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Party Theme

The party theme and entertainment you select should reflect your child’s personality. Chose a theme they like and an entertainer they will feel comfortable with. If your child is shy, make sure the entertainer knows to not make him the center of attention. Younger children may be afraid of costumes so make sure to speak to the entertainer ahead of time and discuss any issues well before the party.

There are many decorative party goods with different themes available. Ask your child to help you chose what they would like and dress the room accordingly.

Children love party favors at the end of a birthday party, it helps them to wind down on their way home, after such a fun time with their friends. Make sure the party favors are age appropriate and don’t pose any choking or dangerous hazards. It’s a good idea to have extra party favors on hand, just in case a sibling of a guest shows up.

The Menu

Chose Kid-friendly foods for your party. This is no time to bring out the asparagus and sardines. Kids will have a much more enjoyable time if they like the food that is being served. Stay away from

nuts when selecting your food items and be sure to check with parents for any dietary restrictions or allergies their children may have.

Young children don’t have very adventurous taste buds so keep the flavors of the cake simple such as chocolate or vanilla so that picky eaters will definitely get a slice of cake. And keep those candles and matches out of the reach of children.


Party Date and Time

When scheduling your child’s party, it is a good idea to give ample time for planning. Six weeks in advance is recommended. Take into account any holidays or events that might be happening that day so that you guarantee your guests’ attendance.

Selecting a time for the party is very important. You never want the children to be hungry at a party or sleepy in the case of toddlers. Starting the party after meals and naps will guarantee a much easier and fun time for your child. You also don’t want the party too be too long to the point where children become bored. Parties for younger children can be from 1 to 1:30 hours, where older children can go up to 2 hours.

Don’t let a little rain spoil your day. Be prepared to bring your outside party in if the need arises. It is easier to move decorations than reschedule party dates.

Guest List


You aren’t obligated to invite your child’s entire class but find out from the school what is most commonly done to give you an idea. Make sure your child participates in this guest list and feels comfortable with all attendees. Your child might also want guests of the same sex only, and this is completely acceptable. Also, don’t forget to ask for an RSVP from your guests, this will allow you to be better prepared in terms of food and favors.

Send out your invitations three weeks before the party date and provide detailed directions on how to get to the party and contact information. Your guests will appreciate it.

Party Planning

If your party is being held at home, make sure you make it clear which rooms you do and don’t want the guests to run into. Close doors and use


decorations to mark the party area if you have to. Make sure the main ‘party area’ is safe for children and has no items of value that could potentially be damaged. It is also a good idea to have helping hands during the party, whether it be relatives or friends, or babysitters, this will make you feel more relaxed during the party. You can also assign different jobs to different people such as taking guests’ coats as they walk in, restocking food items, etc…

If your child wants to have his toys out for the party, make sure he doesn’t mind sharing playtime with that toy with his friends. Before the party, go over toys he is ok with sharing and those he is not to prevent any complications. Your child might also have a specific outfit they want to wear for the party. Go over the options with him and decide on an outfit before the day of the party.

Party Essentials


Make sure you have any tools you might need for the party well ahead of time. First aid kits can come in handy for those minor bumps and bruises during all that fun playing. Cameras and video equipment should be all set with enough battery life and plenty of memory space. It’s a great idea to have pre-made name tags with all the children’s names, especially if there are many of them.

cake plates

Music can also add to the ambiance of any party.

Before the party begins, make sure to

have the table set, and as much food items sliced, cut and ready to go as possible. Have cake plates ready and make sure to not forget the matches for the candles, you don’t want to have to go around to the group parents figuring out which one of them smokes.

Post Party

Keep your child busy after the party to counteract the post party blues. If he is entertained with this new presents that’s great but if not, try to keep him busy by looking at the party photos you uploaded to your computer, or create a present treasure hunt with some unopened presents you saved.


Print our Birthday Party Checklist »