This party checklist will help you plan & prepare for your kids birthday party with ease. Simply check everything off the list as you go, and come party day you will know that you are properly prepared.

Party planning: have you……..

Six to three weeks before : Two weeks before : One week before : The day before : The morning of the party : An hour before : Half and hour before : Party time! : During the party : Departing guests : After the party : Manners

Anywhere from six to three weeks before the Birthday Party

  • Picked a date (day and times)
  • Booked a venue (if appropriate)
  • Booked an entertainer (if appropriate)
  • Got a wet weather plan (if applicable)
  • Booked food – caterer or delivery (if applicable)
  • Chosen a theme (if appropriate)

Two weeks before the Birthday Party

  • Made or bought invitations
  • Posted or delivered invitations
  • Booked costume hire (if applicable)

One week before the Birthday Party

  • Chased RSVPs and confirmed numbers
  • Checked whether any guests have food allergies
  • Planned party food list
  • Purchased party food
  • Got prizes for games (lollies, toys etc)
  • Got wrapping paper and sellotape for games prizes
  • Made or bought decorations for house (streamers, banners)
  • Got balloons and string (or ribbon)
  • Bought and wrapped birthday present for your child
  • Made or bought birthday card for your child
  • Bought lollies for grab bags, lolly scramble, treasure hunt etc (if applicable)
  • Planned games list (including music, props and prizes)

Child’s Birthday gift? Find a great selection of popular Books & Authors.

Age: 0  1  2  3  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 Years Old

The day before the Birthday Party

  • Organised cake (store bought or home made)
  • Got cutlery (if applicable)
  • Got digital camera and / or video ready (batteries fully charged, adequate film or memory space)
  • Cleaned house (within reason – you’ll no doubt be cleaning parts of it again, after the party)
  • Bought and prepared, or made party food
  • Wrapped prizes for games
  • Got guest name tags for table
  • Got enough chairs
  • Picked up costumes (if applicable)
  • Brought out any frozen food that needs defrosting
  • Iced cake (if applicable)

The morning of the Birthday Party

  • Got candles / decorations for cake (and matches!)
  • Got cake plate and cake knife
  • Got plates, bowls, glasses or cups (paper or crockery)
  • Got a cheque ready for entertainer (if applicable)
  • Got everyone’s party clothes ready (including yours!)
  • Decorated the table with place settings
  • Name tags in front of seats

An hour before the Birthday Party

  • Got music CDs organised (for background and games music)
  • Got plastic bags ready for rubbish
  • Got pen and paper ready to record who gave which present
  • Got drinks (tea, coffee, alcohol) and food available for adults (if applicable)

Half an hour before the Birthday Party

  • Enlisted a helper or two (spouse, grandparents, aunties, friends)
  • Helped younger children to get dressed

Party time!

  • Welcomed all guests
  • Turned oven on for heating of party food (if applicable)

During the Birthday Party

  • Recorded who gave which present to your child
  • Looked after adults who may require refreshments
  • Ensured each child has eaten something

Departing guests

  • Reminded your child to say thanks for coming and helped them give out goody bags (if applicable)

After the Birthday Party

  • Relaxed a little, and had a cup of tea or a glass of wine, before starting the clean up?!
  • Enjoyed looking at the presents your child has been given
  • Cleaned the house (or the affected parts anyway)


  • Make or buy Thank You cards
  • Supervise your child writing and sending Thank You cards
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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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