’t skimp on the balloons – you can never have too many!
Plan a mix of competitive, team and individual games to play. Four to six activities should be enough for a two-hour party but if the kids are enjoying a particular game, then don’t rush them to move onto the next. Pass the parcel, egg and spoon races and pin the tail on the donkey are the most common party games for a reason, but if you want more inspiration then take a look at these other free activities to entertain kids at home.
Do you open gifts at the party or keep them for later? We don’t think there’s a right answer for this one, but things to consider include whether you have enough designated space in the venue to do so and whether you can carry unwrapped presents to the car. Kids and other parents may ask when present time is, but don’t buckle under pressure if you choose to open presents after the party.
ONE WEEK BEFORE
All you need are a couple of toys, sweets and a few chocolates per bag. Place them near the front door and have your child hand each guest one as a thank you gift for attending the party. Make sure you have a few extras on hand to give to any siblings who accompany parents to pick up guests.
Kidproofing the Home
Store any valuables away and move any bulky or unnecessary furniture from the party area. You want the kids to have room to enjoy themselves without you having to fear for the safety of your favourite vases.
Need party supplies? See everything from party bags and favours to sweets in our Asda Party range here