Party on down: Plan

Forget outsourcing your next party because all the processed food and depressingly cheery party rooms in the world can’t beat an old-school, at home, handmade, stylish kids’ birthday party. Now, ignore the fact that after every single children’s party I have ever slaved over, my own kids say, “Can I have a Wizzyworld party next year?” Yes, ignore that.

The food, the decorations, the games… fact is, the most daunting thing about running a children’s party for most mums is getting through the actual event itself. Timing the day and crowd-wrangling a bunch of children is certainly challenging, but not completely impossible when you use a little magic.

And here is that magic!  Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a series of Party Planning posts. They’ll be centred around children’s parties, but applicable for most kinds of parties. I am no expert, I’m just going to show you how I do what I do. It might work for you, you might think I’m a nutjob. But I like to share, so here I go.

For me, the key elements to running a successful party are:

1. The Plan
2. The Theme
3. The Invitations
4. The Food
5. The Decorations
6. The Games / Music
7. The Running Order
8. The Thank yous

So, let’s start at the very beginning… The Plan.

When you set out to create your party (and it’s a good idea to start thinking about it at least two months in advance), start a blank doc on your computer ready to begin. Copy and paste the list above. Add a ‘The Checklist’ table at the very top of the document. Your plan is up and running!*

Use your plan to dump ideas, how-tos, recipes and notes on your party under the relevant heading as you go. Because so many of my thought starters begin online, I also use my Pinterest boards to capture ideas and then add my favourites to my plan.

You can also track RSVPs and set up shopping lists and ‘what to do when’ lists in this document. So everything is in the one, accessible place as you plan your party. The key is to update this plan whenever something changes and then, when you settle on something, add it to the Checklist at the top of the document and note any relevant details. The Checklist will keep you on track to make sure you get everything done in time.

And with our plan we’re off and running!

Can it really be that simple? Er, sort of. 
Next time: The Food

* If you’re interested, here is my plan for the recent Rainbow Party. Other party planning guides can be found herehere and here.
[Image from Hey Gorgeous]

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  1. says

    omg I’m so ashamed to admit this but I’ve never ONCE had A Plan. Just lists — shopping, mostly — that are a convernient size to lose until a week after the Party is over.

    ALSO — I had an epiphany concerning RSVPs.
    Just leave relevant information off the invite (like where the party will be) and that info ONLY gets given to the parents who RSVP.

    I’m so doing that next time.

  2. says

    I admire you for all the talent, the thinking, the planning, the organization that went with this party. Bowing before you from this side of the planet. xx

  3. says

    You make me smile.
    In an organised, list making, detail checking kinda fashion.
    Party planning is a most worthy past-time.
    I’m in Melbourne Cup Bash mode tonight.

  4. says

    I hope you don’t mind but I forwarded your rainbow party post to when they asked what amazing parties looked like! Your parties are amazing and when they started talking about it I immediately thought you deserved to be recognized.

  5. says

    LOVE the simplicity of your plan. LOVE that you love parties as much as I do! I also LOVE using the Pinterest boards as a party planning tool; they are a FAB way to collect great ideas in one place.
    Great minds think alike.
    PS would love you to link your party planning posts up to my party linky. As always.

  6. says

    Thank you all for your kind words!

    Rhonda – that’s so cool. Thanks for thinking of me!!

    Simoney – will do!

    Toni – bloody brilliant idea. I’m doing it too!!


  7. says

    All i know is that i put more effort, energy & ideas into each of my children’s parties than i ever remember doing for my own wedding!! I love it, oh the decorating is my favourite bit but i might not be able to cook dinner but i can cook a fantastic 1960s Women’s Weekly children’s party menu (i give the daddies lolly bags filled with frozen sausage rolls for dinner, i’m a hit!!) Love Posie

  8. says

    i think i may need to print out every post! xx


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