Its that time of year again when I start to panic, in a couple of weeks time it will be Monkey’s Birthday and like every year we have decided to throw him a themed Birthday party. This year he has requested Paw Patrol… now thats easier said than done so thank goodness for pinterest! With a new born in tow I feel a little less organised or prepared for the 30 or so children due to be coming along. So I have put together a generic checklist which can be used to plan any young child’s party. It covers off some of the general things to think about, rather than every minuta item on your to do list, after all every party is different. I hope its of use, its made me feel more in control already!

Kids Party Checklist


  • Source invites – depending on theme purchase from Etsy or design your own
  • Arrange for printing
  • Write and deliver
  • Chase outstanding RSVPs
  • List acceptances and split between adults and children

Venue and Decorations 

  • Source and book venue – we tend to have all our parties in our garden at home
  • Tidy and put away toys in the conservatory – this is our inside room should it rain as its the only one which will hold 20 children comfortably. However it’s normally the play room so toys will need to be disguised behind themed table cloths or similar. Otherwise there will be more interest in them over the party activities
  • Mow lawn and tidy garden
  • Buy or make Birthday Banner in a theme
  • Source themed balloons/ giant number ballon and speak to the party shop for a price on helium. Depending on price purchase own canaster.
  • Source paper hanging decorations for conservatory
  • Source additional tables and chairs for meal depending on number of children
  • Source themed table ware – plates/cups/napkins/ cupcake holder /straws/table cloths
  • Make party sign for front door to direct round the back
  • Arrange for audio in the garden to play music games


  • Source and book bouncy castle/face painting/character walk around in theme
  • Purchase pass the parcel prize plus sweets/badge for each layer
  • Wrap pass the parcel
  • Make a play list of suitable music for the games
  • Source or make a themed pin the tail on the donkey type game
  • Purchase a prize for pin the tail game
  • Make musical chairs stepping stones or similar – you can use chairs but when outside I tend to use cardboard circles which are decorated in a way that keeps to the theme
  • Purchase prize for musical chairs game
  • Source party favours
  • Make sweet cones within theme
  • Make or buy piñata in theme
  • Buy confetti and sweets for piñata filling
  • Make colouring placemats for kids table
  • Source table presents – hats/character masks etc

Cake and Food

  • Decide on menu either a laid out table or little themed lunch boxes
  • Source appropriate serving dishes/lunch boxes to keep in theme
  • Make food labels for the table
  • Food types – fruit/crudities and dip/crisps /sandwiches/drinks/cupcakes/desert/savoury snacks
  • Additional table cloths for food table / table decorations for the food table
  • Research cake design for theme
  • Make or buy cake
  • Purchase cake board and additional coloured fondent
  • Decorate the cake in the theme
  • Arrange drinks and snacks for remaining adults

Thank Yous

  •  Take photo for the thank you cards
  • Design and order prior to party


I tend to set up a Pinterest board depending on the theme of the birthday party to give me ideas. Below are the ones I’ve used for Monkey in the past:

First Birthday – Hungry Caterpillar 

Second Birthday – The Gruffalo

Third Birthday – Going on a Bear Hunt

Fourth Birthday – Paw Patrol 

I’m going to have my work cut out so wish me luck!! Blog post to follow. I would love to hear about your child’s themed party in the comments below.


Linking up to MarvMondays, The Big Pink Link, Twinkly Tuesday, The List


  1. HappyFamily

    Great list. Nice to have it all written out!

  2. I am on the countdown to my daughter’s 4th birthday and have SO much to do… This is going to be such a useful list to stop me springing awake at 4 am going, ‘party bags!’ or similar…

  3. The Parenting Trials (@sarahnblogger)

    Wow great list 🙂 … I wish I could be this organised when it comes to my little ones birthdays lol, will have to take a leaf out of your book #BloggerClubUK

  4. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum)

    Brilliant list. Pinned for next party. Good look planning this one. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! #bloggerclubuk

  5. You are super organised! Sounds like you have it under control! Monkey is lucky to have his birthday in the summer! Mines always in the winter and freezing! So never outdoors… #BloggerClubUK #TheList xx

  6. Wow, very organised.
    I’m always a bit horrified at how much people spend on parties for young children. I mean, I know parents who have hired a hall, a children’s entertainer, caterers and a DJ for a six year old. How do you top that when they’re 7? Or 18? Or 21?

