Document 117436

4 – 6 Weeks Before You’re Party
Your Budget: Work out how much you want to spend on the party before you
do anything else and try your best to stick to it.
The Date: Most people like to have a party on a weekend, but if it is a busy
party time of year, you may have to consider having it after school/preschool
The Time Of Your Party: This will depend on the
age of your child and their current sleep pattern (if
applicable). For children under 8, a 2-hour party is
usually long enough for both the children and the
parents. For children aged 3 and under, you could
even look at less time. And remember to check what
your guests have planned and work in with that, if
possible, e.g. sports or religious commitments.
A Theme For The Party: Best to let your little one
tell you what they would like and work from there. Many will choose their
favorite character (Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder, Princess party,
etc.) and you will be amazed at how easy it will be to find all the party
supplies you need, including invitations, themed appropriately. Others might
just want a theme such as underwater, pirate or fairy, etc., and this means
your imagination can run wild with what you do.
The Venue: This can be a toughie! The easiest in terms of your organising is
to have it at your house where your kitchen, fridge and bathroom are handy,
but not all of us want to have 15 children under 5 racing through the en suite,
playing hide and seek, do we? You could look at a local park (make sure it has
toilet facilities), a local hall or even a venue that has party rooms, with many
of these offering to cater for you for a fee.
The Guest List: Work closely with the birthday
girl/boy on this, firstly deciding on the number that
are to come, and then whom. Some parties seem to
have all the children of the class invited, and if you
are happy to do this, great. But if you prefer
something smaller, both for financial reasons and for
more of an intimate gathering, set the number low
and perhaps look at emailing or posting the invitations
so that classmates not invited won't get offended.
Invitations: These can be handmade or purchased, even affordably custom
printed and personalised for that extra special touch. Remember to be clear
on the invitations of the party start and finish times, and whether or not
parents are expected to stay (parties seem to be of a more drop-off nature
around 6 years).
Entertainment: In theory, it all seems easy. Your child's friends come over for
playdates and seem to play quite happily together when it is just them. But
once you have a group, the dynamics change dramatically.
At this point, you will find that adult organised games are the key to ensuring
everyone gets their time with birthday person. Also, unless you are preschool
teacher by choice, you will find this task bigger than you imagined, even
though it is only for a couple of hours. That, coupled with getting the children
fed and the cake ready at the right time is enough to bring down even the
most organised parent! I think you see my point.
So, some form of entertainment is always a good idea - a clown with tricks, a
fairy doing face painting, a super hero, jumping castles, animal farms ... the
list is endless! Do your homework and check prices before you book. Many of
these businesses are booked well ahead so once you're sure who you want,
make the booking. Again, remember to work within your budget.
Food: At the end of the day, party food is pretty easy, but you do need to
remember to be creative and have some fun with it. It is a party for kids, after
all! Don't overload the children
with sugar or they will run around like
headless chickens, which is
probably not the farm theme you had in
Try to offer a range
of foods, including fresh fruit
and vegetables and
make sure you check if any
of the guests have
any allergies: nuts, gluten,
lactose, etc. Warm
options are ideal in the
cooler months, but
check the food is not too
hot when you
serve it that it might burn
them. If you don't
feel confident enough to
handle the food side of things, there are professional kid's party catering
businesses that will make it all come together hitch free and with a third of
the effort or stress you will put yourself through.
About 2 Weeks From The Big Day
Work Out A Wet Weather Alternative: If you need to,
and let parents know either the night before or on the
day (with as much notice as possible) if there is a venue
change. You might like to make mention that you will
contact them at a certain time on the invite so they can
look out for that phone call, text message or email.
Confirm Any Bookings: You've made (caterers, venues, entertainers) and
make sure you have paid any necessary deposits, etc.
Photographer: Work out with an adult guest - ideally a steady handed one - if
they would be able to be the official photographer of the party. That way, you
won't miss any magic moments when you're busy in the kitchen. Give them
a list of shots you would like, e.g. blowing out the candles, playing a certain
The Week Of The Party
The Cake: If making the cake yourself, you can bake it and freeze it uncut.
Make Up The Goody Bags: 1 for each child to take home with them and
remember to make a couple of extras for younger siblings who might be at
the party, although not officially on the guest list.
Rather than filling the bags with lollies, you could do something different like
follow the theme of the party: novelty items
such as magic tricks, pencils with animals on
top, porcelain fairies, stretchy animals, some
simple painted shells with their names painted
on will be treasures forever and won't break the
If the budget allows, think of giving something
really different like a garden set, complete with
kids' gloves, tools and seedlings, or a kids'
cooking set with apron, cookbook and some
biscuit cutters, very stylish.
Party Games: If you haven't got any help coming, organise the games you
will be playing and get all the pieces ready. Pass the Parcel, Pin the Beard on
the Pirate, Samantha says ... there are a myriad of games you can adapt to
work in with your theme. At a party, even most boys will get into the craft act
- decorating balloons and even their own Goody Bag are all perfect ways to
make your party unique and memorable.
Work Out A Running Sheet: For timing of things and be exact.
Presents: Don't forget to get the birthday girl/boy their present from you!
Night Before / Day Of The Party
Put Up All The Party Decorations: It's a good idea to invite some adult help
to blow up all the balloons, or at least invest in a reliable balloon pump!
Decorate: The all important cake.
Set Up A Gift Area: Near the entrance for presents to be placed.
If Children Are Being Dropped Off: Make sure you get a contact phone
number for each parent just in case there's an emergency. Yours won't be the
first party to have a broken bone or a bumped head, but it is better to be
Super, Super Important: Make sure the guest of honor has a good
nights sleep before the party. It is their special day so it is important
that they are not stressed (which always ends in tears!!) in the
lead up to the party. Plus, you'll be surprised to learn that
most children are a little nervous, too, when they
have a party, wondering if it will all be as
wonderful as they hope.
Opening Presents: Depending on your situation, it
may be easier to open the gifts after the party, just
so that your child doesn't manically rip through paper
and forget
about the true meaning of why they are receiving such
gorgeous gifts. If you have decided to open the gifts at the party, ask an adult
to be the monitor so that you can keep track of who gave what by simply
jotting on the back of the card what the present was.
Send Out The Thank You Cards: A
good rule of Thank You card etiquette
is that if your child opened the gift
whilst the giver was there and they
said thank you at the time, you do not
need to send a card. If your child
opened the present after the guests
had left, a Thank You card is a really
nice touch.
As with the invitations, you can buy these personalised or off the shelf, even
in coordinating theme to the invitations. You can also consider hand-making
the cards, although this does become harder to achieve time wise when you
have more than one child. For younger children, you could put a hand or
footprint on card (use non-toxic paint) and stick it to the front of a blank card.
You could also look at using a photo taken on the day for the front of the card,
perhaps of the child having fun at the party or even a group shot of all the
guests on the front of the card as a really special
memento for them to keep. Grandparents and elderly
aunts and uncles also usually appreciate a Thank You
card, along with those who have sent a gift for the child
without being a guest at the party.
For these, it is a nice idea to include a photo of your
child with the gift they received from that person.
So that's it. Well done - the party is over for another
year and having followed the Party Checklist, the event
was a great success.