How to prep for a child's party - Your Go-to checklist!

How to plan a child's party | Your Go to Checklist

Hey there, party planners! Getting ready for a kids' birthday party can be as exciting as it is challenging. But don't worry – with a little planning and preparation, you can throw a memorable and fun-filled party. We've put together a few ideas to help get you started.

 1. Plan Ahead
Start planning at least a month in advance to give yourself plenty of time to organise and prepare, especially if you have venues or entertainment to book. The more advance notice you can give is always best. This gives you a much better chance of booking in the dates and times that suit you.

Set a Budget. 

Now this may seem quite hard to do but keeping an eye on costs and knowing how much you're willing to spend can definitely help in the long run. Taking it a step further if you're super organised you can allocate funds for various aspects like decorations, food, entertainment, and party favours.

Choose a Party Theme

This may seem like a self explanatory tip but picking a theme first off, will make planning so much easier and a lot more fun. Having a starting point is what it's all about. We host for several popular themes like superheroes, princesses, Fairies, Nerf etc but be mindful to choose a theme that is the most desired by your child. A top tip from an entertainment perspective, for the best engagement from the birthday child and friends it really helps that the birthday child is really into the theme.

2. Set the Date - Get out Invitations

Guest List

Decide on how many kids to invite. This is no easy task but well worth the challenge as it will help build your party process beautifully. Consider the size of your venue and your budget as this will determine how large or small an event it will be.

Send Invitations

Send out invitations at least two weeks in advance. You can use traditional paper or postcard invites or go digital with e-vites. Make sure you get those RSVP's back to you in plenty of time so you can confirm how many children you are catering to.

3. Decorations

This is where the fun begins and a theme comes in super handy. Buy or make decorations that match your theme or do both which can be loads of fun. The first element to consider is if you're at home or at a venue. So decorations for the house you are fairly unlimited as to how much or how little you want to decorate as you have plenty of time to do so. If you are in a venue then it is best to focus on decorations and tableware that you can string up and place in a quicker fashion. 

For venues you may want to concentrate on dressing tables, Balloon Arches and food grazing tables as for the home, alongside all of these you have plenty of scope to take the decorations from the doorway all the way through to the party room or to the outdoors - you are unlimited to what you can decorate.  

Popular decorations include the staple favourites; party balloons or garlands, Happy Birthday Banners and hanging decorations, themed party tableware and table Centrepieces. Refer to your budget so that you know how much you have allocated for this as when it comes to decorating, the sky is the limit as to what you can do. 

Whenever we work with a new client on a bespoke party build, the decorations are the one element that can go over budget super quickly as the only limit here is your imagination and then budget of course. Far easier to start off with a budget in mind and work forward from there.

Our sister site Just Party Supplies here in Auckland, specialises in themed party decorations and tableware so make this your first stop for party supplies. 

Creative Touches

Add personal touches like a photo wall of the birthday child or themed props for the photo booth. We all love taking photos at a birthday party and having a designated photo spot or wall makes this process very easy. 

4. Food and Drinks

Kid-Friendly Menu

Plan a menu that kids will love. Consider finger foods for ease like mini sandwiches, pizza slices, fruit skewers, and veggie sticks. Cupcakes are always fun too and as a creative element, you could get each child to decorate their own cupcake to take home. Add themed party food to take your party to a whole new level. For example, Frozen Party Blue Jelly Pots or Olaf's Noses, Baby carrots served with ranch dip and Snowball Cake Pops. 

Birthday Cake

Order a cake that fits the theme or if you're super talented you can bake one yourself. Don't forget candles! Once again give this plenty of time so plan ahead if you are ordering a cake.


Have a variety of drinks available, including water, juice, and soda.

5. Entertainment and Activities

Now this is our speciality and our entertainment is designed to bring the fun and entertain your children but also to make your party as stress-free as possible. Many parents love the hassle free nature of bringing in entertainers, themed to suit.

We have many popular themes to choose from.

However, not all parents want to do this every year. Many love to take on this themselves so here is a go-to list of fun stuff that you can include in your party.

Games and Activities

Plan age-appropriate games and activities. Classic games like musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, Limbo or a treasure hunt are always big hits.

Hired Entertainment

Aside from themed entertainers you could also look to add or have Balloonists, Face Painters a magician or clown instead if your budget allows. It's also great to have a concept of time as well as most children's parties are around 2 or 2.5hrs long so check to make sure you have enough time for additional entertainment. Of course if you're looking to have these kind of entertainers instead then you'll have plenty of time. 

Craft Station

This is such a popular option for parties and kids love craft. Set up a craft station where kids can make their own party favours or costume elements that they can then take home like Frozen Tiara's or Superhero masks.

6. Party Favours

Goodie Bags

Now goodie bags come in a range of different sizes and styles. They can come in the traditional Loot Bag or Kraft bag or you can purchase Treat Boxes, Cups or small paper bags. Many come in themes or you can choose plain coloured bags. From there you can fill them with small toys, lollies, and themed trinkets.

The most ideal way to fill loot bags is with our Themed Party Favour Packs. These fabulous packs contain 48 themed pieces with 6 different party favours, enough to fill 8 loot bags or you can stretch them out and add some extra goodies to create more party bags.

DIY Favours

Consider crafting personalised favours, like decorated cookies or handmade bracelets. This is such a nice take home treat for your guests.

7. Safety and Supervision

Adult Supervision

Ensure there are enough adults to supervise the kids and to help with activities. It's amazing how even a small group of children can feel overwhelming so be prepared with activities to keep them all busy and engaged.

First Aid Kit

Always great to have a basic first aid kit on hand for any minor accidents.

8. Set Up and Clean Up

Set Up Early

Start setting up the day before or early on the day of your party to avoid last-minute stress. Nothing worse than feeling rushed or that you've forgotten something. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time. Oh and also, many hands make this much easier.

Clean Up Plan

The not so much fun of any party or event is the clean up. Just like the set-up, enlist family and friends where you can. Spread the load to make things easier on you. This is one big reason why many parents choose to use a venue instead of their home for their child's party as clean up always feels easier off premise. 

9. Capture the Memories


Amongst the chaos of the party it is so easy to forget to take photos so assign someone to take photos or hire a professional to capture the special moments. 

Photo Booth

Set up a photo booth with party props for fun and memorable pictures. We love using Foil Curtains as backdrops for photo walls as they add the touch of shimmering glamour but scene setters and wall decorations are not only fabulous as setting your party theme but they also make amazing photo walls and photo backdrops.


10. Relax and Have Fun!

Enjoy the Moment

Take a deep breath and enjoy the party. All your planning and preparation will pay off, and seeing the kids have fun will be worth all the effort.

Your 'Go-to Party' Checklist:
1. Set a budget
2. Choose a theme
3. Create a guest list
4. Send invitations
5. Plan decorations
6. Prepare food and drinks
7. Plan entertainment and activities
8. Arrange party favors
9. Ensure safety and supervision
10. Set up and clean up
11. Capture the memories

This guide will totally steer you in the right direction. You're bound to throw a killer party, so have a blast planning! And hey, if you need a hand with anything, we've got your back. Till then, take care and enjoy!

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