10. Party Organizer
Use this handy timeline to help you plan your bash.
4 Weeks Before
- Mail out your invites. Include specifics such as when the party will start and end and a date to RSVP by (at least two weeks before the party day).
- Arrange for an entertainer if you're going that route; save money by hiring your child's music teacher or dance instructor.
- Shop for party goods, decorations, and goody bags. If you're ordering anything online, do it now.
1 Week Before
- Follow up with any guests who have not RSVP'd.
- Buy your food and drinks.
- Bake your cake or cupcakes and freeze, or order a cake if you're not baking.
- Plan out activities, and make sure you have all of your supplies.
1 Day Before
- Assemble goody bags.
- Review party manners with your child. Practice welcoming guests and thanking them for presents.
- Defrost and decorate your cake or cupcakes.
- Prepare any food you can ahead of time.
- Set the table and arrange additional seating.
- Make sure your camera or camcorder battery is charged.
- 15-20 minutes: Keep kids busy as they wait for other guests to arrive with a quiet activity such as an easy craft, or leave out a few age-appropriate toys like coloring books and puzzles.
- 20 minutes: Kids will be ready to move on, so lead them to a high-energy game or the party's main activity.
- 15-20 minutes: Help them wind down with a quieter activity such as a classic game of Bingo or trivia questions.
- 20 minutes: Time for food, cake, and presents!
- 10 minutes: As the party draws to an end, hand out goody bags and make sure your child thanks his guests for coming.
Copyright © 2007. Reprinted with permission from the May 2007 issue of Parents magazine.