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kids with birthday hats at a birthday party

How to Organise a Kids Party At Home

Planning and organising a kid's birthday party is no walk in the park.

It's not just your child's big day, it's also a day where you have to keep a bunch of other kids happy and entertained and more importantly, safe. 

kids with birthday hats at a birthday party

But don't worry, we're here to help. With our top tips, you'll be able to plan and execute the perfect party for your little one.

Plan 7 Weeks Beforehand

First things first, make you start planning the party at least seven weeks in advance.

This will ensure that you have enough time to organise everything and get all the supplies that you need.

It also means you won't forget anything important closer to the date and won't be rushing around pulling out your hair trying to get everything together.

Related: 78 Ways To Make Your Child's Birthday Extra Special

Set a date

This might seem a bit strange. Surely the date is the birthday date, right? Believe it or not, most kid's birthday parties are normally arranged for a weekend close to, but not on, the child's actual birthday.

The reason for this is that it's often easier for guests to attend if it's not during the week and also, most kids are in school during the week so you might not be able to have as many friends over.

That being said, it's ultimately up to you when you want to have the party. If your little one really wants to celebrate their birthday on their birthday, then there's no reason why you can't do that.

We just wouldn't recommend it ;)

Set a Budget

Parties can be expensive, so it's important to set a budget before you start planning. This will ensure that you don't overspend on unnecessary items and end up blowing your budget.

To help you stay on track, make a list of all the things that you need to buy for the party and give each item a price. This will help you keep track of your spending and ensure that you don't go over budget.

Pick a theme

One of the best ways to make sure that your kid's party is a hit is to pick a theme. This will help you narrow down your choices for decorations, food, games, and activities.

Some popular party themes for kids include superhero, princess, pirate, dinosaur, unicorn, and pool party.

If you're struggling to decide on a theme, ask your child what their favourite TV show or movie is. This should give you some ideas for a theme.

Write down your guest

It's probably best to start off with your family members and then move on to your child's friends.

Unless you have a very small guest list, we wouldn't recommend inviting the entire class as this can get very expensive and chaotic.

A good rule of thumb is to invite one child for every year that your child is old plus one. So, if your child is turning six, you would invite seven children in total.

This should give you a good number of kids to work with without being too overwhelming.

Related: What To Write In A Birthday Invitation

Choose activities

Now that you have a theme and a budget, it's time to start thinking about activities.

Some popular party activities include face painting, arts and crafts, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, and piñatas.

Again, if you're struggling to come up with ideas, ask your child what they would like to do. They might have some great suggestions that you never would have thought of!

The next big milestone is the 5 week mark. This is when you'll need to start sending out invitations and getting RSVPs back.

5 Weeks Before

Start sending invites

Once you have all the details finalized, it's time to prepare the invitations and send them out.

The earlier you can do this, the better as it will give your guests plenty of notice and allow them to clear their schedules.

If you're making your own invitations, make sure to include all the important information such as the date, time, and location of the party.

You should also include an RSVP card or contact information so that your guests can let you know if they're able to attend.

Depending on how good you are with graphic design, you can always use free software like Canva to help design and produce your invites.

canva screenshot

The great thing about Canva is, that you don't need to start out from scratch. They actually provide you with templates to work off which can be a huge time saver.

If you're not into DIY, there are plenty of great places that sell pre-made invitations such as Etsy and Paperless Post.

Top tip: You might think you're saving time and paper by emailing invites, but not everyone looks at their email daily. Also, some email invites may go straight into the spam folder.

While paper invitations may take a bit more time to prepare, they're still the best way to ensure that your guests receive the invite and are able to RSVP.

Purchase party items

Now, when we say party items, we mean balloons, cutlery, plates, cups, napkins, etc.

If you have a theme, try to match the party items to that theme. For example, if your child is having a dinosaur party, you could get green and brown plates and cups with dinosaurs on them.

While it's not necessary to get everything themed, it can add a nice touch and make the party feel more special.

You can usually find themed party items at your local pound store or discount store. If you're struggling to find what you're looking for, try looking online as there are plenty of great websites that sell party supplies.

Book any entertainers

Any entertainer worth their salt will usually need to be booked in advance, especially if you're looking for someone during a peak time such as weekends or holidays.

Some popular entertainers include clowns, face painters, and magicians. If you're on a tight budget, you might be able to get away with hiring a local student who's studying drama or performing arts.

