Checklist for planning birthday party ideas for Kids

All you need is a checklist for planning a birthday party before the D-day. After settling down a bit to the newness of parenthood (children and parents)which generally takes around 6 months or so, the first birthday of our tiny tot is often a big deal for us. Some ideas seem overwhelming in the beginning to most new parents i.e ( travelling with babies, birthday parties, story sessions, movie sessions, PTMs etc…) After all we don’t have much idea at this time  about how do we exactly manage this baby affair and we want this to be a big event and a perfect one too!! To make things easier, here are some birthday party ideas for your baby and how can you plan, execute and close this ceremony on the baby’s 1st BIG day!!

Checklist for planning a birthday party

1. Birthday party theme for kids

Generally speaking, if your child is younger , you may wish to make the party a fancy one by having a theme for the party. Without a checklist for planning a birthday party, it will become a stressful affair.

The theme can be anything the birthday girl/boy likes.

Depending on the age of the child, the theme of the party makes the environment consistent. 

There are various things to be organized in a thematic party setup.

The decoration, the cake, the dresses all need to be coordinated to keep the tandem.

Personally I feel, for smaller kids, it is best to hire a party organizer if budget allows for such parties.

If your kid is a baby , you need to give her undivided attention.

In that case organizing everything as per the theme can be a challenge at times.

But if you can manage on your own with friends and family, then nothing like it.

For decor, you may check online if they have items available for your theme. Another option is if you have travelled recently to another part of the country/abroad, you can check out kids shops to find unique party decoration ideas as well!!

Generally these days there is a good chance that you will find what you are looking for.

2. Birthday party location-Indoor or Outdoor

Decide on the venue before anything else as the venue can change a thing or two about how the party should be organised.

Now is the time you need the checklist for planning a birthday party right in your hands:)

Primarily whether the party will be an INDOOR PARTY

 or OUTDOOR PARTY needs to be decided.

In case the party is an OUTDOOR PARTY, the open space gives a lot of options.

 Here are a few things that must be kept in mind if you throw an outdoor party for kids.

  • You can organize the games and entertainment in the open and have a shaded area for serving food and rest when someone needs to.
  • In an OUTDOOR party the decoration may also vary. For example there may be standies and decoration frames that need to be organised if you are opting for elaborate decoration.
  • There needs to be a few trash bins in the open space and the kids need to be instructed to use them whenever required. Sometimes out door kid’s parties become quite messy is kids do not use trash bins.
  • If you have guests who vary in age which usually happens, make sure you have designated play area for different age groups.  

Indoor or outdoor?

  • The tiniest of your guests should be kept away from the older ones during play time. For example, one year olds and 5 year olds have a huge difference in the way they play and mixing up this age group during playtime when there are a good number of children can end up in hurts.
  • Get a music system in place as per the area designated for your party. The indoor player may not serve the propose in a bigger place. Check your speakers before the party if its sufficient for your pot door space.   
  • In case your party is an INDOOR PARTY,  you just need to decide if you are going for  a HOUSE PARTY or HALL party which you may need to rent. A few facts that may help you to decide are:
  • Number of guests
  • The clean up process that you need to undertake after the party.
  • Average age of children
  • The time frame of your party and the hourly rate charged in case you are renting a space.
  • The distance between your home and party hall in case you are renting out.

3. Checklist for planning a birthday party-Birthday party games and entertainment


After all parties are all about entertainment and games! Choose what all entertainment you want to include and have a time and place specifically slotted for each of them. This will reduce chances of chaos.

Some common entertainment you can include are:

  • Magic shows
  • Tattoo artists
  • Movie time
  • Wall painting
  • Story teller
  • Jokes time

You can be creative and have your own entertainment designed.


Engaging your little friends in games is a way to give them immense joy and make your party memorable.

Parties for smaller kids are events where many of them become friends and develop bonding.

This is also something your birthday girl/boy will look forward to.

So plan games as per your Childs liking, age, number of guests, time and the place of your party.

4. Birthday party food for kids

7 tips to be in control with food in a kids party.

