Kids Party Planning Tips for a Stress Free Celebration {Free Printable Checklist}

Avoid stress with these easy kids party planning tips & a free printable checklist.

Plan your kids' birthday party with this handy free printable birthday party planner & easy party planning tips! Get organized for a stress free kids birthday party when you have everything planned in one spot. Love these!

I can't believe that my twins are about to turn 4. It seems like only yesterday I was planning their first birthday party and now it's time to plan number four!  But I'm prepared - I've found if I make myself a birthday party checklist I can pull off a double birthday party with ease. I need something to keep all my birthday party ideas in one spot and make sure that I'm not missing anything. This year I'm using this awesome Birthday Party Planner and I'm offering it to you as a free printable, along with a few of my favorite tips for throwing a fun and easy kids' birthday party!

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If you're looking for advice on how to throw a crazy expensive or elaborate party for your kids you won't find that here. I love to throw fun parties for my kids, with a theme and a few surprises, but nothing over the top. If you're looking for help on how to get started and how to get organized for your perfect party, keep reading and then make your kids birthday party ideas a reality.

Getting Organized for a Fun and Easy Kids' Birthday Party

Start with the Basics

First you'll need to choose your date, time, place, and theme. Are you having a party at home or at a venue? We've done both and there are pros and cons to each. At home, you have the flexibility to choose any date or time you'd like, and of course, there's no fee. We had a home party for my twins' first birthday and while it was fun, the set up and clean up was quite a chore. 

Our last two parties were at an outside venue - one at a children's gym and the other at a nature center. There was a rental cost involved and I did have to work within the available schedule, but to me it was well worth it to have help with set up and after the party, be able to return to my (relatively) clean home without having to deal with the party aftermath. 

If budget is a concern, think outside the traditional venues of gyms or restaurants - a local park is a great option!

Once you have your date and venue, you need to set a time. Two hours is a good length of time for a kids' party (and what most venues will give you in their base package). If you have very young children take into account nap times - my twins' second birthday party started at 10:00am which was perfect for them and their young friends.

Finally, pick a theme. This doesn't need to be elaborate - we love book themed parties (how adorable is this Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? party set up). You can pick your child's favorite character or even just their favorite color. Just think of the theme as a way to narrow down and organize your choices for food, decor, and games (if you have them). You can browse and get some great theme ideas here.


Every party should have some sort of refreshments for the guests. Food is a really fun way to incorporate your theme - see our menu for our Gruffalo party here.

The timing of your party should really determine the menu - if your party is happening during a normal meal time, then you should serve enough food to constitute a meal. If the party is during off time, snacks and drinks will suffice. 

I recommend limiting the sugary sweets to just your birthday cake (or cupcakes) and maybe ice cream if you're serving it. Kids will be excited enough to be at the party that they don't need any extra sugar. I love this list of healthy finger foods for a party from Moms & Crafters (these even work for toddlers!)


I'm still a die hard for an actual paper invitation. There are options at every price range and in every theme - try Oriental Trading for cute invitations and thank you cards for just about every theme, or search on Amazon. You can also find fun free printables like these Teddy Bear Invitations from Crafty Kids at Home. Itsy Bitsy Fun has some cute options here too.

Be sure to send invitations out at least three weeks ahead, and be prepared to follow up on RSVPs.

Party Favors

If you're doing favors, skip the trinkets that just end up broken or in the trash. We love to give out books as a party favor, especially if you have a book themed party! An edible treat is a good way to go too, or check out this awesome list of 10 alternatives to goody bags from Sunshine & Hurricanes.

Get Organized with a Free Printable Birthday Party Planner

The best tip that I can give you when planning your kids' birthday party is to get organized. And the best way to do that is to download and use this Birthday Party Planner.

This printable planner has three pages to help keep track of everything you need: a detailed to do list, an invitation and RSVP list, and a timeline checklist. Just click the button below to grab yours!


Love to get organized? Check out all the planners in our shop and be sure to stop by our Organizing page too!

I'd love to hear from you! To get in touch, message me on Facebook or Instagram, or send me an email.