Party Planning Checklist
Planning a party can be a difficult task but with a good guideline you won’t skip a step! This comprehensive list will keep you organized and more importantly, will make your party a memorable one!
4-6 weeks before party
- Select date and time for party.
- Choose location for party and make reservations, if necessary.
- Develop the guest list (neighborhood friends, class mates, team mates, cousins, etc.).
- Call Chamberlin Pony Rides and reserve your day (734-368-6582)
3-4 weeks before
- Make or purchase invitations
- Mail invitations 2 1/2 weeks before party
2 weeks before
- Purchase party supplies such as decorations, favors, games. Visit our gift shop for party supplies: http://astore.amazon.com/chamberlinpar-20
- See below for discount product sources
- Purchase enough for siblings and a few other extra guests.
- Plan menu and make grocery shopping list.
- Arrange for help. Identify family members and friends who can help set-up/clean-up, prepare and serve food, and coordinate games and activities.
1 week before
- Gather up tables, chairs, toys, coolers, serving dishes, and other supplies you'll be using at the party.
- Follow-up with the invited guests who have not yet RSVP'd to determine final guest count.
- Order cake & balloons.
- Prepare any foods that can be frozen for the following week.
2-3 days before
- Charge video camera battery and make sure cameras are working.
- Do grocery shopping.
- Get cash or make out checks for any paid helpers.
- Prepare favor bags.
- Prepare remaining food, including cake or cupcakes if making these.
- Clean and child proof party area.
- Call Chamberlin Pony Rides and reconfirm any details
- Save a parking spot for the truck and trailer (about 40 feet)
- Finish last minute food preparation.
- Pick up cake and balloons
- Set-up and decorate party area Set-up games Have fun!
- Do minimum level of clean-up.
2-3 days after
- Finish cleanup/put-away.
- Have child prepare thank you notes for gifts.
- Don't forget to send thank you notes to your helpers.
- Get film developed and send pictures to distant relatives, put one on fridge, save some for scrap book.
HERE IS A SAMPLE PARTY AGENDA
How will yours flow?
12:00 - 12:30- Arrival Activities
Simple Arrival Activities, such as making and decorating name tags, gift bags, or party hats, are a good way for children to transition into the party. Provide plain name tags, favor bags, or party hats and a supply of markers, stickers and ribbons. Have an adult available to provide guidance, such as "be sure to write your name on your favor bag".
You can also have arriving children draw on or sign a big Happy Birthday card for your child. Write "Happy 7th Birthday, Jason" (inserting the appropriate age and name for your child, of course) in colorful letters on poster board and then have the children add their names and artwork. If you have chosen a "barnyard" theme have the children draw a picture of a favorite animal.
Another fun arrival activity is a "guess how many" jar. Fill a clear glass or plastic jar (with a secure lid) with a known quantity (yes, you have to count them!) of candy, marbles, pennies, tiny toy cars or some other item that ties in with the theme of your party.
Decorate the jar and lid with stickers and a bow and place on the arrival activity table. Provide slips of paper for guests to write their names and their "guess" and a small basket or box to collect the entries. At the end of the party award the jar of goodies to the child with the closest guess.
12:30 - 1:30 Chamberlin Pony Rides event
It takes us about 20 minutes to set up the petting zoo and pony rides. You really only need 1 hour for your event if you have 25 children invited or less. Also, remember the age of the children has alot to do with the attention span. A 3 year old is not going to be amused by a goat for more than 40 minutes, no matter how "cute" it is! For this reason we suggest our Complete Party Package. Some children don't want to ride a pony or feed a goat. So we include face painting, balloon twisting, music, bubbles. There is something for all ages and attention spans!
1:30 - 2:00 Refreshments
Plan to call the children from the petting zoo to cut the cake and open gifts. If not, it may be difficult for them to leave the animals. (We always provide hand sanitizer)
2:00 - 2:30 Closing Activities
Close the party by making a game out of distributing the favor bags. Have the children follow clues to "hunt" for their bags or distribute the bags as part of a musical circle game (when the music stops the child holding the gift bag keeps it and gets up from the circle... continue until all children have a favor bag).
Parents seem to have mixed feelings about opening presents during a birthday party. I use to prefer not to open presents at a party, because I thought it was bit boring for the other children. However, as Monica got older I see that the other children like to see their gifts opened and to check out the other gifts.
Don't forget to award the "guess how many" jar (see Arrival Activity above) to the winner!
Birthday Invitation Etiquette for Kid’s Parties
Parents: Should They Stay or Should They Go?
When you're having a birthday for a child , other parents are always going to be an issue. Depending on you and your party, you may want the parents to either attend with their children or to just drop them off. The question is how do you pass on that information politely and what limits should you expect to set on those parents. Although you can suggest on your invitation for parents to attend, including wording such as “This is a drop off party” or “Please pick your child up at (time)” can come across as rude to some parents. Plus, parents should feel comfortable to stay if they choose. Remember, they don’t know you. However, it’s fine to include wording that encourages parents to stay, such as “Parents welcome to attend,” “Separate Refreshments Available for Parents,” or something along those lines.
Siblings: Are They Automatically Invited?
As parents, we hate to see any of our children feeling left out of something fun, such as a birthday party. However, we have to realize that birthday invitations are meant for the invitee only (unless otherwise specified on the invitation) and possibly a parent. Imagine wha t would happen if every invited person to a party showed up with all of their siblings – the poor party host would run out of refreshments and sanity pretty fast! With that said, many parents will bring younger siblings to parties if they are planning to stay at the party, too. This is why I strongly suggest sending out the invitations early enough so you can request an RSVP, preferably by email or phone so you can contact the person directly to make sure you know how many people will be attending. It’s a little more work for you now, but you won't have any surprises on the day of the party. While there’s no polite way to exclude siblings on the invitation, if you're throwing a party and have to pay a per guest fee then you could specify “We are only allowed 15 guests so please let us know as soon as possible if (Name) will be able to attend.” In this way, you are letting the parents know that there is a limit on the number of guests you can have without specifically saying leave your other kids at home.
Please visit our online gift shop for party supplies and additional ideas:
Click on the bunny below to visit shop