How to throw a children’s party with short notice

Last updated on October 28th, 2020 at 10:16 am

This post is promoted by Neutrogena.

Normally, I am the most organized person I know. No matter what the occasion is I have themes, ideas, and decorations playing around in my head months before the actual event. I love helping friends plan their events and parties as I always have new ideas to share.

Unlike me this year, MM’s birthday has crept up on me. Not in a I-forgot-my-daughter’s-birthday kind of way more like a how-is-it-almost-June kind of way. Each year, I have always thrown a double party for my son and daughter in America where we spend our summers. However, we have one in school now and this means every year we will still be in the UK for MM’s birthday but not B’s birthday. I waited so long this year trying to decide whether I have B’s birthday really early so he can have his school friends at it or have MM’s really late so they still can have it together with all their cousins back home.

My friend said to me the other day, “what are you going to do for MM’s birthday being such short notice”. I laughed at this statement and replied, “I could plan a children’s party as fast as it takes my Norwegian Formula® Deep Moisture to soak in and moisturize my skin”. If Neutrogena can help hold that moisture where it is really needed in my skin than I surely can put on an amazing party in the very same amount of time. Get that lotion rubbed in and let’s plan a party!


Learn how to make these gorgeous party utensils here.


Budget is the very first thing you need to consider. Think of what you want to spend and stick within your set budget. The party is fabulous because of the fun, laughter, and people you share it with not how expensive and beautiful your decorations are.


For me, if you are crunched for time you have two choices. Pick a theme that is easy to get decorations for and close to home. Don’t pick a rare cartoon that you might have to ship from another country for plastic plates with characters on them. Your pound shops/dollar stores are brilliant for these. You can pick up a whole set of matching themed party plates, cups, napkins, and table cover for super cheap.

Your other choice is don’t pick a set theme just vibrant colors that go together. Try pastel colors of greens, pinks, yellows, blues, purples, for a little girl party or go bold, dark rainbow style colors for a little boy or swap whatever your child prefers. This is easy to go to your local grocery store/shop and grab mix matching plates, cups, napkins, table cover and even grab some bundles of balloons. What kid doesn’t love a room full of balloons.


Or better yet, it’s a last minute party, send your guests Evites. There are hundreds of free sites to use to send your child’s birthday party invites out like You get them out in minutes and you get rsvp right back. Or if you have some guests that don’t do email print your own invites and hand deliver them using sites like PicMonkey to design them.


Jump on Pinterest, there are thousands of boards full of last minute party ideas for food. Choose things that are easy to make or you can buy pre-made at the store. Costco is amazing for having large platters of sandwiches, veggies, and fruit already made on trays. If you have one near you, I would drive there first. If not, provide lots of finger food items that are easy to buy and put on trays, buffet style. All kids like to help themselves to a display of food. Sandwich wraps are always a huge hit with kids and adults alike and quick to make. Check out my pinterest board below for more easy children’s party food ideas. Whatever you do, don’t try to make everything yourself. There are so many things already made that are just as tasty to pick up and save you time.

Ok you set your budget, invited your guests, picked up your decorations somewhere local or for those Amazon Prime members, got it delivered, and know what you are feeding your guests. It’s time to sort the cake or cupcakes out for the kids. There are so many alternatives if you want something different like marshmallows dipped in chocolate on a stick or waffle cones filled with sweets and candy. If you really want a cake or cupcakes to blow out those candles on, Costco is also great for these and can quickly add your child’s name on it as can most bakeries at the grocery store. Do it while you are grabbing the food and decorations and you got three things off your list in one shop.

“How’s your Norwegian Formula® Deep Moisture setting in? Still time for Games and Party Bags?” Looks like it’s just sealing off for a long lasting relief of that dry skin. 


It’s time for games. That’s the best part of the party right? You don’t have to spend a fortune to play games at a party. Get creative and use things around the house like large potato sacks or garbage bags for a sack race. Use a broom for limbo, hockey or a balancing act. For those hot summer parties, put the sprinkler on and let them run through it for water fun and cooling off. Do you have a hoola hoop, have the kids compete and see how long they can last or perhaps a jumping match or bean bag toss. There are hundreds of games you can play with items from your very own home.

This is the fun part. Party bags don’t have to be fancy and expensive a few things from the pound shop/dollar store like bubbles, bouncy balls, pencil and a slice of cake rolled up in a napkin is enough for kids to be happy. Better yet, make the party bags part of the games. Use white paper lunch bags and set up some stickers and markers at the table that you have around the house to let the kids decorate their own party bag and fill them themselves.

Then let them have a blowing bubble contest from their very own bubbles in their party bags. Or see who can bounce their bouncy ball the highest. Kids love friendly competition and made up games.

My biggest advice is keep it simple. The less you have to do on such short notice the better. If you are lucky enough to have a pound shop or even a charity shop near you, you can get decorations, games, party bags all in one place. If your budget is a little bigger you can whip into Costco, Tesco, Sainburys or somewhere similar and grab just about everything you need for an awesome children’s party in one shop. Just make a master list with these bold bullets points and check it off as you shop.


Then all that is left is to enjoy the amazing party and have earned some parent points from your happy child and relax knowing you pulled it off in the same amount of time it took your skin to rehydrate from the smooth Norwegian Formula® Deep Moisture cream. What can you do in 48 hours?

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Body Lotion

For more children’s party ideas and planning, check these post out: 

A Circus Birthday Party 

The Ultimate Tea Party

3rd Birthday Pool Party

Missy Moo’s 1st Birthday Party

Planning a 1st Birthday Party


Sponsored blog post by the Neutrogena® brand.  I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own

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