Birthday Party Planning (with printable checklist + Trello board)

When you are planning a kid’s birthday party, especially a first birthday party, all the details can get a little bit crazy and it’s hard to keep things straight and remember every little detail. Not to worry, because I suffer from major #mombrain, I created an extensive checklist for planning your child’s birthday party with a special emphasis on planning a first birthday party.

I have now planned three first birthday parties and each one was a little better than the last, our daughter’s first birthday party was definitely the best one out of the three. I finally put everything I’ve learned over the years into practice, haha.

When planning a first birthday party, or any child’s party, you can be as elaborate or as casual as you’d like, either way, my system for planning birthday parties will totally work. I tend to go somewhere in the middle of the two when I plan birthday parties for the kids. When I was growing up, my mom planned the coolest parties for me in the ’90s and early 2000s so I think that’s what I always try to do because they are some of my favorite memories from growing up. Enjoy the photos below to see some of the awesome parties my mom planned for me and for my brother while we were growing up (these are photos of photos from my mom’s scrapbook).

My biggest goal when planning a birthday party is to not be stressed. I want to be able to enjoy the party as much as my kid. Having an organized system for planning the party is one of the ways that I keep from being stressed during the party. I also try to delegate (what I can afford to delegate) and I always remind myself that it doesn’t matter if it’s Pinterest perfect, what really matters is that the kids have fun.

Stop being so stressed while planning your child’s birthday party! Steal my birthday party planning system with a printable checklist and Trello board. Super awesome for a first birthday party

7 Birthday Party Elements

1. Theme
2. Invites + Guest List
3. Outfit
4. Menu
5. Decor
6. Favors
7. Activities

You can use a simple notebook to keep track of each element or a binder but my favorite system (although I do love me some good binders and office supplies) for staying organized is Trello.

I have a Party Planning board in Trello and I created a “Master List” that I copy for each birthday party. My kids all have summer parties, May, June, and August so I’m often planning multiple parties at one time and at different stages for each one. Even after the party is over, I like to copy the list intact so I can use it the following year while planning their next birthday party.

Each of the 7 elements has its own card on the list.

Theme Card: In the title for the card I write the party theme (i.e. Star Wars or Spring Fling) and then upload inspiration photos so I can use them for reference.
Invites + Guest List: Here, I use a checklist to keep track of the guest list and RSVP’s and in the description, I save links to possible invites and/or upload photos of invite options.
Outfit: This mostly pertains to planning a first birthday party but here I just save links to outfit options.
Menu: In the description, I save links to the recipes I plan on making for the menu and/or I use a checklist for anything that I need to order or ask someone else to make.
Decor: I save photos of decor to this card and save links to DIYs in the description area. I then create a checklist for decor that I need to make and one for what I need to buy.
Favors: I save photos and links of favors in the Favors Card.
Activities: In this card, I save photos and links of activities for the party.

I also have a card on the list that I use as a to do list and to keep track of any random notes. I also use the Countdown Power-Up so I can see how many days are left until the party. The checklist breaks the tasks down to help you get it all done in one month. You can steal my Birthday Party Planning Trello Board in my Free Resource Library.

Grab a printable version of my party planning checklist, in my free resource library.

You can learn more about Trello and how I use it as a homemaking binder, in my course The Trello System. If you already use Trello and you’re ready to start using it to plan a birthday party, you can steal my Birthday Party Planning Trello Board, find it in my Free Resource Library.

Share photos of your child’s birthday that you planned in Trello, on Instagram and tag me @abbybarstow so I can see it! Happy planning!