Free Birthday Party Planning Checklist

Birthday party planning checklist

Once July rolls around that means our family is about to wrap up birthday party season. While I sit down to begin planning birthday #2 for our sweet Amelia (where did the time go?!), I wanted to share with you the birthday party planning checklist that has made my life easier.


Birthdays are a special thing in our house. It is one day out of the year when we spoil the birthday person to let them know just how special they are. We have a whole host of simple traditions for the special one on their actual birthday but the most highly anticipated treat is the birthday party.

Related: Easy and Fun Birthday Party Traditions

The kids love counting down the days until their birthday party and honestly, I love putting them together. But even the most anticipated birthday parties can still cause quite a bit of stress for those who are planning.

Birthday Party Planning Checklist

When it comes to birthday parties there are so many things that need to be planned and juggled. To keep things more organized and less stressful, I created this Birthday Party Planning Checklist. This checklist helps to keep every part of the planning in order.

Related: 8 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Birthday Party

Party Details:

This section is all about the little details of the party: The date, time, location, and theme. Write out all of these details and then there is no second-guessing the decision.

To keep things simple in our life, the majority of our parties take place in our home or backyard. This keeps us from needing to shell out extra money for a rental location and there is no need to transport food, decorations, and supplies.

Birthday party planning printable to make planning a birthday party easier

The theme of the birthday parties is specific to each child. For first birthdays the Hubs and I choose a theme, but after that the theme is either chosen by or reflects the interests of the birthday kiddo.

The best part about this section is how it keeps all the important details right there. When you go to create invitations… you have the information handy. When great aunt Sally asks again what the time is… it is right there. If you (like me) are juggling parties for more than one kid and it feels all jumbled up in your mind, this area will help you to keep all the details straight.


Take some time to write out everyone who is invited. This will make sure you have plenty of food, favors, and dessert for everyone.


Birthday Party Planning Printable and birthday party planning checklist Birthday party checklist

Use this space to work through what you will be feeding guests. I like to divide it out by meal and desserts. Be sure to include birthday cakes and cupcakes here as well.


This is the fun part! I love decorating for birthday parties and here is where I keep it all organized.

Once we have a theme selected I like to scour Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. I love to make sure our party theme is obvious throughout every aspect of the party.

Once I have ideas, I write out what we will be doing for decorations. Because the internet can be overwhelming, I decide what I am going to buy and what I am going to make. I gave up the notion that I had to create everything from scratch a long time ago.

I like to use this space to also make notes of how many of each item I need, where to pick up supplies and to cross off when I have it completed/purchased.

I also like to make a note of what supplies I have on hand and add to the shopping list anything I need to pick up.


When planning birthday parties I like to plan for 1-2 activities the kids to do and the rest of the time they play.. Sometimes we get to them, sometimes they simply play the whole time.

When planning activates, try to keep them shorter and easier to complete. My favorites have been making a painting, piñatas, a short movie, and an arts and crafts table.

These sort of activities follow the theme of the party. For instance for Asher’s Star Wars party the weather was miserable and our outdoor Jedi Training activity was a no-go. Instead we popped popcorn and watched a Lego Star Wars movie. The kids loved it!

Related: Star Wars Birthday Party

Shopping List:

Once the plans for the party are complete, it is time to get to shopping. Shopping for any occasion can be incredibly overwhelming so I can’t stress enough the importance of making your shopping list ahead of time.

Take time to go through each previous section and write out everything you need to buy. I like to take it even a step further and have separate lists for different stores. Then I head out and pick up everything we need all in one day.


This section is where is a no brainer. Write out every thing that needs to be completed for the party. Cleaning house, packing goodie bags, making favors, picking up the cake… whatever needs to be done put it on the list. This will help you to stay focused and get things done leading up to and on party day.

As you fill in each section you will notice they all piggyback off of one another. So as you complete your entertainment section, be sure to fill in the to-dos you have to make the entertainment happen. When you complete your guest list, make sure your menu includes enough food for everyone.

By the time the day of the party rolls around this planner might be scribbled on, weathered, and tattered but your party will be amazing!

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Birthday Party Checklist to help plan



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