If you're struggling to find someone or don't have the time, you can always go the more expensive route and book through an entertainment agency.

While this will cost you more, it does take the stress out of finding someone and the agency will do all the work sourcing the entertainer.


You have now got the bulk of the party planning out of the way. Now, it's time to start thinking about the smaller details that will make the party great.

One Or Two Weeks Before

A few weeks out is where everything starts to come together. This is usually when you're just making sure everything that was arranged before has been done and you start confirming those who will be attending.

Contact those that haven't accepted the invitation

By now, you should be starting to see return invitations coming back in the post. However, there will always be a few who either haven't received the invite or have lost it.

This is why it's important to make sure you have everyone's contact information so that you can give them a call or shoot them a text message to remind them about the party.

You can also use this time to start getting an idea of how many people will be attending as this will help with food and drink preparation.

Start wrapping presents

I know. Wrapping presents two weeks before is for the hyper organised, but hear us out...

If you're anything like us, you're probably leaving it until the night before to wrap all the presents. But, by doing it a few weeks in advance, it means that you don't have to worry about it closer to the date and you can focus on more important things.

Not only that, but if you wrap the presents as you buy them, it means that they're not just sitting around your house tempting your kids to open them early ;)

Confirm entertainer

This is a biggie! Not every entertainer is well organised and some are even prone to double bookings.

So, it's important to make sure that you confirm with the entertainer a week or two before the party just to be on the safe side.

Where possible, try to confirm any entertainers booked via email so you have a written confirmation that they will be attending.

This likely helps them more than it helps you, so they don't forget about your party, but it gives you some piece of mind as well.

OK, now all of the confirmations are out of the way, we can relax and just let the next days play out :)

This is when we're going to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" so to speak.

By now, everything should be arranged, but there are always a few things that we need to do in the days leading up to the party.

Three Days Before

We're nearly there and we can see light at the end of the tunnel. All that's left to do now is some last minute shopping and prep work so that everything runs smoothly on the big day.

Purchase food

Do a final grocery shop. By now, you should have a good idea of how many people will be attending the party. This means that you can do a final grocery shop for any food and drinks that you need.

If you're catering for young kids, it's always best to err on the side of caution as they can be fickle when it comes to food. So, buy a bit more than you think you'll need just in case some of the kids don't like what you've prepared.

Prepare any food that can be done in advance

This is the time to start preparing any food that can be done in advance. This could be something as simple as chopping up some vegetables or making a batch of cupcakes.

The more that you can do in advance, the less there is to do on the day of the party which means that you can actually enjoy yourself.

Confirm entertainer

I know, you're probably thinking "overkill" but trust us, it's better to be safe than sorry.

A lot can happen in a week and it's always best to reconfirm with the entertainer that they will be attending the party. This is especially important if you haven't heard from them in a while.

Start assembling party bags

The small finishing touches are what make a party memorable, and one of those small touches is the party bag.

Assembling the party bags doesn't have to be a big production, but it's always best to do it in advance so that you're not rushed on the day of the party.

You can either assemble them yourself or get the kids to help you. Either way, it's a good way to pass some time in the lead-up to the party.

Produce and print off a signing sheet

I bet this is something you never thought of, but it's actually really important. Oftentimes, a lot of the parents can't stay for the party and have to leave.

If this is the case, you're going to want all of their contact details should you need to get in touch with them.

The last thing you want is to have to chase down a bunch of parents after the party because you can't remember who they are. So, save yourself the hassle and produce a signing sheet.

All you need is a list of all the kids attending the party along with their parent's contact details. Then, when the parents drop off their kids, they can sign the sheet and leave their contact information.

This way, you have all of the information that you need should you need to get in touch with any of the parents.

One Or Two Days Before

OK, crunch time. This is it, the last push before the big day. By now, everything should be arranged and all that's left to do is some final preparations.

Go over your checklist and ensure everything has been ticked off

This is just a final check to make sure that everything has been taken care of and that there are no loose ends.

Make and decorate the birthday cake

In theory, you could have done this on day 3, but we were guessing that you wanted the cake as fresh as possible.

So, now is the time to make and decorate the birthday cake. If you're not much of a baker, you can always pick one up from the store. But, if you want to save some money, making it yourself is always the better option.

