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In the weeks leading up to the party.....

Write out a guest list. (Friends at nursery, playgroup, the neighbours kids and family.) Find a party date and time to suit the majority of guests. After school or shifted to the weekend? Plan for a two to three hour party.
Decide on activities and games to play. Take into account the ages of the children. Order your party decorations and small prizes for the games. Check out our "Links we like..." page.

2 weeks BP (Before Party)

Send / give out the invitations. Ask parents to RSVP to get an estimate of how many
children to expect and whether any have allergies to consider.
Tick names off the guest list as you hear from them.
Plan more games than you expect in case you run out of activities before the party is over.
Arrange for extra help on the party day from friends or relatives.

1 week BP

Choose your cake at CakesNextDay.com!
We can make a cake for any interest your child has - cartoons, dinosaurs..... any picture you supply we can apply to your cake!
(CakesNextDay.com can supply any cake gluten/wheat-free or eggless - let us know ASAP). CakesNextDay.com deliver, too. (One less worry!)
Make any foods that can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer.
Write out a schedule of activities for the party.
Check your guest list and contact those who haven't responded.
Plan your menu (taking into account any allergy issues).
Make any foods that can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer.
Confirm any orders placed for the cake and/or party supplies.

2-3 days BP

Buy remaining food for the party.
Have at least two cameras to record events. Check film/ batteries/ memory cards/ tapes.
Get a disposable camera to pass among the children for a "Kids Eye View"...
Arrange to have balloons filled with helium to pick up the day of the party. It's fun to have each
guest go home with a bobbing balloon.

1 day BP

Take food out of freezer for a 24 hour defrost in the fridge.
Collect your cake from Londoncakes.com! Or take delivery of your cake from Londoncakes.com...
Make sure you have candles and matches.
Pick up helium-filled balloons.
Child-proof the party area.
Decorate indoor areas (leave outdoor decorating for the day of the party).
Prepare food that will be okay overnight in the fridge.
Child-proof the party area. Child-proof the fridge.

PARTY DAY!!!

Prepare foods and drinks that have to be freshly made.
Try to make sure every child wins at something...
When most of the party food has been eaten clear a space for THE CAKE! (Photos!)
Light the candles and present the cake with a flourish and a chorus of "Happy Birthday To You"....
Then the blowing out of the candles and the secret wish! (Photos! Photos! Photos!)
Try to make sure every child has a small prize by the end....and a helium balloon to lose on the way home...

1 hour AP (After Party)(or after last guests have gone)

Set your adult helpers to clearing up....
Put your feet up!

1 Day AP

Send emails or short notes to all party parents praising their child's behaviour
(miss out anyone whose kid was a right royal pain).
This almost certainly guarantees party invites for your child - when the whole thing is Somebody Else's Problem!!!

10 years AP

Embarrass your teenager by showing photos to new girlfriend/boyfriend......

30 years AP

Embarrass your famous singer/actor/musician child on talkshow by showing photos to the Nation.....