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Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist: Planning Guide + Tips

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Don’t worry about that upcoming party because here’s a free printable birthday party checklist to help you organize everything!

There are many things to get done when planning a birthday party for your kid. To make things easier, keep track of the party theme, menu, party decorations, entertainment, and guest list with help from this printable checklist.

Get your hands on a comprehensive and easy-to-use "free printable birthday party checklist".

Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist

With so many things we moms need to keep track of every day, it’s so easy to forget many details.

I’ve learned over the years that having a checklist for almost everything is a huge help, especially for super important events like a birthday celebration.

Whether you’re a visual learner like me or just need extra help in remembering the tiny details, an organized checklist for planning a birthday celebration is a major step to having a successful party.

Benefits of Using Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist

A birthday party can get hectic quickly, especially without organized event planning. When things start getting stressful, it will be harder to enjoy any type of party you’re hosting.

So if hiring a professional party planner is out of your budget, having a reliable checklist template can make all the difference in your party planning experience.

Birthday parties are also some of the best memories your kids will cherish for many years. So, having a detailed kids birthday party checklist will bring you closer to hosting a successful birthday party.

With a well-planned event, there’s a much bigger chance that the party you’ll be hosting will be smooth sailing. That also means your guests will have a fantastic time, and your kid celebrating a birthday will have a wonderful memory to share for years to come!

Be your own party planner with help from the ultimate party planning checklist!

How to Use the Printable Birthday Party Planning Checklist Template

Before you print a copy of this kids party checklist, let me walk you through the main sections of this template.

This guide will help you better utilize the birthday party planning checklist so you can map out the upcoming party step by step. It can also give you more ideas on modifying this template to your specific needs.

Setting the Date, Time, Venue, and Party Theme

Every detail of your upcoming party will heavily depend on the theme you choose and when you want to celebrate your child’s birthday.

First, plan a party by deciding when it’s taking place, where the party venue will be, and the best party theme for the celebrant. Nailing down these details early into the planning process will give you a better estimate of the cost of the party.

Date and Time

Setting the date and time for the birthday party is the easiest, but one of the most important steps in party planning. 

While it’s best to have the party on the actual birthday of the celebrant, you may have to decide on a different date if it falls in the middle of the week.

So you may have to consider pushing the celebration to the weekend or on the nearest holiday.


One of the best party planning tips I can give you is to decide first where you want the celebration to take place.

Hosting a birthday party at home is common, especially if you have an ample amount of space for the guests, entertainment setup, activities, and party games. You can also have total control over the party planning.

However, venues like kid-friendly cafes, dedicated indoor party spaces, parks, entertainment centers, and restaurants are great options to choose from as well. They may require a bigger party budget, though.

Party Theme

Whether you’re planning a children’s party or an adult birthday party, setting a theme is a good idea.

Most kids already have an idea of their preferred birthday party theme. So don’t forget to ask the celebrant to ensure that the theme you choose is something they will love.

Deciding the theme will help you come up with amazing party ideas that can inspire you when deciding on the decorations, invitations, and party favors.

Ultimate Party Planning Checklist for Entertainment, Games, and Activities

With the theme and schedule settled, you can plan the more minor details.

Food and Drink Menu

Having a hard time deciding what to include in the menu for your kid’s birthday? Check out these kids party food ideas.

You can also gather some inspiration based on your chosen party theme.

For example, if the theme is based on the celebrant’s favorite movie, think of some notable food and drink items featured in it. Then, assess which ones are easier to make in larger batches.

Another way to approach menu planning is by simply considering the favorite food and drinks of the birthday celebrant. After all, it is their special day!

Party Entertainment

There are tons of fun party entertainment options, so you can make a short list of the ones that fit best to your theme.

The most common choices are hiring an entertainer like a magician or a clown to keep the younger guests entertained throughout the party.

Aside from having party entertainers, you can also consider setting up a booth for a fun party activity like face painting, a photo booth with themed props, or even bouncy castles if you’re hosting a party at a big venue.

Party Games

Kids have a lot of excitement and energy when attending birthday parties; so you have to match that with well-planned party games and activities. 

Many great party games are age-appropriate and will certainly keep the kids (and even their parents) entertained. Also, keep in mind the size of the venue, and you may want to favor games that don’t require too many materials to prepare.

Here are some of the most fun party game ideas:

  • Team competition: Three-legged race, tug of war, simple obstacle course, and relay races.
  • Individual games: Musical chairs, treasure hunt, sack race, pin the tail games, Simon Says, and classic piñata games.
  • Game party ideas for adults: Charades, sock wrestling, Who Am I? guessing game, and Pictionary.

Then prepare a checklist to help you plan your chosen party games:

  • Game rules and mechanics: Write down the rules of the games so guests will have an easier time following them on the day of the party.
  • Party game essentials: See if the activities you chose need materials and determine the quantity required so everyone can participate.
  • Prizes (optional): While it’s not a requirement, having a prize for game winners can add more fun. It can be as simple as rewarding the winners with extra goody bags or party souvenirs.

Shopping Checklist To Help You Plan Party Favors, Birthday Cakes, Decorations, and More

This free printable birthday party checklist features a general shopping checklist. You can use it as a final checklist once you’ve gathered all the materials needed for certain aspects of the party.

