(... the stress free approach to birthday party suggestions)
Deciding on a birthday party theme for your kids party can be a real chore. You want kid party themes that your child will love and you want the experience to be as stress and hassle free as possible. (Kid activities should be fun for parents as well!)
As a kids magic entertainer, I've been to over 1,000 birthday parties, and I've seen more kid party themes than you can shake a stick at! I've had birthday moms so totally stressed out by the all the work they had to do for their child's birthday party, that when I arrived for the kids magic show, they were so relieved that they could now "take a break" because the entertainment has arrived!
Your child's birthday party should be fun and hassle free. That's why I put together this info on birthday party themes, so parents can get solid, easy to do practical kid party themes that work in the real world.
The following birthday party suggestions are a few kid party themes that I've seen at parties that both kids and parents loved.
Kid Party Themes : Ahoy Mates... Pirates!
If your kid longs for a life of adventure, where they can sail the seven seas and make their own rules, kids party themes sleepover birthday party may be perfect for them. With these exciting games and artsy activities, your children and their guests will be well on their way to having a swashbuckingly great time.
As soon as guests start arriving at the party, their first priority should be to stop looking like landlubbers and start looking like pirates.
Pirate captain hats can easily be created out of sheets of newspaper (just look up the instructions online), and then kids can decorate their hats with a skull and crossbones stencil, or draw swords, ships, cannons, treasure maps, parrot stickers or whatever else they would like.
You may also want to provide some eye patches, toy earrings, and bandanas for the kids to so they can look like true buccaneers. An adult can help the guests complete their pirate look by drawing mustaches or goatees with face paint.
One other thing you can do, if you don't mind spending money, is buy some 'create your own stuffed animal kits'. Then kids can create their own custom parrots to take home with them or wear on the shoulder. The kid with the best crafted pirate hat and accessories can win some treasure, like chocolate gold coins.
Creating Pirate Ships
A pirate can't do much without a ship. Fortunately with a few milk cartons every guest can make their own boat. Before the party, cut milk cartons in half lengthwise, so that the top will be a pointy triangle for the ship's bow. Then each guest can cut out a piece of cardboard and tape or glue it on to the carton's open side to serve as a deck.
Masts and sails can be made by putting a small clump of Playdo or wood putty on the bottom of their boat and putting a small gardening stake in it, just be careful not to pierce the bottom so water won't come in. Then they can tape on a sail that they cut from construction paper and add pirate flags to the top of the mast. With magic markers they can decorate their flags, sails and ships however they would like.
If they want to bring their ship home, they should make a second one, because at least one will be resting with Davey Jones' Locker HARHARHAR! The parents can write the names of the ships on the back, as it is bad luck for an unnamed ship to go to sea. After all of the kids finish their ships is a great opportunity to take some photos of them posing in their pirate costumes with their creations.
Pirate Performance Test
A pirates life requires a variety of skills, all which will be put to the test in this activity. First, divide the guests into two teams. To make sure a sailor won't swagger right off the ship, see how fast each team can 'walk the plank' by walking along a curb or a line of 2x4's without touching the ground --- with one catch.
To imitate a pirate with a peg-leg, they have to hop all the way across on one leg, and then all the way back on the other. To make the activity even more difficult, they can try it blindfolded, but with both feet for the final round. The first team to have all members complete the course wins.
For their second test, see how well each ship can conquer the seas. In a backyard swimming pool, put a fan at one end to blow their ships across. The kids can push and splash the water to try to get their ship to be the first one to cross from sea to sea. The winning team can get the first crack at the piñata.
Pirates tend focus on pillaging and destruction. Fortunately, pirate piñatas are made specifically to be smashed and looted.
After you get one of these, you can turn it into a treasure filled with booty. Just stuff it with chocolate gold coins and pirate jewelry like plastic rings and gold necklaces.
Instead of a bat or broom stick, a toy sword can be a great alternative for whacking the piñata. To get started, just blindfold one guest at a time, spin him or her around, and let them go after the piñata! Every couple of swings, switch in the next buccaneer. After all of the crew gets a few good hits in, the piñata should start showering the party with loot!
Battling in the high seas is the most exciting part of a pirates life. Mark a line long enough for all of the guests to stand together on about 10 feet away from the pool. Then, set each of the boats adrift in the pool. Each team needs to try sinking the other teams' ships by throwing tennis 'cannonballs' at them before their own sink. For each win the team had from the previous games, the team will receive one water balloon as an added bonus. If they hit an enemy boat with it, it will pack a potent punch. The winning team can get a bag of skull and crossbones candy for having outlasted and outblasted their opponents.
