Organising experts share stress free party planning secrets.
1. Give yourself at least one month before the party.
2. Figure out your budget and stick to it.
3. What kind of party does your child want?
This is where having a budget in mind really helps you set your child’s expectations of where it will be, the decorations, the activities. Also find out what they'd like to receive for a gift. Lots of little gifts to open or one group gift like a bicycle?
4. Who to invite? The whole class or just a few close friends?
5. Book a venue whether it be a park, a hall or the movies
Ask other parents for recommendations and get in early so you don’t find everything is already booked.
6. Invitations 101Give your guests notice so everyone can make it. If your child wants one group gift, you may want to give parents the option to chip in for the gift rather than going through the hassle of buying something else. Compile an invite on Canva, use the one supplied by the venue or buy one from the shops if you are old school.
7. Run Sheet
Otherwise plan out the party including:
Arrival (what to do while waiting for all the kids to show up), Activities (do you need to explain what’s happening – build in time for that too), Food and Cake (setup time, eating, candle lighting, cake!) and Farewell (pick up time – make sure parents know drop off and pick up times as there is nothing worse than waiting around for tardy parents.
8. Make a list and add to your phone calendar.
Do you need to buy, borrow, bring anything for the party. Might as well get it in advance (keep receipts in case you need to return anything) or if you are more of a last minute shopper – put in a calendar reminder and add your list to the notes section. You should have a list for food (groceries, cake (buy or bake), party supplies (plates, cups, decorations, etc), activities (craft, sport, clean up around the house, etc) and help (friends or other parents to help supervise)
9. Check and chase your RSVP’s and send out a reminder to parents.
10. Last of all, don't forget the matches, food, knife ,cake and going home gifts if you are heading to a venue.
Ali Linz and Julie Tylman are organisation experts and co-founders of GroupTogether