Birthday Party

9 Steps to Organize Kids’ Birthday Party

9 Steps to Organize Kids’ Birthday Party

Summary

– Step 1: Follow our checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything

– Step 2: Choose a theme

– Step 3: Choose a Location

– Step 4: Make a guest list

– Step 5: Send Invitations

– Step 6: Organize activities for the kids

– Step 7: Set the birthday menu

– Step 8: Decorate to match the birthday party theme

– Step 9: Manage the gifts

Organizing a birthday party for kids can be a real headache for parents. However, a few tips are all it takes to create a party that’s just right: from invitation cards to the birthday cake, follow all our advice for a magical and well-organized moment!

1. Follow our checklist, so you don’t forget anything

As soon as possible

– Choose the date: depending on the age of the children and the time of year, choose a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon, close to the birthday date. Beware of school vacations when guests may be absent.

– Determine the length of the party: the average is two to three hours, depending on the age of the children. The younger they are, the faster they tire.

– Choose a theme.

– Choose a location.

– Make a guest list.

– Prepare and send invitations

– Set the menu and prepare shopping lists

– Plan the gifts.

Important: if you use outside services (room rental, entertainment, etc.), book them two or three months before the date.

One week before

– Order the cake and do the shopping.

– Plan the activities and the necessary equipment.

– Contact parents who have not confirmed their child’s presence.

The day before

– Cook, blow up the balloons, wrap the packages, prepare the decorations and anything else you need.

The day of

– Plan twenty minutes per activity and thirty minutes for the cake and gift opening. Schedule these in the middle of the tea party to calm the rising excitement of the children and provide a break between games.

2. Choose a theme

Birthday Party

You don’t have to choose a theme for every birthday party. However, very few children don’t have a passion for the moment: a movie character, a job, an animal… Choosing a theme is a way to make them dream and simplify the party’s organization since the theme defines the choices of decoration, cake, or even activities.

– Prefer a simple theme to respect, unless you have a large budget and talents as a decorator and dressmaker.

Adapt the theme to your children’s passion and the age of the guests: the youngest prefers pirates and princesses rather than movies, for example.

– From nine years old, prefer more teenage atmospheres, like an afternoon party, a pyjama party or a pool day.

Some examples of themes for a birthday party:

– Colors: blue, pink, yellow and white, green and red, soccer team colours…

– Character: princess, knight, pirate, superhero, cowboy…

– Atmosphere: jungle, farm, ocean, zoo, circus, season, country…

– Themes: animals, cars, movies, cartoons, video games

3. Choose a place

Birthday Party

If you are having a birthday party at home

– Define the rooms dedicated to the children and those forbidden to access.

– Remove all fragile objects from the former and declutter as much as possible to facilitate the passage. On the other hand, plan to block access to other rooms before the children arrive with a piece of furniture or a “No Entry” sign.

– Cover sofas and armchairs with washable plaids to avoid stains. Remove carpets.

– Define areas for play, areas for food, areas for sitting.

– Set aside a space for coats, scarves, hats, shoes or comforters. Set up baskets, paper bags or baskets with labels. Each child should put his belongings in a basket and write his name on it to be found when he leaves.

– If you have a garden, take advantage of it: the risk of material damage is more limited.

– If you live in an apartment, remember to warn the neighbours!

If you rent a room

– If you don’t have enough space at home, it is possible to rent a room. Restaurants, toy stores, town halls and parishes frequently rent a reception room for children’s parties.

– In this case, rent in advance and detail precisely the services provided by the venue: meal, cake, drinks?

– Ask about insurance and responsibilities in case of damage.

– Remember to reconfirm the rental, the rates and the schedule two weeks before the party.

4. Make a guest list

– Children up to age three don’t play with each other much. They’ll want to have family gatherings, but they won’t want to skip the cake and presents.

– Starting at age four, ask children about their ideal guest list. The younger the children, the more supervision and energy they require: limit the number of guests to about ten, less if you don’t have room.

– Preferably invite children of the same age.

Good to know: with little ones, plan on at least two adults: you must be able to take a child to the bathroom or settle arguments without stopping to watch the others.

5. Send out invitations

– Choose how to give the invitations: hand to hand, ideal for younger children, by mail or email, a favourite of young teens.

– Choose a design for the invitations: many invitations are available to download and print on the Internet.

– The invitation should indicate the address where the birthday party will take place (with the floor or access code for buildings, or even a map for isolated locations), a phone number and an email address, the start and end time.

– Consider adding a unique “Please Respond”) note or coupon for paper invitations, so you can get a response from parents and know how many guests are attending.