  7. Wow, what a list! Its very comprehensive. You sound very organised! I love the pinterest boards too, such a great idea. We’ve had the little ladys last birthday at home in our garden thinking it would be a low key affair, but I totally underestimated how much there was to do for a party at home. With a newborn also in tow for this years 3rd birthday, we’ve decided to hold it elsewhere so that we can hopefully relax and enjoy more of it this year! I cant wait to see pics, it sounds like it’ll be great 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

  8. Wow, I feel impressed at all your effort, and ashamed at my lack of for my children’s past parties, time to try harder…

  9. Alfie’s first birthday is in a couple of weeks so I’ve been doing lots of party planning but this is a great list – I’d forgotten to organise thank you cards!! Also LOVE the birthday questionnaire, may have to try something similar. Hope Monkey has a fab party #bloggerclubuk

  10. agentspitback

    Great list and your themed parties look amazing! I You’re very creative. I always just do the run of the mill kind of parties. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  11. Wow. Firstly that’s some list! I think I’ll stick to quiet family affairs for BattleKid. Secondly your Pinterest boards for previous themed birthdays are amazing! #BloggerClubUK

  12. That’s quite a list! My plan for my son’s birthday this year involves having a picnic in the park. Luckily he’s not yet old enough to start wanting anything more though, so this might be me in a few years. Argh! #BloggerClubUK

  13. I love a good list and this is so super organised!! We had a party last month for the 2 and 3 year old and although we planned to have it at home I panicked at the last minute and booked a soft play centre! It was actually wayyyy easier than having all those kids traipsing over my brand new carpets and at least someone else dealt with the mess afterwards! Hope the party goes well!! #BloggerClubUK

  14. thats a detailed list! I am new to the world of birthdays so next year will be the start I think for me in actually inviting other kids ooooohhh! #bloggerclubuk

  15. I’m sensing your child is a bit older than mine, but I hear you! My youngest is 3 next week. I’ve just written a post about the pressure of making a birthday cake and this is the thing that gets me every year. I can’t bake and yet every year I try and convince myself that it is the right thing to do to make one rather than buy. Good luck with all your preparations! #TwinklyTuesday

  16. I wish I could say that I love kids birthday parties but I secretly hate them! You are an inspiration – that’s some planning and organising going on there – you totally put me to shame! I need to up my game! #BloggerClubUK

  17. Squirmy Popple

    Wow – I’m impressed with how organised you are! I haven’t had to throw a birthday party yet – we kept things low-key for my daughter’s first birthday – and I had no idea how much work is involved. I’m sure the Paw Patrol party will be a success! #BloggerClubUK

  18. This is a great list, I am going to use it as a checklist for Leo’s birthday in August! Good luck with the paw patrol party, I’m sure monkey will love it.xx #bloggerclubuk

  19. laughing mum

    wow! a list like this would have been so great when the kids were little… You say your less organised, but jeez, your like the ultimate organiser with this list! lol – I love it! I hope you have a great party!! #bloggerclubUK

  20. Jane Taylor

    Woah! That must have taken a lot of thought and effort. With 9 and 13 year olds, we are scaling back on the ‘entire class’ birthday parties (phew)! I am also finding that I rebel against it becoming a huge thing BUT If you love organising and planning parties then go for it! This is a fantastic list and your Pinterest boards will be on fire!!! #bloggersclubUK

  21. I hope the party goes really well. I was never as orgasnised as this and I am kind of relieved that my kids are older now. My kids went to an inner city school and there was never a whole class party, in fact a lot of my kids friends didn’t have parties at all. We’ve just done small parties with about 10 kids. I guess if your children go to a school where it’s expected that the whole class is invited it can become a bigger deal. I am feely slightly panicked by the thought of it! My son is autistic so parties when he was little were never going to work well.. we used to arrange day trips out with one friend to a museum as that was what a perfect birthday celebration looked like for him then. It worked well for us.
    I am definitely in awe of your organisational skills… best wishes! #BloggerClubUK

  22. My Little Yarn BabyLucy

    Oh my goodness, that is a lot of things to think about!! My mind boggles! I better pin this ready for Freddies 1st birthday in Dec! Loving the previous themes you have done, you have excelled at Party planning!

