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Birthday Party Planning Guide

Exclusively at BirthdayExpress.com


BirthdayExpress.com is every host's secret for making birthday wishes come true! Our Goldfish party planning guide offers step-by-step instruction to help you plan, prepare and execute a memorable day for the birthday guest of honor. The helpful checklist ensures that no detail is forgotten, while the themed games and recipes take the guesswork out of finding treats and activities that complement your décor. And we know you're busy, so the entire guide is printable – keeping you organized on the fly, from balloon blow-up to confetti clean-up!

Party Checklist

4-6 Weeks Before the Party

  • Select Date:



    Plan a safe, inviting place for kids to have fun. Set time to 2-3 hours for young children, and 3-4 hours for older kids.

  • Create Guest List

    Just fill out the handy list in this guide!

  • Order Goldfish Party Supplies, 
Goldfish Favors

    BirthdayExpress.com is the place! You’ll find over 150 party themes, with party pack options for all of them. Expecting more guests? Choose our Pack Add-On option

  • Order Birthday Costume/Outfit & Gifts

    BirthdayExpress.com has lots of fun choices. Look for our costumes, T-shirts, hats and special birthday gifts designed to match our party themes.

  • Book Entertainment (optional)

2 Weeks Before the Party

  • Order Cake

    Schedule to pick it up one day before the party.

  • Mail Goldfish Birthday Invitations

    Let the birthday child help by adhering the stamps and putting the invitations in the mailbox.

  • Create List of Parent Phone Numbers

    Keep on hand in case of emergency.

  • Plan Party Menu

    Check out the recipes in this guide. Ask parents if kids have any food allergies.

  • Choose Party Games & Collect Party Supplies

    This guide has ideas that match your party theme!

2-3 Days Before the Party

  • Prepare Cameras

    Check batteries. Charge video camera. Buy film or video cards. Get Birthday Message Cameras for the kids to use.

1 Day Before the Party

  • Make Food & Drinks, Bake/Get Cake, Buy Ice

    Set out chilled/heated foods just before kids eat.

  • Childproof & Decorate Party Area

    Remove breakable items and objects that could prevent guests from moving freely. Decorate with balloons, crepe paper, and other items included in your party pack.

  • Set Up Party Games, Fill Favor Boxes & Piñatas

    Invite your party child to help!

Party Day!

  • Fill Birthday Balloons with Helium

After the Party


Goldfish Swap

  • pipe cleaners
  • paper goldfish (hole punch the mouths)

Goooone fishin! Let your party guests see who can catch the big haul the fastest with this fun game! Place two bowls at either side of the room. On one side, place the 1 paper fish for each player on the team (make sure teams are even). When you say go, give the first player on each team a colored pipe cleaner, run to the fish bowls on the other side, hook the paper fish, come back to the side with the empty bowl and deposit the fish. Have each member repeat this process until one team has transferred all of the fish. This team is the winner!

Pin the Eye on the Goldfish

  • large goldfish (made from orange construction paper)
  • black construction paper (for the "eyes")
  • double stick tape

A fun themed variation on pin the tail on the donkey! Each party guest gets a round eye with a piece of tape on the back. Blind fold them and let them try to tape the eye to the goldfish!

Under the Sea Mural

  • butcher paper
  • sea-themed stickers
  • puff paints
  • markers

Let the kids make the party room look like it's really under the sea without you having to repaint the room! Just tape a wide sheet of butcher paper on the lower portion of your wall so kids can reach. Spread out your stickers, and provide paints, markers, etc., for your budding mural artists. (This is a perfect activity to keep kids entertained while other guests are still arriving.)

Go Fish!


Deal each fish in your school five cards, placing the remaining deck in the middle (face down). This first player will ask one of the other players whether they have a particular card, such as, "Jane, do you have any eights?" If that player has any "8's" in her hand, she would need to surrender them at that time (if you have the card in your hand, you have to give them up). If she doesn't, she will say: "Go Fish" – this would indicate that the first player would pick a card from the middle deck. If you happen to pick the card you asked for, you hold the card up to show the other players, place the pair down on the table in front of you, and then proceed to ask another player for cards. If not, it would be the next player's turn (do not show the group the card you picked, just add it to your hand). Game play continues until the deck is gone – the player with the most pairs is the winner.


Goldfish Party Mix

Estimated Total Time: 5 minutes

  • 3 cups of multicolored goldfish
  • 1 cup of pretzel fish
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of raisins

Toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and serve! A fun and festive snack that the guests can snack on throughout the entire party!

Dessert Sushi

Estimated Total Time: 30 minutes

  • Rice Krispie treats, prepared
  • 1 pkg of Sweedish Fish candies
  • 1 pkg green sour straws (quartered)

Make Rice Krispie treats as directed on the box. Cut the treats into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place one Swedish fish in the middle and two quartered straws around it.


Estimated Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 box of breaded Fishsticks
  • ketchup
  • honey mustard
  • tartar sauce

Fishing for a fun party snack? Try this creative catch! Fill a platter with our blue Sixlets candies. Top with hot dogs, sliced to pose as octopuses (don't forget to dot them with mustard eyes so they can see). Finish it off with a sprinkling of Goldfish crackers.

Deep Blue Sea Jell-O Mold

Estimated Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 box blue raspberry flavored Jell-O mix
  • Sweedish Fish candies
  • whipped cream

Prepare your Jell-O according to the box directions. When it is still soft-set, add in the Sweedish Fish and chill until firm. Add whipped cream to the top for a cool, blue, sea-foamy treat!

Print This Party Planning Guide Now

Keep it handy to help make your party planning easy!

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