A Day at the Carnival
Turn your backyard into a carnival! Set up classic carnival games like a ring toss and football toss. You can even hire a clown for younger kids, or ask an artist in your family to be a face painter. Serve typical carnival foods like corn dogs and cotton candy. An added bonus? A bag of cotton candy can double as a party favor!
Aloha! Turn your party into a tropical paradise. Have your guests arrive in island wear (think Hawaiian shirts), and give each a grass skirt and lei. Play reggae music, play games like limbo and pass the coconut (similar to hot potato), have a pinata, and serve foods like kebabs
, corn on the cob, and tropical fruits. (Mangoes, anyone?) Send each guest home with a plastic pail and shovel for their next beach trip.
Dress-Up Tea Party
Little kids love to dress up! Clean out your closet and lay out all the clothes, shoes, and accessories that don't fit or you don't wear anymore, and let your guests go to town. Set your table with a tea set, and serve finger sandwiches and cookies. As an activity, each child can paint his or her own teacup — and that can double as the favor!
Sports-lovers will love a party centered around their favorite team! Organize the kids into teams and have a friendly baseball, soccer, or flag football game in the backyard. Serve hot dogs, chicken fingers, and cracker jacks, and let each kid decorate their own cupcake to look like a baseball (or soccer ball, football — you get the idea.) Send all the sports fans home with a sports-themed water bottle to keep them hydrated the next time they're on the field.
Do you have a kid with a cold-weather birthday who longs for the summer? Have a summer barbecue indoors. Ask your guests to dress in summer attire (even if it's freezing out), and decorate with images of warm weather scenes. Turn up the heat and play games you would normally play in the summertime (think horse shoes, bocci, etc.) Serve classic picnic foods
like hamburgers and potato salad. Afterwards, send each kid home with a new pair of funky plastic sunglasses or flip flops.
What's sweeter than a birthday party revolving around cookies? Have the kids don aprons (they can even bring their own if they have one), or pick up enough aprons to have the kids decorate themselves as an added activity. Spend a few hours whipping up a few batches of your child's favorite cookies, and send everyone home with a few, along with the recipe as a delicious party favor.
Does your child have a fascination with creepy-crawlies? Turn his party into a bug infestation! Glue fake bugs to all your decorations, and hide them all over for the kids to discover and identify with magnifying glasses. Ants on a log, gummy worms, and dirt cake all make great party foods, and you can send your guests home with their own magnifying glass for identifying bugs in their own yard.
If your party is a sleepover, make it a campout. Set tents up in the backyard (or inside, if the weather isn't good). Tell spooky ghost stories, go on a nature scavenger hunt, eat classic camping foods
like franks and beans, and roast s'mores. Send each guest home with an outdoors-themed favor, like a compass or mini flashlight.
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If your little one loves to boogie, a disco dance party might be the way to go. Rig up some strobe lights, black lights, and a stereo system. Play some music-themed games like musical chairs and have a dance off complete with judges and prizes for the winner. Get ready to dance the night away!
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