Kids, Organization, Viral posts

Kids birthday party checklist

About a week ago we had a little birthday party for Adriano. It was really fun — even for Marcello and I! Normally Marcello has a tendency to go overboard on the food, and I have a tendency to go overboard on the decorations. But this time we seemed to have maybe found our balance of simple and fun.

I didn’t do party favors. The only food we made was a pasta salad, which we made in advance. I decorated around the food table, but left the rest of the house alone.

Instead of buying more stuff for each party, now I use the same set of stuff (beverage tubs, serving dishes, paper lanterns, banners) and switch out the table cloth and add in the colors of my theme. I’ll decorate and have fun with it until it seems stressful, and then stop!

What I’ve learned is more plans and details you have, the more you’ll be frazzled right up until and during the party. I figure I might as well make things a little more simple and enjoy the party too!

Kid birthday planning ahead

I am a megadork, however, and put out the plates the morning of the party and mark them with post-its so I don’t have to think about it later. When it’s closer to par-tay time, I put the food on it’s dish. That might be over-the-top for some, but it helps me.

Two years old

Here’s my printable party checklist to help shed the stress:

Kids birthday party printable checklist

Click image to download high-resolution checklist.

Kids birthday party planning and printable checklist


  • streamers
  • balloons
  • pendant banners
  • paper lanterns
  • theme-related props
  • music

Table & serving

  • tablecloth
  • plates
  • plastic silverware
  • silverware holder or cup
  • napkins
  • cups
  • drink dispenser
  • beverage tub/cooler
  • platters and serving bowls
  • cake stands
  • candles
  • serving spoons and tongs
  • ice cream scoop
  • extra chairs
  • extra tables


You might go big or go small, here are some ideas:

  • veggie plate with dip
  • fruit plate
  • sandwiches
  • pasta salad
  • cheese and crackers
  • cake or cupcakes
  • ice cream
  • water
  • juice box
  • ice

Favors & games

  • party hats
  • piñata
  • party favors
  • craft for kids


  • camera with charged battery
  • video camera with charged battery

Now charge the camera and get ready to party!

See our favorite, kid- and mom-approved toys organized by age here.

12 thoughts on “Kids birthday party checklist

  1. Just found this wonderful blog and helpful checklists — score big for ME! And thankful that I am not the only one who unifies plates and sticky-notes!

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