To organize the party planning process, feel free to create separate shopping checklists. Here are some ideas on what to include:

  • Invitations: Paper, craft materials, writing tools, and printing equipment
  • Party favors: Themed stickers, arts and crafts materials, candy bars, small toys, and thank you notes.
  • Balloons: Letter balloons, number balloons, balloons for party games (if needed), balloon arch, and balloon giveaways.
  • Decorations: Party streamers, themed props for photos, pennant banners, balloons for the birthday wall, umbrellas (if it’s an outdoor party), and table decorations.
  • Party supplies: Party hats, plates, spoons, forks, cups, tablecloths, table napkins, tables and chairs, and gifts table.
  • Cake: Ordering a cake or cupcakes, supplies you’ll need for making a cake or cupcakes.
  • Candles: Don’t forget the matches!
  • Gift for the birthday child: What, where, and when to buy the gift.
  • Food and beverages: Contacting a caterer, ingredients and cooking supplies, cocktail (if you plan to serve drinks for adult guests), serving trays, serving bowls, food and drinks table.

There’s extra space for the shopping checklist, so feel free to add other party necessities. For example, you can include after-party cleaning materials.

Remember, any party will go according to plan as long as you have everything you need for the big day.

Make a To-Do List Weeks Before the Party

Hopefully, you’re reading this when you still have weeks before your kid’s birthday. This will give you enough time to complete this party checklist, craft a shopping list, and build a detailed to-do list.

I’ve already included the basic tasks you’ll need to get done before and on the day of the party. Things like organizing the goody bags, decorating the party area, and setting up balloons are things you’ll need to prepare ahead of the celebration.

Don’t hesitate to make separate to-do lists for bigger party tasks, too! For example, preparing party food and drinks requires a detailed to-do list. 

However, it won’t be necessary for tasks like setting up a gift table or picking up a birthday cake.

So, again, feel free to adjust this party planning guide according to the specific details of the birthday celebration you’re organizing.

Guest List and Invitation Checklist

The free printable birthday party checklist you’ll get has a very simple invitation checklist. It has all the details you need to ensure everyone you want to be at the party receives an invitation.

Here’s how to use it effectively:

  1. Fill out the “Name” section first. List down everyone you need to invite. Make sure to include the celebrant’s closest friends, their classmates, your neighbors, and relatives for the perfect birthday party.
  2. Don’t forget to check each box under the “Sent?” section when you’ve sent them their invitation.
  3. Record who has RSVP’d to your party invitation under the “Y/N” section. This makes it easier to keep track of who’s confirmed to attend and who needs to be reminded to respond to the invitation.

One of the great party planning tips anyone can give you is to send invitations early. No matter how good the flow of the party is, it can be a little frustrating if some of your kid’s closest friends won’t be able to attend due to short notice.

Equipment Needed:

  • Printer: If you don’t have one yet, a reliable budget printer is a great investment to make your party planning experience easier in the future. You can also consider an all-in-one printer, which would be a great addition to your home office and will also be helpful for your kids’ school work.
  • Printer paper or cardstock: Chances are this isn’t the last time you’ll be needing a checklist, so you might as well keep a stock of printer paper. Regular paper will do the job, but you’ll most likely handle party planning checklists several times for multiple weeks. In that case, printing the checklist on  cardstock would be a great idea.
  • Laminator: Laminating your printed party planning checklist has several advantages. You won’t have to worry about it getting damaged through the weeks you’ll use the template. You can also write over laminated planning checklists with dry-erase markers to use them several times.

Additional Birthday Party Planning Checklist Resources

You’ll be able to plan more fun birthday party activities with these additional resources:

How to Get a Free Birthday Party Checklist

You can download this free printable party planning checklist as a PDF file. Then, print it as many times as you need for as many parties as you plan in the future.

Fill in the form below to get the Birthday Party Checklist.

Printable FAQs

How do I access the printable?

Fill in the form above. After you submit the form, you’ll receive an email from “Wondermom Wannabe” with a direct link to the printable. If you do not see the email in your inbox within a few minutes, check your spam folder.

Where can I find my file after I download it?

The most likely place will be in your computer’s Downloads folder. You can also select “Downloads” in your browser menu to see a list of your downloads, then simply select “Show in folder” below the file name to see where it is stored on your computer.

How do I print a PDF?

You’ll need a program that supports PDFS, like Adobe Acrobat (which is free). Open the program, click File > Print. Select your printer and set the number of copies you want to print. Double check your print preview, then click print.

A free printable birthday party checklist with balloons.

Turn a Simple Birthday Party Into an Awesome Event Without A Hitch

I hope this free printable birthday party checklist helps you plan the perfect party for your child’s next birthday. Planning your event doesn’t have to be stressful, so utilize this party checklist to make sure the celebration will go on without a hitch.

I’ve left a few blanks on the checklist so you can add your own items, too, since we all plan differently.

Now it’s time to start planning for the ultimate birthday party!

Other Fun Printables to Try

Want to have more fun with the kids? Check these out:

If you’re looking for more help planning your child’s birthday party, you might be interested in these other posts:

What are your best birthday planning tips? Please share them with me in the comments.

14 thoughts on “Free Printable Birthday Party Checklist: Planning Guide + Tips”

  1. Thanks For sharing the useful information. The information are very helpful for birthday party organizer. By using this tips you can save the money and the time.

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  6. One can never go wrong with a birthday party checklist! Once I almost forgot about the cake. I ordered it the day before the party. Thankfully the bakery was able to bring one together for this forgetful mommy!

    Thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Mondays!

    • LOL. I’ve done the same thing! Balloons are the other thing that used to slip my mind.

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    • I hope you find it helpful. List users unite! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Great check list! Planning a birthday party can be a little daunting, but it looks like you have everything covered! Thanks for linking up with us at the Momma Told Me Link Party! We’re so glad you stopped by!


    • Thank YOU for hosting and for taking the time to visit. Love your party!

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  10. I am so a list person, too. Lo-ove this list (now I don’t have to create my own 4 times a year).


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