There's a lot to think about and to do when you are planning your child's birthday party. It's not just your child who will be at the party but lots of other children you may not know. It's good to plan it in a way that is inclusive, within your budget and great fun for all involved - including you!
Since 2002, The Creation Station team across the UK have been privileged to help celebrate the most important day in all of our lives - our children's birthday. Our award-winning parties have been loved by over 75,000 children and during this time we've learnt a lot about the key things involved in organising a fantastic birthday party for your child, that all their friends, and you will love.
Here’s a checklist to save you time and money, and to help you plan and organise your child’s very special day. These steps will help you ensure your child, and all their friends and you have a truly happy birthday.
Your Happy Birthday Party Checklist
SEVEN WEEKS BEFORE
- Plan the date.
You might want the party on a different date to your child's actual birthday. Think about what suits you and your family.
- Plan the guest list.
Check that key family members are able to attend and if you are planning a big party, that you have people available to help you out.
- Choose party activities that your child will love!
There are lots of options to choose from. Think about what your child and their friends will enjoy. Are you inviting girls and boys and a mix of ages? If so, plan activities that work across this mix. Decide whether you are going to provide activities yourself or book an entertainer to provide the fun specialist activities you know your child and their friends will love.
- Decide on the venue - at home or hiring a venue.
Think about whether you want the party at home; If so how much space do you have? How many children can you have in your home without everyone standing on each other's toes? Do bear in mind if you are having a party for an under five-year-old, the parents will probably stay. This means you will need to provide drinks for the grown-ups too. So do think about how much space you have!
- If going down the venue route book your venue as early as possible.
Venues do get booked up quickly so it's worth booking as early as possible. Your local Creation Station leaders can help with possible venues ideas.
- Do activities yourself or hire a party entertainer.
Once you have worked out what type of activities the children will love decided whether to do it yourself or book an entertainer. Doing it yourself can save money. You may prefer not to be the person entertaining your child's friends if that's the case find the right type of entertainer for the type of party you want. It is advisable to book as far in advance as possible. The Creation Station parties are tailored to the age of your child, what your child enjoys and also your budget.
- Choose the best time for a party
The most popular time for a party for children up to the age of eleven is the times that fit around usual eating times. So think about the 11am to 1pm or 3pm to 5pm. We find that if your child is under six years of age, an earlier party means they aren't as tired when the party happens! It can otherwise be a long day waiting for your party to happen.
- Plan your guest list
Once you know how many children you are planning to invite, create your list.
FIVE WEEKS BEFORE
- Organise your invitations and send them. Creation Station leaders will provide you with invitations for you to send for your party, saving you time.
- Plan the party food. Design the party food based on your child's favourite food or to match your party theme. Do check if children who are attending have any allergies.
- Birthday cake. If ordering a cake, place your order or if making the cake, plan your ingredients.
FOUR WEEKS BEFORE
- Send invitations.
- Purchase party items. Organise the tablecloth, balloons and plates.
- Plan your party bags. Think about what the children would love to take home along with the cake. Your local Creation Station leaders provide party bags the children personalise. The bags are filled with the creative artworks that children have made and we see children proudly leaving with their goody bag of their own amazing artworks. If you want extra goodies in your bag, your local Creation Station leader can also help and organise this for you.
ONE OR TWO WEEKS BEFORE
- Contact the families who have not yet responded to your invitation.
- Wrap presents and hide the gifts!
- Run through this checklist and make sure you have planned what you need.
THREE DAYS BEFORE
- Purchase food.
- Call entertainer to confirm appearance and expectations.
- Call party venue to confirm all details.
- Assemble party bags and contents - unless your party entertainer is doing this for you.
ONE OR TWO DAYS BEFORE
- Make and decorate the birthday cake or pick up a pre-ordered cake.
- Confirm the people who have offered to help are still available.
- Gather the decorations for party venue or make space in your home.
- Prepare and make the food ahead of time.
- Pack party essentials including charger, candles, lighter. Many venues request that you take the rubbish home so bring a spare big bag. Remember to pack drinks for adults.
- Make a note of the venue key holders detail and their emergency contact number - just in case!
ON THE DAY
- Arrive an hour before so you have time to get the room organised.
- Pop up some tables for presents, for the activities and for the food. Creation Station leaders arrive 45 mins to one hour before, so they can advise you on room layout.
- Tray up food and keep in the fridge.
- Tie balloons outside so that guest can easily find the entrance to the venue. Your local Creation Station leader can provide a pavement sign to put outside the venue to help identify where the party is.
- Have a signing sheet for parents to leave their contact details in case of an emergency. Creation Station leaders have a sheet available for you to collect contact details in the event you have to contact a parent during the party or in case a parent or carer doesn't come and collect their child at the end
- It can sometimes be a little overwhelming for the birthday child, so do keep an eye out for them and make sure they are OK.
- Enjoy the wonderful celebrations with your child's birthday with friends and family.
ONE WEEK AFTER
- Send thank you notes!
We hope you found this helpful and that your child, their friends and you enjoy a wonderful birthday party. If you would like to have a chat with your local Creation Station birthday party provider simply visit www.thecreationstation.co.uk for details.