The words "kiddie party" can strike terror in the hearts of
parents everywhere. Parties for kids can be expensive, and chaotic.
Plus, you don't want your party to receive the worst of all
kiddie reviews - stupid! So, many parents choose popular themes
to insure party success, but theme parties are so expensive.
maybe not. You can have a great theme party on a budget, if
you think creatively.
Your Theme Wisely
choose a theme party without input from your child. Some children
may cling to "baby" characters at home, but would be horrified
to have that known by everyone! Plus, a good theme offers clear
decoration ideas, game possibilities and color schemes.
look at two possible themes, one general and one character specific
and see ways to expand them into great parties with limited
seems like young children all love Disney, so one theme we will
consider will be Winnie the Pooh. For older children, adventure
is always popular so let's explore having a pirate theme.
is one way to tie a theme together. If you are using printed
items, buy them first before choosing other decorations, so
the colors in the printed items can be matched. For popular
theme characters, like Pooh, you can usually buy matching plates,
napkins, cups, invitations, and table decorations - this quickly
becomes very expensive.
consider buying just the invitations and napkins in the printed
items and choose the less expensive solids for plates, cups
and tablecloths. For the pirate theme, you may not want to use
printed items at all. Consider selecting a few bright colors
- perhaps red, green and, of course, black and white for your
can do simple homemade invitations decorated as treasure maps.
A construction paper Jolly Roger can fly from a craft stick
flagpole stuck into a cup cake for each place setting. Your
plates and napkins can be bright solid colors…while your table
cloth can be a simple white paper tablecloth decorated to look
like a giant treasure map, complete with a construction paper
X glued on to mark the spot for the birthday cake.
centerpiece for most themes can be made from toys your child
presently owns. After all, if a child likes Pooh enough to want
him for a theme, chances are she has a silly ol' bear of her
own somewhere. For
a pirate theme, a "treasure chest" can be fashioned from a small
foam cooler and filled with "treasures" from your child's toy
games are easily adapted to any theme. A beanbag toss game is
always popular. Make the beanbags from old socks filled with
beans or rice and tied with bright rubber bands and ribbons.
Use a big cardboard box with a hole cut in the side for your
target. Around the hole draw an appropriate design for your
Draw an open-mouthed bear and have the kids "feed" Pooh lunch.
the box into a spooky cave and the kids are "hiding" the bags
of pirate treasure. A treasure hunt works with almost any theme
but is particularly effective with a pirate game. Before the
party begins, hide a small "treasure chest" or "treasure bag"
filled with sufficient treats for all the guests.
make funny clues that move the children from one area to another.
The clues might be theme specific, such as "Pooh says to go
to the cupboard for a clue that is sweeter than honey!" or the
clue might be a riddle or rhyme. When the children have followed
all the clues, the last leads them to the treasure, which is
split amongst them.
piñata is always a popular party game. Piñatas can be made from
large balloons, newspaper strips, thinned white glue and paint.
You will need several days to allow drying between application
of strips of glue-dipped newspaper. The finished Pinata shell
can then have a small hole cut to allow the balloon to be removed
and the prizes to be inserted.
the hole is patched with masking tape and more newspaper strips.
Then, when the "patch" is dry, you simply paint the piñata to
match your theme. A black piñata with a skull and crossbones
makes a scary pirate decoration. A bright blue piñata with a
yellow top and the word "Hunny" painted on the side, makes the
perfect accessory for a Pooh party.
is important in planning theme party foods, too. Why have the
standard party food when you can have treasure crunch or Pooh
honey snacks! Treasure crunch is simply trail mix with colorful
candy treasure mixed in. Pooh honey snacks can be honey roasted
peanuts mixed with golden raisins.