  23. KidGearUK

    Wow! Great checklist, sounds like a fantastic party. I’ve yet to do a big birthday party for my boys. Their birthday’s are in the same month so I think I’d be knackered trying to do two separate ones, maybe a joint one would be a good idea. #BloggerClubUK

  24. I always think planning a child’s birthday party requires military precision and you have just proved the point. I am still recovering from my daughter’s 13th! It doesn’t get any easier just louder! Hope the party goes well. #bloggerclubuk

  25. Laura: Adventures with J

    Wow! You certainly know how to throw a party! I wouldn’t have thought of half of this so thank you for auch a great list! It is much easier when you have a summer born child though. J’s birthday is likely to be cold and wet every year and our house is not big enough to hold a party so we will avoid until we have to for budget saving purposes! #bloggerclubuk

  26. randommusings29

    Wow, that’s a lot to think about! I hadn’t realised how much planning there was. I think I’ll stick to adult parties – buy massive amounts of booze and done lol

  27. Lists and Pinterest are my saviours! I’m yet to host a ‘proper’ birthday party for the LO with friends coming but he has made his first, not selected by me, friend so it won’t be long #bloggerclubuk

  28. rawsonjl

    Great list but you’re making me nervous! We have a birthday party this weekend and so far I’ve sent out the invites and started making up a grocery list… that’s it! Lucky for me the kids are older and I’m assuming with nice weather as long as I have lots of food available for the preteens to fill up on they should be content to swim and entertain themselves.

  29. wow you need to become an event planner and I so needed you in my life when mine were small. Such a wonderful, clear, bright and cheery list – so helpful for others. You seriously should think about pitching a book idea on lists for parents – it would be a winner for sure! Welcome back by the way – lovely to have you back! #BloggerClubUK

  30. This is a dreadfully long list but kids’ birthdays mean thousands of things to be done, right? 🙂 Lovely and useful post. 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  31. Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    Clare, you never cease to amaze me with your many talents! These birthday parties you have thrown are AMAZING! The themes are just fab & so are the activities. Your check list is perfect. It’s crazy how much goes into throwing a birthday party until you see it written out like that. Good luck with Monkey’s birthday party this year, I look forward to reading more about it. #BloggerClubUK

  32. Wow! That sounds like one fancy, organized party! The first 2 school-friends birthday parties we put on we had at the park across the street from the house. My sister-in-law does cakes so that was easy, then we had veggies and dip, some fruit and cheese and crackers. The kids played at the park, the adults visited in the shade and we opened gifts and had cake. Easy peasy! Great list for those who want to put in more effort – and I love the pics from previous parties. My kids would have loved to have attended! 🙂

  33. In The Lyons Den

    Wow, your parties are amazing! You need a check list and then another check list! My two kids are 2 weeks apart so it is a busy birthday season when it comes around! Great tips for getting stuff organised. 🙂

  34. alisonlonghurst

    I am SERIOUSLY impressed with the amount of effort and detail you put into your parties. They look amazing! I am wondering, as I’m out of this zone now that mine are older, do you feel any pressure to put on a really good, well thought out party? I get the impression that parties now are big business. Well done on all your hard work and attention to detail. Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  35. I am SERIOUSLY impressed with the amount of effort and detail you put into your parties. They look amazing! I am wondering, as I’m out of this zone now that mine are older, do you feel any pressure to put on a really good, well thought out party? I get the impression that parties now are big business. Well done on all your hard work and attention to detail. Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  36. I have never organised a children’s party, but I imagine it wont be long before I have to. I never realise just how much went into it, I’m glad I read this I know what to expect and where to start now!


  37. Oh my goodness look at your Pinterest boards and the previous parties – they look AMAZING. You are so dedicated, I don’t think my poor little mite will be getting anything near this level of awesomeness – probably a family party with silly games and a bit of cake, 1970s style!! Good luck with the organising I am sure it will be amazing. #BloggerClubUK

  38. wow. this is like organising a mini wedding. Fair play to you. I actually take my hat off. I usually do invites via text message, they geta home made cake of choice and their birthday table and we do a few games wirth their friends. very simple but yet nice. Would love to hear how it goes….

