When planning your child’s birthday party, choosing the theme will be the step that guides all of the other decisions you will make. While there is nothing wrong with a party built around superheroes or a favored cartoon, the right theme choice can turn a birthday party into an experience that is both fun and educational.
Destination Kid’s Birthday Party Theme
Destinations can be great options for party themes, as they give you an opportunity to learn about another culture with your children. Researching meals, birthday traditions, and classic games that are common in the nation you’ve chosen will fill in your party planning checklist quickly with fun and unique ideas, and flags and seals are excellent resources for party decorations.
Try making cascarones, a Mexican party favor made from a hollowed out egg, which is then filled with confetti. British children have the same traditional birthday cake expectations as American children, but for them a thimble, fake coin, or figurine is traditionally baked in as a sign of good fortune.
Past Eras Kid’s Birthday Party Theme
Past eras are classic party themes, such as the 80s or Roaring 20s. When planning these parties your kids can learn a great deal about the fashion, music, and pop culture trends of a bygone time. Include costumes and design activities that incorporate important world events of the time.
Teach your kids the joys of Madonna and candy necklaces, bar the door to the party with a speakeasy type password, or enjoy milkshakes and malts at a sock-hop style event. Don’t be afraid to touch on subjects that you think of as dark. Your children will laugh at Cold War era duck and cover exercises and love prohibition era costumes. These fears are too far in the past to seem real to them yet, and a birthday party is a great opportunity for education.
Science Kid’s Birthday Party Theme
The range of kid-friendly science experiments available for parents is nearly infinite, as is the amount of fun to be had. Don a white lab coat and serve drinks out of beakers to really set the tone. Have you had the quintessential experience of building a classic baking soda volcano with your child yet? How about mixing Mentos and coke?
You shouldn’t have to look too far to find great suggestions for kids’ science activities. Try PBS or other educational sites for inspiration, and remember, if you choose this theme, a little more mess than usual is inevitable. Choose a location where you won’t mind fun that literally erupts.
Literature Kid’s Birthday Party Theme
Literature can be a great resource for party theme ideas. Recently Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass Tea Parties have been all the rage, complete with Mad Hatters and Red and White Queens. Draw from your children’s favorite books or movies based on books for inspiration.
This could also be a great opportunity to share one of your favorite classic kids’ books with your own children. Where the Wild Things are or The Phantom Tollbooth are great choices, which will allow you to build costumes, crafts, and games around your favorite fantasy worlds.
Arts and Crafts Kid’s Birthday Party Theme
For many young kids the most exciting part of the school day is the time devoted to arts & crafts. Embrace their creativity by setting up a craft table and encouraging all of the kids to paint or draw pictures for the birthday boy or girl. They can paint a mural or make keepsakes for themselves or as gifts.
You can easily incorporate your theme into craft projects by carefully choosing the materials you make available. Choose the right colors and textures so the kids can make the characters or important objects from the books, or coordinate a group project by having everybody work together on an important scene. This can later be hung as a beautiful, decorative reminder of your child’s big day.
Profession Kid’s Birthday Party Theme
Choosing a profession as the theme for your party may give you the opportunity to learn with your child and get excited about the job they hope to do ‘when they grow up.’ It may even be an opportunity to seek out a local professional to answer questions and offer encouragement to your child, and allow you to explore the best possible ways you can help them along toward their goal. Most of us wanted to be a different thing every couple of weeks growing up, but a little more information is never a bad idea.
Does your little girl want to be a marine biologist? Throw an underwater birthday party with games that educate the kids about sea life and biology. Do you have a budding chef in the family? Bring the kids into the process of making the meal and desserts for the day. It can be messy, but the fun will be absolutely worth the work.
Jenny Franklin is a professional party planner and a freelance writer who focuses on ways to incorporate education and creativity into children’s parties. She currently writes for PartyPail, which produces high quality supplies for girls’ birthday parties.