Assemble any party games

Again, this is something that could have been done on day 3, but we understand that you may not have had the time.

So, now is the time to assemble any party games that need to be put together. This includes things like Piñatas, pass the parcel, and musical statues.

Clean the house

If you aren't using a venue, but having the party at your house. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You're going to want your house to be clean and presentable for when the guests start arriving.

So, now is the time to do any last-minute cleaning. This includes things like vacuuming, dusting, and mopping the floors.

Pack up any food that needs to be taken to the party

If you're taking any food to the party, now is the time to pack it up. This includes things like party pies, sausage rolls, chips, and dip.

Just make sure that everything is securely packed so that it doesn't get damaged in transit.

Confirm with those who have offered to help

You can either call or text a friendly reminder to those that volunteered their help. This is just to make sure that they haven't forgotten and that they are still available to help out.

Start putting up decorations

This also could have been done on day 3, but we understand that you may not have had the time.

So, now is the time to start putting up any decorations. This includes things like balloons, streamers, and banners.

Just make sure that you leave enough time to put everything up so that you're not rushed on the day of the party.

Pack party essentials

This could also be labelled as "misc" on your checklist. But, we wanted to give it its own section as it's pretty important.

Now is the time to start packing up all of the party essentials. This includes things like plates, cups, napkins, and utensils.

Just make sure that you have enough for everyone attending the party and then some. It's always better to have too much than not enough.

Charge any electronics that will be used on the day

This is just a final check to make sure that any electronics that will be used on the day are fully charged. This includes things like cameras, camcorders, and phones.

You don't want to run out of juice halfway through the party and miss out on capturing those special moments.

Party Day

Yay! You've made it to party day. The big day is finally here and all of your hard work has paid off.

Now, it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the party.

Arrive an hour before

Even though you've done most of the set-up in advance, there are always going to be a few things that need to be done on the day of the party.

So, make sure that you arrive early enough to take care of those last-minute details.

This includes things like putting out the food, blowing up balloons, and setting up any games that need to be assembled.

Start decorating tables

If you haven't done so already, now is the time to start decorating the tables. This includes things like setting out the plates, cups, and utensils.

You may also want to put out any centrepieces or place cards that you've prepared in advance.

Finish setting up games

If you have any games that need to be set up, now is the time to do it. This includes things like Piñatas, pass the parcel, and musical statues.

Just make sure that everything is ready to go so that you can start the party on time.

Prepare food and place it in the fridge

We're talking finger food and sandwiches here. If you have any food that needs to be prepared, now is the time to do it.

Just make sure that you place it in the fridge so that it stays fresh until it's time to eat.

Set up any audio/visual equipment

If you're going to be playing music or showing any videos at the party, now is the time to set up the audio/visual equipment.

This includes things like speakers, TVs, and laptops. Just make sure that everything is working properly before the guests arrive.

Do a final walkthrough of the house

Now is just a final check to make sure that everything is in its place and ready for the party. This includes things like making sure that

Leave the signing sheet out for parents to use

This one's pretty self-explanatory. Just make sure that you leave the signing sheet out for parents to use when they drop off their kids.

This way, you can keep track of who is at the party and who has already left.

Turn on any lights or lanterns

If you have any lights or lanterns that you want to use for the party, now is the time to turn them on.

This will help to set the mood and make the party more fun for everyone involved.

Start the music

Now is the time to start the music! Just make sure that you have a good mix of songs ready to go so that everyone can enjoy themselves.

Greet guests as they arrive

As the guests start arriving, make sure that you greet them at the door and take their coats.

You may also want to give them a name tag or a party favour so that they can feel more involved in the festivities.

Get the party started!

Now, it's time to get the party started! Just let loose, have fun, and enjoy yourself.

And don't forget to take plenty of pictures so that you can remember this special day for years to come.

One Week After

If you managed to survive the BIG day, congratulations! You did it!

Send thank-you notes

thank you note

A week after the party is the time to say "thanks" to all of the people who helped to make it a success.

This includes things like sending out thank-you cards, giving gifts and writing reviews.

And don't forget to save some of those precious memories by creating a scrapbook or photo album.

By following these simple tips, you'll be able to successfully organise a kid's party at home without any stress or hassle. So, go ahead and get started today!

Have we left anything off this list that you feel is important?

Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!

Good luck!!

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