1. Take count of number of children and adult guests.

Children consume less than adults and their preferences also might differ.

The quantity of the food has to be such that we have around 20% left over , not more than that. You will be tired the next day, so the left over can be used. But if you have too much left over it can cause wastage and hassle storing.

2. The way you serve food has to be thought of and there must be a few designated just to serve food.

Ask for help from a friend or family member.

A well planned meal time can save a lot of confusion specially with children.

3. The cutlery, disposibles, water etc may also be arranged in a different table/counter for the kids.

A spill over while handling cutlery on a table full of yummy food is the last thing you want. 

4. Depending on your food preferences, try to keep the food simple and the menu kids friendly.

There might be picky eaters and kids are often tired after a gaming session.

At this time they may enjoy something that is easy to handle and tasty.

More tips on food management...

5. The spice level need to be controlled keeping children in mind.

6. Children need to be hydrated throughout the party to be in full swing. An unlimited supply to some fresh juice may be a good idea.

7. It is a good idea to serve food in portions.

Kids often tend to waste if they have too much in plate.

It is a good idea to serve a small portion allowing to refill.

To make the menu appealing to kids, here are some kids party combo that you may try or may help you to finalize yours.

The combinations will have a drink, an appetizer, a main course and a dessert+birthday cake.

These combos are based on different themes and  may be liked by both kids and adults, even though these are simple menu options.

Combo meal samples for kid's birthday party

Combo 1(Indian theme)

  1. Lemon & mint soda
  2. Veg cutlet
  3. Fried rice
  4. 2 mini Gulab jamun ( fried cottage cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup)
  5. Birthday cake of choice


Combo 2 (continental theme)

  1. Fresh watermelon juice
  2. Frenchfries with mayo
  3. Veg Frankie
  4. Chocolate mouse
  5. Birthday cake of choice


Combo 3(continental theme)

  1. Mango/strawberry Milkshake
  2. Cheese balls with ketchup
  3. Veg sandwich
  4. Chocolate mini Doughnut
  5. Birthday cake of choice


Combo 4(Italian theme)

  1. Fresh lime soda
  2. Veg ball Manchurian
  3. Veg noodles
  4. Mango ice cream
  5. Birthday cake of choice

Combo 5(Chinese theme)

  1. Fresh lime soda
  2. Veg ball Manchurian
  3. Veg noodles
  4. Mango ice cream
  5. Birthday cake of choice

5. Checklist for planning a birthday party-Birthday party return gifts for kids

Return gifts are something kids will look forward to in a birthday party.

Well….most kids do !!

Sometimes it becomes a bit difficult to choose the right return gift as there are too many choices and your budget too is something that needs to support your choice.

The gift has to match the average age of the kids invited Or if there are kids of various ages which is usually the case, then you may choose two to three kinds of gifts to be given to each age group.

Make sure to name the gift of each child in such case or else confusion is the only alternate!! 

Some categories of return gifts to choose from are:

  • TOYS
  • CUPS

There are a lot of choices in the market but one thing that always has variety for all ages and found in all budgets are “BOOKS”.

This is always a good gifting or return gifting option.

If you are confused and cannot decide what to gift you can always choose books relevant to the age group of your guests.

Now you can check this point in the checklist for planning a birthdays party

6. Birthday party dresses and shoes

If this is your baby’s first birthday, the dress is a big deal for most….and yes its always better to get this in advance…after all this is a BIG day for your baby and she must look the best!!

While buying the party dress, there are a few things that is good to be kept in mind. I have realized this over planning and attending  quite a few birthday parties. A few things worth considering are:

  • Your baby should be comfortable in the dress. Choose the dress as per the climatic conditions.
  • If she is a small baby, changing diapers/ using washroom should not be a hassle because of the dress. 
  • If the party is on for a long time, keep a spare set of clothing that she can just slip into after all the frenzy is over but there are still guests around.
  • Give her a comfortable pair of shoes that she can easily slip on and off while playing. 
  • Show the dress to her before the actual day if she is a baby. Get her used to the new dress. Sometimes babies just throw tantrums with all things new on that day just cause there is so much happening around them the whole day.

