Birthday Party Planning Guide
Exclusively at BirthdayExpress.com
Sugar and spice, and everything nice, that's what awesome birthday parties are made of! With these exciting party ideas, your helpers will cook up some fun in the kitchen, and you'll be the sweetest mom in town!
4-6 Weeks Before the Party
Plan a safe, inviting place for kids to have fun. Set time to 2-3 hours for young children, and 3-4 hours for older kids.
Create Guest List
Just fill out the handy list in this guide!
BirthdayExpress.com is the place! You'll find over 150 party themes, with party pack options for all of them. Expecting more guests? Choose our Pack Add-On option
Order Birthday Costume/Outfit & Gifts
BirthdayExpress.com has lots of fun choices. Look for our costumes, T-shirts, hats and special birthday gifts designed to match our party themes.
Book Entertainment (optional)
2 Weeks Before the Party
Schedule to pick it up one day before the party.
Let the birthday child help by adhering the stamps and putting the invitations in the mailbox.
Create List of Parent Phone Numbers
Keep on hand in case of emergency.
Plan Party Menu
Check out the recipes in this guide. Ask parents if kids have any food allergies.
Choose Party Games & Collect Party Supplies
This guide has ideas that match your party theme!
2-3 Days Before the Party
1 Day Before the Party
Make Food & Drinks, Bake/Get Cake, Buy Ice
Set out chilled/heated foods just before kids eat.
Childproof & Decorate Party Area
Remove breakable items and objects that could prevent guests from moving freely. Decorate with balloons, crepe paper, and other items included in your party pack.
Set Up Party Games, Fill Favor Boxes & Piñatas
Invite your party child to help!
Fill Birthday Balloons with Helium
After the Party
Cupcake Liner Garland
- Several boxes of different size/style cupcake liners
- Coffee filters
- White yarn
- Hole punch
Have kids help decorate by making their own cupcake liner garland. Have several boxes of assorted cupcake liners on hand as well as white coffee filters. Have kids string the liners and filters onto the white yarn using a hole punch to make the holes.
- Cupcake Decorating Kit
- Cupcake mix (store bought or homemade)
- Cupcake baking pan
- Frosting (store bought or homemade)
- Sprinkles, jimmies, and other toppings
Before the party, prepare the cupcakes in liners. Separate the toppings and frostings into separate dishes. When it's time for the activity, give each of the guests a cupcake and a "Happy Birthday" pick. Have each guest decorate their own cupcake. You can even have a mini decorating competition!
Make Your Own Chef Hat
- 8 ½ x 11" cardstock or construction paper (1 per guest)
- White plastic grocery bag (1 per guest)
Each guest should fold their cardstock in half the long way (for older children, it may be necessary to fold the paper the short way in order to create a longer band). They should then carefully cut the piece in half, following the fold line. This should leave them with two pieces that are each approximately 8 ½ x 5 ½". Next, the two pieces should be placed next to each other on the work surface so that they create a long band that is 17" long. The two pieces should then be taped together. You may wish to overlap the edges slightly for strength. Each guest can wrap the strip around their head to determine the correct size needed for their hat. A little extra room should be left for the plastic bag to be added. Trim the strip to the correct length and tape the edges together creating a band. Next, have guests cut the handles off their plastic bag. The bags should be turned inside out if they have printing and then the edge of the bag should be taped to the bottom, inside edge of the band. The bag should be gathered slightly as it is taped to create the appearance of a chef's hat!
Blindfold the Cook
- Mini marshmallows
- 2 - Large bowls
- Kitchen timer
Select one of the children to be the first chef. Give the chef a large spoon and a bowl of mini marshmallows. Cover their eyes with a blindfold. Set a timer for 1 minute. In this time the chef has to use the spoon and scoop the marshmallows into a second bowl. When the bell rings measure how much they moved (you can use a measuring cup to do this) and the next player takes a turn. The one who moves the most marshmallows gets a prize.
Chocolate Ice Cream Wafer Sandwiches
- 1 - (9 ounce) box of chocolate wafer cookies
- 1 - Quart ice cream, softened
- 1 - (12 ounce) package mini chocolate chips
On a cookie sheet, place 15 chocolate wafers flat side up. Working quickly, top each wafer with a small scoop of ice cream. Top each sandwich with another wafer, flat side down. Gently push the top wafers down until the ice cream comes to the edge of the wafer cookies. Freeze for one hour, or until firm. Roll each ice cream sandwich in mini chocolates chips so that all the exposed ice cream is covered. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.
Sweet Party Mix
- 1 - (12 ounce) package crispy corn and rice cereal
- 5 - Ounces slivered almonds
- 6 - Ounces toasted, chopped pecans
- 3/4 - Cup butter
- 3/4 - Cup dark corn syrup
- 1 1/2 - Cups light brown sugar
- Shallow roasting pan
- Medium saucepan
- Wax paper
Preheat oven to 250º F. Lightly grease a large roasting pan. In a large bowl, mix crispy corn and rice cereal, slivered almonds and toasted, chopped pecans. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and mix with dark corn syrup and light brown sugar. Pour the mixture over the crispy corn and rice cereal mixture. Stir and shake to coat all the nuts and cereal. Pour the coated mixture into the prepared roasting pan. Stirring approximately every 15 minutes, cook 1 hour in the preheated oven. Cool on wax paper, and store in airtight containers.
Classic Caramel Corn
- 4 - Quarts popped popcorn
- 1 - Cup brown sugar
- 1/2 - Cup light or dark corn syrup
- 1/2 - Cup butter OR margarine
- 1/2 - Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 - Teaspoon baking soda
- 1 - Teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cooking Spray
- Shallow roasting pan
- 1 - Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 - Cup sugar
- 1 - Cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 - Cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 - Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 - Cup butterscotch chips
- Medium sauce pan
- 13 x 9 dish
Cook corn syrup and sugar together in a large pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add cereal; stir until evenly coated. Pour into greased 13x9-inch pan and pat into place. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over cereal. Cool at least 45 minutes, or until firm. Cut into bars.
Glance through the list below to see if you're missing any important items. Many can be found on the party theme page.