How to throw a kids party in less than a week

Easy kids birthday cake with Yay candles.

Planning a kids party but have no time? This is the blog post for you! At times, life is incredibly busy and it is not uncommon for parents or caregivers to stop and realise they have very little time to organise a birthday party for their child. This was my experience at the end of October following lots of renovations happening at our home. This meant that I was probably the least prepared I have ever been for one of my children’s birthday parties. I do have the benefit of having a party shop in my home though which clearly made things a lot easier but it got me thinking about how you would plan a kids birthday party in less than a week. Here are my top tips and throughout this blog post you will see images from my eldest daughter’s 9th birthday which was organised in less than a week (probably only 5 days).

Pastel themed kids party created and decorated at home.

A simple party space decorated with a bunch of mini balloons in a mason jar and some simple pastel mini paper fans clustered on the wall. This pastel party table looked great with the Clover Aquamarine Table Runner as a base. The Summer Bows range by Paper Eskimo was a great option for tableware.

1. Decide on your party theme

Once you have a party theme or colour scheme in mind, things start to fall in place a lot easier. Your child may have ideas on a party theme which you can work with. Otherwise, there is lots of inspiration here on our blog or you can head to Pinterest for a bit of inspiration. Themes do not need to be elaborate, ones based on favourite or fun colour combinations can work really well (as shown in the images in this blog post which was based on a mix of pastel colours with a few pops of brighter colours).

2. Get online and order those party supplies pronto!

Sort this over the weekend or on the Monday morning and add a note at checkout to say “urgent” so they can get onto the courier that day. Get that cake topper we recommend you get in tip #6 now and you might like to add an extra pack of napkins too as it seems like you can never quite have enough.

The beauty of ordering online is that you do not need to go out to the shops which can save you a lot of time – a must when you have no time. We will send your party supplies NZ wide (and even over to Australia) so pop what you need into the cart, checkout and then wait for the courier to arrive… which leads us to tip #3.

Kids birthday party supplies featuring the Summer Bows range by Paper Eskimo.

The Summer Bows dessert plates have a fun mix of pastel and bright colours. They give you lots of choices for party decoration colours making decorating your party space a little bit easier. You can see the Summer Bows paper napkins and Limoncello paper napkins in the background too.

3. Check for your shipping email so you can stalk your courier

Ok, perhaps you don’t want to actually stalk your courier BUT it is a really good idea to keep a track on your parcels via the tracking link you get sent when we book the courier. This helps to identify if there are any problems but mostly you can see whether there has been an attempted delivery and you’ve not received a card-to-call (it happens and it is so frustrating!).

4. Sort your party invitations!

Party invitations come in all shapes and forms. With only a week to plan, you likely don’t have time to order any invitations online. Options you have when you are caught short on time:

  • let your child get creative with pens and stickers to make their own
  • create an “event” on Facebook and invite your friends and family
  • find an invitation template online that you can then add your own details and either print out or email to your guests.

Add flowers to your party decorations!

A big bunch of flowers in one of our Vintage Glass Barrels always looks great!

5. Create a list and get shopping

You will need 2 lists: a grocery list and a list for party games and favours (if having). And if you are a bit unprepared like I am this week, you will also need a 3rd list which is for the birthday presents… Once you have your lists, hit the shops and get everything you need in that one outing if you can. Top tip, grab a bunch of flowers in the chosen colour scheme from your local supermarket – they really help to transform a party space.

6. Make the birthday cake

I love this part as I love the creative aspect of making the birthday cake. If that is not for you then there is no harm in delegating this task to a family member or friend who is a good baker. Alternatively, you could enlist the services of a professional cake maker or go for a premade option from a local bakery.

If you are making the cake yourself then I strongly recommend a cake recipe which will stay fresh and delicious for at least a few days. This means you could bake your cake on a Thursday evening then decorate it on a Friday evening for a Saturday party. Easy cake decorating is the way to go. We have a great range of cake toppers which you can use to turn a somewhat simple cake into something that looks awesome. You can sort your birthday candles at the same time.

Easy kids birthday cake with Yay candles.

LOVE the YAY candles! This birthday cake uses our 5 Layer Cake Pan Set and it was placed on a small Milk Glass Pedestal.

7. Hang the party decorations and set the scene

Hanging party decorations can take a little bit of time so we also always suggest doing this the day before your party if you can. If you have some prep to do, such as fluffing pom poms or assembling garlands, a good option is to do this whilst watching one of your favourite TV shows. If you are using good quality balloons then these will look great for many days so get these blown up too. If you are planning to put some balloons out at your letterbox, you can get these ready the day before and put them aside to fix to the letterbox the day of the party.

If you are having a party table then you can get most of this done the day before too leaving the final touches for when you add food just before the party.

Pastel mini fan party decorations for an easy kids birthday party.

Our Candy mini paper fans were perfect and super easy to put together and hang (we used a little bit of blue tack to fix them to the wall)

8. Prepare the party food

Party food can be an easy assembly of ready made options available from your local supermarket or more elaborate items that you make yourself. Whatever you do here will depend on what time you have available and the style of your event. There is nothing wrong with ordering in pizza for a movie night or sushi to add to some lunchtime fare. We usually do a combination of home made and ready-to-eat options (or heat and eat options such as sausage rolls) for our kids parties. This time of year is fantastic as there is an abundance of watermelon available which kids LOVE!

Easy kids party food ideas for a last minute party.

Some delicious cheese, crackers and grapes always makes for a great party food option and it is quick and easy to put together.

9. Charge the battery for your camera

Go on, do that now!

10. Relax, you got this!

Take a moment, sit back, and have a cuppa before your guests arrive. You got this!

We hope our top 10 tips to last minute party planning help with your next celebration. We’d love to hear your top tips for party planning in a hurry so feel free to add them in the comments below.


All images are copyrighted to Miss Mouse Boutique.

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