7. Kid's birthday party photography​

Birthday parties or any other kids party for that matter is about creating memories of the good times.

Capturing such happy moments you can go through as a family later cannot be missed.

But parents will never have the time to click as they will be super busy on the party day unless your kid is a grown up darling.

If you plan and have the budget to a professional photographer, that’s the best choice.

But its not always possible. So have a friend or a family member who you make responsible for clicking all picks.

Instruction needs to be given to click all sequence of events like tiny guests arriving, playing, entertaining, eating and all of it.

If you have a good camera, give it to someone who can use it properly or have a knack towards photography.

The smart phone should suffice otherwise.

Capture plenty of moments sequence of events it will become easy for you to choose the best of pics and have an album may be later!

Now check this point in your checklist for planning a birthday party.

8. Kids birthday party cake

Birthday cakes need to be special. There are few things that needs attention. 

  • The taste and flavor
  • The look – Single or multiple layered cake
  • The size
  • The frosting – if you want butter cream or fondant 

Decide the flavour and select a design.

If you are ordering the cake, it is a good idea to make it in advance.

This will give the baker time to design it as per your choice.

Generally custom cakes need to be ordered a few days in advance.

Professional bakers give you design choices.

If you have any design in mind you need to ask the baker if they can make one of your choice. 

The size of the cake depends on the number of guests.

Generally a 3 kg cake suffices approximately 40 people.

You can keep some buffer and order as per the number of guests.

One good idea is to have a 500gm small cake that is meant only for cutting.

The rest can be small cup cakes of different flavors scattered around the main cake.

This will save you the hassle of cutting a huge cake which becomes disproportionate and results in wastage too.

This way guests can pick one cupcake of their choice and be happy!!

9. Checklist for planning a birthday party party - winding up

The party may be over but your work has not ended.

Prepare yourself for the following post the party and once all your guests leave.

1. Clean up

Whether you have rented a place or its your home, you need to do some basic clean up.

Organizing the gifts, the wrappers, a few expensive items that you may have kept somewhere in hurry, the leftover food, the items which are out of place etc all needs to be given a round of organization.

If its your house and you are tired, you can do some basic clean up and keep the rest for the next day.

2. Vendor payment

In case you have payments that is yet to be made, take a note of it immediately after the party ends.

Sometimes we are so busy running around, that we may miss a few things.

If you note financial matters immediately after the party, the chances of confusion will be much lesser.

You can pay later, but make a note of the amount and vendor who still needs to be payed after the party.

3. Gifts unwrapping

Though kids are generally exited to unwrap gifts, they will be tired too.

Keep this task for the next day preferably as this will create some more scattering in the space.

4. Left over management

It is always the best to give the leftover party food to the needy around your locality.

Their wishes for your child will not go waste.

If you want to save some for your family so that you don’t need to spend time in the kitchen, pack the amount you need immediately and give away the rest.

This is the best management with leftover party food we can do.

Wishing you a great and happy next party!!

Happy parenting!!

Frequently Asked Questions ?

1. How to plan a birthday party checklist ?

1.Theme – Depends of age of children n their preference. Theme can be based on animated characters, Seasons, Movies and anything of the kids liking.

2.Location – Decide. Indoor or Outdoor

3.Games n entertainment – Depending on age, preference, no of children etc

4.Food – Decide food based on age, preference, no of children to be served & whether food is home made or ordered

5.Return gifts

6.Outfit – Should be planned at least a month ahead so alteration/exchnge is possible if required

7.Cake– Theme based

8.Winding up – Plan the winding up process to make after party hassle free


2. Where to plan a birthday party?

1. Indoor

A. Home

B. Rented Hall

C. Indoor play area

D. Orphanages

E. Club house


2. Outdoor

A. Garden of own house

B. Terrace of own house

C. Rented outdoor space

D. Rented rooftop restaurant

E. Own/rented Farmhouse

F. Outdoor play area


3. How to plan party checklist ?



3.Games n entertainment





8.Winding up

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