1. Read the book all the way through. Make notes of the ideas you like best.
2. Decide what kind of party you want.
3. Go back and read the suggestions for that party.
4. Keep in mind that everything you read is only a suggestion. Discard suggestions that are too old or too young for the age group of the children you're inviting. Discard suggestions you don't care for. Keep in mind that most inside games can be played outside, but only some of the outside games can by played inside. Many games can be played either competitively or noncompetitively.
5. Decide what food to serve. The food suggestions for each party are intended to start you thinking. There are lots of other ideas in the chapter on food.
6. Combine your notes. Make a party plan. If necessary, make two plans: a good-weather plan and a rainy-day plan. If you don't have enough ideas, go through the whole book again to find more.
7. Share the plan with your child so he or she can contribute ideas and know what's going to happen. If you're a child planning a party, go over your plans thoroughly with your parents.
8. Begin preparations once your plan is firm.
9. Be sure you have everything you need before the party starts. Keep your plan handy for reference.
10. Remember that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. So, as you plan, err on the side of safety: choose safe favors, safe food, and safe age-appropriate activities for the children. Make sure you have sufficient supervision. Then, relax and enjoy yourself!