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How to Plan A Birthday Party

Are you looking for a simple birthday party checklist?  For you moms out there who just need a quick template to quickly get this done, I created a kids’ birthday party checklist.

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Planning a Party Without A Checklist

image of the free how to plan a birthday party checklist with the colors of pink, bright neon ocean blue and fuschia.
download this free printable

It would’ve been helpful if I could’ve found a post like this on how to plan a birthday party with a checklist.  When I started out doing birthday parties for my kids, I had no idea how to do it!  (Can you feel my stress?)

I needed some type of birthday checklist or template to get started because I had never planned a party before.  

And I mean, like never.  

Growing up, my family was a bit different, so for me, this was a whole new world.  But I definitely wanted to jump in.

And jump in I did!  

three girls dressed up for the birthday party and looking at the candy cake

I threw the cutest 1st birthday party for my firstborn (and moms that party was as much for me surviving the first year as it was for celebrating him being there).  

Later I gave him a cowboy/little house on the prairie party.  That was his 4-year-old birthday.  Success!  Then I gave my second-born a Cookie Monster birthday.  

Okay, I won’t bore you with the list of birthday parties.  You get the point, I have planned parties for kids and it’s obvious that you don’t need a checklist to go to every time, but I will say you will save a lot more time if you have a template.  

I definitely took time with each party googling and going on Pinterest to find out the same things I had already researched with the party before. 

Learn from my mistakes ladies.  

The inspiration for this kids party planning checklist is my daughter’s 8-year-old unicorn party.  

As I gathered my thoughts I realized, I didn’t have an actual to-do list template.  Well, I think I finally learned my lesson.

Obviously, this checklist is somewhat for me too because having something to grab and fill-in is much better than re-inventing the wheel.  Isn’t that what successful planning is all about?

So let’s talk a bit about how to plan a simple birthday party -no bells, no whistles, and no cookie monsters.

How do you organize a simple birthday party?

Of course, we need to know what are the steps to plan a birthday party.  

a boy holding a balloons of multiple colors.  He looks prepared to party

Gather Your Supplies For Planning

Before you do anything, you need to have your notebook or birthday party checklist printable and a pencil.  Pencil because you will probably move things around, add in things or decide to do something different so you can erase it.  


The first thing you need to think about is money.  I mean we can’t get away from it, birthday parties can cost a lot.  Although, they don’t have to be expensive.  The cowboy party I mentioned earlier was a very simple birthday party.  I homemade the cake and decorated it with inspiration from Pinterest.  I created the cowboy hats and a stick horse. 

Other decorations were free printables I found online.

Decide on the Location

Now, where will this party be held?  You need to pin down the time and location.  This sometimes will determine if you need decorations, games, if you can have music and the rest.  

Create the Guest List

Once you figure out the location and time (My house on Saturday, 1-3pm, or George’s SkateRink Friday 4pm-6pm kind of thing), now you can think about who to invite.  

Do you want this to be a family-only party, family and friends, friends-only, or friends and various associates (like neighbors or mom’s friend’s daughter kind of thing)?  There are several ways to go about this, but it’s entirely up to you!

Create the Menu

Next on the plan is food.  

Food is probably the biggest expense and absolutely needs to be detailed on your birthday party to do list.  Do you want a theme?  If so, you might want to include something to hint at that in your menu.  

But for a simple party, you probably just want the standard pizza, cake, chips, and maybe one or two other things.  Kids always appreciate a sweet treat or two.  And don’t forget drinks!

Pick the Entertainment

Now that you know where, who and what kinds of foods, you got to add in music and/or games. 

Basically, what are the entertainment needs for your kid’s birthday?  Do you want them just to have free play, board games, up-and-about games like tag or dodgeball, or maybe a treasure hunt?  It’s fine if you just do video games or a movie, but again, you have to decide.  

This post isn’t really to give you ideas but to help you know step-by-step of how to plan a birthday party using a checklist.

In conclusion, what are the things needed for a birthday party?

  • A budget
  • A place 
  • A time
  • Guests
  • Food
  • Fun

Let’s Celebrate!

There is your simple birthday party checklist!  But you don’t have to print this whole post.  I created for you this how to plan a birthday party checklist.  It’s a bit more detailed template that you can print out for free!  

image of the free how to plan a birthday party checklist with the colors of pink, bright neon ocean blue and fuschia.

Kids parties are so fun.  I really enjoyed planning all of mine.  I’d love to know what kind of party you are planning for your kids.  Leave me a comment below.

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