After a day of swashbuckling, carousing and battling, the kids should be ready to relax. Once all of the wet fun is complete, the children can bundle up in their favorite kids bathrobes and watch a favorite pirate movie like Peter Pan or Pirates of the Caribbean as they get ready for bed.
Kid Party Themes: Dino-mite Dinosaur Party
Use kids stationery that is decorated with dinosaurs. They'll love it.
Cover the party table with a white sheet and paper dinosaur foot prints. Scatter the table top with rock candy and dinosaur fruit snacks, for color. Make a simple centerpiece by tying helium balloons to a large plastic or plush dinosaur. Tape Dinosaur footprints all over the walls, and floor.
Decorate with big rocks and ferns. You can use wide green crepe paper to cut out fern leaves. Large paper bags can be taped closed, slightly crumpled, and painted with gray, black, and white streaks to resemble boulders.
Using a large box, create a cave effect. Inside the cave, have the children draw or write by placing large pieces of poster-board or cardboard. You may even want to post some cardboard cutouts of prehistoric dinosaurs.
For matching dinosaur party-ware and dinosaur themed goodies, go to one of the best party stores and type in "dinosaur" under the "search the site" button... Dinosaur Party Supplies
Offer your guests dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets or dino shaped sandwiches using a cookie cutter found in most kitchen stores.
Pterodactyl chicken wings:
Use whole wings instead of drummettes. Wash wings and dry. Hold onto wing tips and spread them so they look like they're flying. Dip wings in barbecue sauce and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turn wings carefully and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. You can make these ahead and reheat in a 200-degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Volcano chocolate cake: a kid party theme favorite!
Bake three or four layers of round cakes. Frost between layers and stack. Use a knife to cut the layers into an inverted cone shape. Frost outside with chocolate frosting. Chill for one hour. Sprinkle cake with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and broken red lollipop pieces. Pour strawberry ice cream shell topping (the kind that hardens when it comes in contact with cold) down the sides of the cake.
Pin the Horn on the dinosaur:
A kids activity classic that kids always love and will help make your birthday party theme fun.
Ring Toss with dinosaurs:
Another kid party theme game that will be very popular. Solid plastic dinosaurs are the targets for this game. Rings can be purchased or easily made with heavy rope and duct tape. Play just as you would horse shoes or Ring Toss.
What you need for one of the most popular kid party themes games.
- Large plastic eggs
- Rawhide bones from pet-food store
- Small prizes to hide in eggs, or prizes to give out at the end.
- Collection bags or baskets
Before the party:
Create a 'Jurassic hunting area' with caves (constructed from blankets and tables), ferns and other plants, big paper-bag boulders, painted cardboard dinosaurs, and other decorations.
Hide all of the eggs or bones (or you can do this while children are occupied with another kid activity.) If you have a wide range of ages, you may want to make an area where the items are easier to find, and give children boundaries for hunting based on their age. Count the number of items you hide so you will know when the game is over.
At the party:
Give each guest a bag, tell them what they're looking for, and send your paleontologists on their way.
Kid party themes suggestion: When all (or most) items have been collected, items may be traded in for a prize.
You can go to your local party store for goody bag items. They should have a huge inventory of dinosaur theme goodies that you can put in goody bags...
Possible items include...
Dinosaur fruit snacks
Kid Party Themes: The Princess Party
This is probably the most popular of the kid party themes for girls that I've seen over the years.
Use castle and fantasy graphics. On the outside of invitation write, "You are invited to the Kingdom of Princess 'birthday name' to celebrate a royal birthday." On the inside put...
If you really want to get into it, hand write the invitations in calligraphy. Roll them like a scroll and tie with pretty pink ribbon. Ask the guests to wear their 'ball gowns and jewels' to the Birthday Ball.
Use pink, purple, and blue tablecloths, streamers and balloons. FK Productions, my party store, can supply you with princess plates, cups, and napkins.
You can also decorate with pink and white balloons, purple streamers, etc. Make large tissue paper flowers by fan-fold large sheets of tissue paper, put a twist tie in the center and separate the sheets to make petals, then attach to a dowel for the stem, sprinkle with glitter. Make enough so each girl will be able to take one home. Use paper doilies on top of paper plates with star confetti sprinkled around.
