Every birthday party should be a special occasion. Whether it’s the first, the seventh or the thirteenth, make a fuss! Here’s a checklist to take the stress out of what should be a fun day for all.
1. Set a budget and work out how much you want to spend.
2. Choose a date and time. Check that the venue, equipment, entertainers and caterers will be available.
3. Where will the party be held? Indoors or outdoors? At home, at the park, at a play centre or at a cooking school? Think about the age of guests and their safety. Consider the weather, too. If it’s to be held outdoors, a marquee will provide shelter from heat and rain.
4.Compile the guest list: the entire class or just a few close friends?
5. Will the party have a theme? Movies, princesses, super heroes, pirates, fairies, ghosts, goblins; the list is endless!
6. Send out invitations at least two weeks beforehand. Don’t forget to include the birthday child’s name, the date and time of the party, the location, a phone number for RSVPs, and whether the parents need to stay or can drop off their children.
7. Decide on the decorations: balloons, streamers, anything related to the theme? Plan what will be served to eat and what equipment will be needed. If adults are staying, remember to cater for them. Plan what to include in the take-home favour bags.
8. Don’t forget the cake: order it in good time, or if you are doing it yourself, decide what to bake.
9. Think about what games and activities are age-appropriate and what equipment is needed (bouncy castles, toys and so on), and how much space is available. Party entertainers (from face-painters and clowns to magicians and princess-pamperers) are a fun idea, but not suitable for toddlers.
10. If you are running the party on your own, enlist help from other parents, family and entertainers. And keep a well-stocked first aid kit handy for any mishaps.
Finally, check that the batteries are charged on the camera and video camera. Designate one person to be photographer. Then sit back and savour another milestone in your child’s life.