  39. Wooooooooow! my little boy is 2 this year and instead of throwing a party we’re going on holiday! you’re list is both terrifying and fantastic! #bloggerclubuk

  40. Wow good luck! We haven’t had a proper birthday party yet and this slightly scares me! But I will keep this as a handy guide! Love the pin interest board something else social media to learn! Good luck with the party sure it will be fab #BloggerClubUK

  41. Pinterest is always a great source of inspiration isn’t it! This checklist is a great idea and really useful. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the party.
    Potty Adventures

  42. Great list, although does remind me what hard work it is organising a party! Love your pinterest boards, I use pinterest loads for party ideas too. This year my son is having his birthday while away on a school residential so I am really having to think differently about how to make it fun for him 🙂

  43. Mouse, Moo and Me Too

    Wowsers, this is a good list! I’ve got away with not having to host “proper” parties up until now. Next year though my eldest turns 4 and there’s no way I can roll out another family tea party and hope that’ll cut the mustard. So, approximately next February please will you re-post this ? #bloggerclubuk

  44. Sometimes I think that organising kids parties gets more complex than organising our wedding was! #BloggerClubUK

  45. Fab checklist! I need to start planning my son’s first birthday so this will come in handy! Bookmarked!! #bloggerclubuk

  46. moneysavermum

    Great check list. It always seems like there’s so much to do it’s good to just sit down and check things off! Your Gruffalo party looks amazing. We had one for our boy’s 3rd birthday party and I admit to going a bit overboard on buying all the amazing Gruffalo things available.
    PS You can buy helium cannisters from places like Hobbycraft, for £20-£22 and they fill about 30 balloons. More fun than getting a shop to do it too!

  47. Such a great list and I need to go and check your boards out too! Actually, I don’t think I am following you on pinterest, I need to go and sort that one out! #bloggerclubuk

  48. This is a genius idea. Of course Josh is too young for a party yet but his christening is this weekend so I make adapt this checklist for that!! Hope your little one has a fantastic party xx #bloggerclubuk

  49. Kate Orson

    Good luck with the party organisation! I’m not the best at orgnasing but this post as inspired me to get my act together, as my daughter’s birthday is soon, thanks. I love the pinterest boards. #BloggerClubUK

  50. Kate Tunstall, The Less-Refined Mind

    What a brilliant idea! I bet this will get you a ton of traffic! ? Best of luck with the party, I hope Monkey has a fab birthday. X

  51. Oh the dreaded party! Usually we just have the kids cousins round for tea. This year we said our daughter could have a small party, I forgot the pass the parcel presents, so had to run to the shop the day of, and I was up until midnight the night before making seventy cupcakes to be decorated! #bloggerclubuk

  52. The pinterest boards are a great idea, totally stealing that. As yet my twins have had joint birthdays with just family invited but I am all prepared for that to change. Wich me luck as I arrange one pink princess birthday party and one digger themed party on the same day…..yikes! #BloggerClubUK

  53. Wow you are super organised. Don’t know how you say you aren’t! This is a great checklist and I love the Pinterest boards.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  54. I confess I’ve only done one proper party at home…and another at soft play and it can be a bit stressful…especially when a family turned up over halfway through having not RSVP’d!!! Wishing monkey a fab birthday and party #twinklytuesday

  55. Coombe Mill

    wow no wonder I feel tired after children’s birthday parties, there is such a lot to organize. I do like doing them from home though, it is just the activities I really spend time getting right, once this is planned it falls into place. Good luck with birthday 5 #MarvMondays

  56. organisedjo

    I looooove this checklist! It covers absolutely everything. I also take my hat off to you organising the party at home. Those Pinterest boards are great too. Hope it all goes well. #MarvMonday

  57. I especially love the pinterest boards and how organised you are. It’s almost like planning a wedding. Loving the themes. I’ve all this to look forward to with my little lord! #marvmondays

  58. Last time i planned a party was quite a while back. it can be so stressful! A great list

  59. Great check list and one that will help me, thank you, as its Noah’s birthday in less than a month and we are throwing him a little party. #MarvMondays xx

  60. Epic! You are one organised lady. You need military precision for these things though hey? We’ve just survived planning a Scooby Doo one and a Frozen one. Phew. Good luck! #BigPinkLink

  61. I don’t have kids and never realised so much time and effort went into organising them.

    The Pinterest boards are very inspiring and have given me some ideas for my up and coming ‘ new kitchen ‘ party .

    You deserve a medal and a stiff glass of whisky!! Thanks for sharing , Tracey x

  62. Ami Elizabeth

    Love this list. I am an event planner in my ‘spare time’ so I have pinned this to keep safe for a later date when I need some inspiration! Thank you 🙂

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