– Send out the invitations or let your child hand them out to friends. Talk to the guests’ parents again if you don’t get a response.

6. Organize activities for the children

Birthday Party

Vary the activities

Little ones don’t play with each other. It’s best to have something to keep the kids busy! Change activities every 20 minutes on average, and alternate between quiet and hectic games.

– Adapt the activities to your theme: for example, a princess face painting or making pirate headbands.

– Set up a reading corner for the quiet ones, with a few cushions on a rug, blankets, a stack of books and comics.

Some examples of must-do games and activities

– Creative workshops: make-up, costumes, paper masks, hats, table decorations, drawings…

– Outdoor games: obstacle course, sack races, dodge ball, treasure hunt…

– Quiet games: angling, mimes, lottery, riddles, ball toss…

– Bring a piñata, a game that even teenagers enjoy! You can make it yourself or buy it ready-made in the game and party decoration stores.

7. Set the birthday menu

Start by choosing the birthday cake: homemade or made-to-order?

– In either case, adapt it to the theme of the party.

– If you order it, do so in advance with specific instructions on the decor. Please pick it up in the morning, or have an adult do it.

– If you’re baking it, prepare it the night before if possible to avoid surprises.

– For a memorable birthday cake, you should also focus on the decoration: play with the shapes of the moulds, the colours, the accessories or the decorations (in sugar paste, for example).

– Don’t forget the candles!

Be careful: ask about any food allergies or intolerance that the children invited might have. This will allow you to adapt the ingredients you use.

Complete the birthday table with a variety of sweets and drinks

– Again, adapt them to the theme.

– Fill self-serve bowls with candy or lollipops, popcorn or cereal.

– Avoid desserts that stain and melt.

– Have an assortment of bubbly and non-bubbly drinks in bottles or mini-bricks.

8. Decorate to match the birthday party theme

Birthday Party

– Decorate the front door with a sign or balloons to help draw parents’ attention.

If you have chosen a popular theme, such as a movie character, you can usually find tableware that reflects that character.- Choose two dominant colours to match your theme.

– Provide appropriate cardboard or plastic dishes: plates, cups, cutlery, napkins in these colours. 

– Put paper tablecloths on the tables, place the dishes and paper napkins on them.

– Hang garlands, posters, lanterns and any other decorative items that fit the theme.

9. Manage gifts

– Personalize your gift packages according to the theme.

– Gather all gifts in a large basket when guests arrive. Remember to check that the gift giver’s name is written on the package.

Have the children sit down before handing out the gifts at cake time.

– Let everyone give their gift, but have them sit back down to avoid jostling.

– Once the gifts are opened, let your child say thank you, then collect all the papers and clear the space before starting the games again.

Read more:

Birthday Party Planning

Successful Birthday Party Planning (Part 3)

Successful Birthday Party Planning (Part 3)

Are you organizing a birthday celebration for a friend or spouse? It’s not always easy when a chore complicates an already hectic day! Theme, invitations, lunch, cake… Prepare the party ahead of time and follow some basic recommendations to guarantee the celebration runs smoothly on the big day. Following Part 1, you’ve struck the proper title again! This post will provide you with all of the information you need to properly organize a birthday celebration.

 

Earlier in part 1, we have gone through:

Step 1: Make a checklist to organize the birthday party

Step 2: Make a guest list

Step 3: Choose a party location

 

In part 2, we have covered:

Step 4: Send out invitations

Step 5: Plan the music

Step 6: Arrange lighting

Step 7: Think about activities

Step 8: Plan the birthday gift

 

Let’s delay no further for this 3rd and last part that will cover:

Step 9: Set the birthday menu
Step 10: Decorate the reception room
Step 11: Get help on the day

Step 9. Set the birthday menu

If you’re using a caterer, choose the menu, place the order in advance, and deliver it to the party site.

If you’re cooking yourself, get help or divide the work among family and friends. Prepare as much as possible in advance, even if it means freezing the dishes until the meal.

For the aperitif

Birthday Party Planning

 

Drinks and appetizers are the main elements of the aperitif. Whether or not it is a dinner party, the quantities vary. In general, we count:

– 1/2 bottle of champagne or wine per guest;

– 1 bottle of strong alcohol for 10 people;

– 8 mini canapé toasts per guest for a simple aperitif.

Note: don’t hesitate to use frozen food.

Choose cocktails, which are easy to prepare and more affordable than champagne: the punch bowl can even last all evening.

Keep drinks in the refrigerator, cool outside, or a tub filled with ice.

For the meal

Birthday Party Planning
A man wearing a white apron setting up a catering table of BBQ food. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

 

Avoid recipes that require you to be in the kitchen all the time: opt for recipes that can be made ahead of time and served cold or warm.

