The Ultimate Birthday Party Planning Timeline
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One Week Prior
The party is getting close! This is the time to start tying up loose ends and confirming all details are correct.
Follow up on any unanswered invitations.
Prepare the goodie bags.
You’ll need the bags themselves, of course, and the contents to go in them. And remember, you can give small games, pencils or erasers, or even small books in addition to, or instead of, candy, to cut down on the sugar.
Make sure you have enough storage on your phone for pictures. Time to make some tough decisions! But better than being caught without a camera available at the party.
Get the space ready. If you are having the party at home, now is a time to clean, clear space, and move valuables and breakable things out of the way.
If the party is not at home, confirm the timeline with your venue. What is the order activities? When should the food arrive? And so on.
Have a back-up plan. “If you’re hosting a party outdoors you must
have a back-up plan, including a space indoors. Check the weather and two days out make your call. Board games, snacks, and movies, and you’re set if you find you need to make a last-minute change,” Kertzner says.
The Day of the Party
Deep breaths! Hopefully, you have planned far enough ahead to only need to take care of a few minor details and prep work on the big day. Here are some things to consider:
• Get the house ready for the big day.
• Decorate, set the table, prepare activities, and confirm with entertainment that morning.
• Bake or pick up the cake.
• Know where the candles and matches are.
• Set up the food.
• Clear a table for presents.
• Make sure to have a pad and pen on hand when you open presents to record who gave what.
Finally, “Be relaxed!” Kertzner says. “The most important thing is for your kids to have a good time. If you chose a good venue they will take care of every detail so you can be a guest and enjoy your child’s party.”
Several Days After
Write thank you notes. Have your child assist you in thanking her guests for coming to her party.
Younger kids can dictate their message to you or draw a picture on the notes; older kids can sign their names, while those who can write their own notes should do so themselves.