Use plastic table covers in lavender and draped them all over the ceiling and throughout which makes your room look like a ballroom. Buy the paper crowns for everyone to make their own. Use lots of jewels and sequins and the kids will enjoy making their own.
Another option is to have the girls make their own necklaces and bracelets using satin ribbons and beads. This is one of those kids party themes that has a real "hands on" approach that girls love.
Decorate the cake had all Disney (or Barbie) princesses on it. Serve ice cream and princess punch, (raspberry sherbet and sprite).
Make Star Wands:
Cut star shapes from thin wood or poster board. Glue to a length of dowel and spray-paint gold. The girls can decorate their own wand with glitter-glue, stickers and foil confetti.
Make Princess Hats:
Buy or make cone hats. To make, take poster board and shape into a cone, staple. Add streamers at the top. Let the girls decorate them with glitter, stickers and confetti like the hats.
Pass the Poison Apple:
Snow White kid party theme ale passed around and whoever is holding the apple when the music stops is out. Continue until only one person remains and receives the prize. *Note, as a kid party themes suggestion, I would have prizes for all the kids who play the game. (You don't want to reward just the 'winner.')
If you have an old mirror, you can use it for a 'magic mirror.' Decorate the mirror to make it look somewhat like a medieval mirror. When the girls arrive, have them simple makeup in front of the mirror. Make a cardboard castle from boxes and photograph each girl after she had put on her lipstick and princess hats.
Every kid party theme needs goody bags... an absolute must! Use candy that is pre-wrapped in gold foil (almond kisses, chocolate coins, rolos etc.), so as the kids leave they'll got a bag of gold. You could even use plastic gold coins from a novelty store.
Kid Party Themes: The Abracadabra Magic Party
This is one of the best birthday party themes to use for boys and girls. Even more so if you're having a magician perform at your party! Kids absolutely love magic, so you can't go wrong with this one.
Go to my magic party invitations page and you'll be able to print out your own invitations. It's a simple fill in the blanks invitation that lets kids know that your party is going to a blast! 🙂 Of course if you're feeling creative you can simply design your own.
White and black streamers and balloons with stars on etc. You could either make your own magic wands from thin plastic tubing or cardboard and paint it white with black tips, or to save time simply order your magic wands, hats, kid party theme ware, etc from Birthday In A Box party store... kids magic party theme ware
Money saving kid party themes tip: Magic (top) hats are usually on sale at your local party store AFTER New Year's. They might say Happy new Year's on them, but you can simply cover this up with a magic picture or graphic.
Decorate your cake with a top hat and a magic wand or a bunny.
As an example, check out an awesome cake from one of our birthday party parents...
Here's a valuable kids magic idea: if you live in the New England area and are looking for entertainment for your kids birthday party, check out my kids magic show page... Amazingly Fun Birthday Parties
If you're not in the New England area and are interested in having a magician for your kids birthday, email me with your location and I'll send you info about magicians in your area.
If you decide not to go with entertainment, you could do the following...
Buy simple magic tricks from your local toy store, have the kids practice the trick and have each on of them perform in front of the group!
*Note: if you go this route, make sure the trick is very easy to learn. Enough so that the youngest child can do it. What you don't want is some kid feeling down because he/she couldn't make the trick work.
A great simple inexpensive trick to buy is the "Amazing Magic Fish." This is a small red thin plastic fish, that when you place it in someone's hand, it mysteriously begins to wiggle and curl! This works automatically - the fish curls and it means that the child is a great kid! (Or whatever you want it to mean.) Kids absolutely love em! I have these available by the dozen at $4 per dozen. To order on-line using PayPal (3-5 days shipping), simply go to: Amazing Magic Fish
Kid party themes time saving tip:
Many magicians provide awesome goody bags as part of their performance package. If you're going to have a magician, you're all set! In my goody bags I provide the magic fish I mentioned, a bunch of small toys,(goofy glasses, vampire teeth, Chinese yo-yos, finger traps, etc.), candy and a magic coloring/activity sheets.
Many parents have told me that they really appreciate that I do supply the goodie bags because it saves them the time and hassle of going out the local party store. It's one less thing to worry about! (Smile)
Check out my birthday party goodie bags that help make birthday party parents life a lot less stressful.
If you decide to make your own goody bags an idea would be to have black paper bags with glow in the dark stars and moons stickers stuck on them. Inside could be small bag of jelly beans labeled 'magic beans', some Aladdin stickers, and possibly a simple magic trick.