If you have more than 20 guests, opt for a caterer, or you will miss out on the evening.

Note: for hot dishes, you can borrow plate warmers or keep them in the oven at a low temperature, or you can use cloches to keep the plates warm. Don’t forget to bring enough water and bread.

Stand-up meals

Avoid knife-sliced dishes if you have chosen to have a birthday buffet without seating.

Choose simple recipes that you can eat with a spoon or fork, plate in one hand.

Seated meals

For a sit-down meal, consider preparing a seating plan and name tags.

Note: in all cases, provide garbage cans.

For dessert

Order or prepare the cake in advance. If you order it, dare to use personalized decorations with photos and messages.

Don’t forget the candles!

10. Decorate the reception hall

Birthday Party Planning

There is no need to choose an overly complicated theme unless you have the time and the means.

– A simple colour theme is usually enough to set the mood.

– Match the dishes, tablecloths, and napkins.

– Add balloons, bouquets or garlands.

– If you want to go further, create authentic decor adapted to your theme.

You can also plan a costume party, with a basket of props at the entrance for those who have forgotten.

Note: if there are children, consider setting up a table for them, also decorated, with comics, markers and paper, games or books.

11. Get help on the birthday

Once you’ve made your to-do lists, divide the tasks among family and friends.

– Send your spouse to get the cake.

– Have a friend set the tables.

– Have someone else do the finger foods.

– Have someone take care of the drinks.

Planning is therefore the key to getting a successful birthday party. Please keep in mind that this post is incomplete without your participation, kindly share your thoughts in the comments below.

Birthday Party

Successful Birthday Party Planning (Part 1)

Successful Birthday Party Planning (Part 1)

 

 Are you planning a birthday party for a friend or a spouse’s 40th birthday? It’s not always easy when the task complicates a busy day! Invitations, theme, meal, cake… Prepare the party in advance and follow some simple tips to ensure the party is just right on the day.

 You have hit the correct title! This post will bring all the information you need to organize a birthday party successfully.

 1. Make a checklist to organize the birthday party

Birthday Party Checklist

 To make sure you don’t forget anything, make a checklist of everything you need to have and do to make the party go smoothly.

 – Choose the date.

 – Choose a location.

 – Make a guest list.

 – Set the theme.

 – Prepare and issue invitations

 – If you are using outside services (room rental, sound system, etc.), book them 2 or 3 months before the date

 – Plan music and lighting, decorations, activities and gifts; make lists for everyone.

 – Make the menu and shopping lists.

 – Divide the tasks if you have help.

 – 1 month before the date, reconfirm rentals.

 – 1 week before, order the cake and do the shopping.

 – Remind guests who have not confirmed their presence.

 – The night before, cook and prepare everything that you can prepare:

 ◦ set up and check sound system, lights,

 ◦ prepare the petit fours and a supply of ice cubes,

 ◦ put the bottles in the cooler,

 ◦ start decorating.

 2. Make a guest list

 

 Before anything else, outline the type of birthday party you want to have.

 – Do you want an authentic meal or a self-serve buffet?

 – Are you planning on dancing?

 – Do you want an intimate setting or a large party?

 – What is your budget? Are you taking care of it or involving your friends?

 Establish the first list of guests based on these elements: you will need an estimate to plan the menu and choose the venue.

 3. Choose a location for the party

 Per square meter, there are usually 2 guests standing, 1 dancing. Adjust the size of the venue or the number of guests to suit your needs.

 If you rent a place

 In addition to finding a venue for the party, think about the accommodation options near the party location.

 – Restaurants, hotels, clubs and bars frequently rent rooms. Don’t hesitate to ask any place you like about rental rates: barges, tea rooms, mills, farms, bookstores, gyms, wine cellars, and stores may agree to rent their premises for an evening.

 – Ask about insurance and any limitations of the venue, especially in terms of noise and hours.

 – Explore the area around the reception hall: if there are many guests, it should be possible to sleep nearby, ideally without driving. List the B&Bs, hotels and guest houses.

 – If some guests are coming with children, a place with a closed room will allow you to place small beds.

 If you organize the birthday party at home

 At home, it is essential to define the spaces accessible to guests and those that remain private.

 – Plan a space dedicated to coats, scarves, hats…

 – If there are a lot of guests, clear the corridors and unclutter the place as much as possible. Lock the access to the rooms you wish to keep private.

 – Don’t forget to inform the neighbours!

This post will now continue in part 2. Stay posted and allow me to tell you this post is incomplete without your participation, so remember to share your views in the comments below.