Every good party starts with a theme, but the big secret is that a theme can be virtually anything. We tend to think about movie characters or toys or kiddie cliches like princesses and castles or planes, trains and automobiles. And those are all good, but some of the most memorable parties are the most unusual!
A theme can revolve around a shape (circle party), a place (taste of Italy party), an activity (soccer or theater party), even a website (Instagram or Pinterest party).
Start by thinking about your child’s interests and personality. Does your kid like to knit and crochet? Have a Needles and Knitz Party. Decorate with balls of yarn and knitting needles. Give guests a few basic tutorials (kids LOVE to learn how to knit and crochet), and offer a goodie bag with a small ball of yarn, crochet hook and simple pattern.
Does your kid like gardening and animals? Do a Backyard Habitat Party. The National Wildlife Federation teaches families how to build a backyard habitat, and you can even get it certified. Center a party theme around this idea by building a small animal shelter, planting a butterfly garden and serving a garden cake.
Think outside the box. Is your son turning eight? Do an “Eight” theme where everything revolves around the number eight.
What’s your child’s favorite subject in school? Have a math party or a science party. There is no limit to what you can do.
The year our son Sam turned four, the librarian read Jack & The Beanstalk at a library reading group, which prompted him to ask for a Jack & The Beanstalk party. We read the book at the party, had an egg race with “golden” eggs (eggs painted gold), started bean plants, played hot potato with a “magic” beanbag, played Mother May I (with giant steps and Jack-size steps), and had cupcakes with beanstalks made out of green icing and green gumdrops cut to look like leaves.
Another year one of our kids was really into superheroes, so we did a Community Super Hero party. We arranged a progressive tour of the town’s fire department, ambulance corps and rescue squad. Then the kids ran through an elaborate obstacle course and won whistle necklaces when they completed it. For lunch, we make a fire truck to hold our drink and sandwich quarters. To make each one, we took a travel-size cereal box with one of the long sides cut off. I glued that to a juice box, and wrapped the whole thing in red paper. We cut a sandwich in quarters and placed the pieces in the cereal box and then decorated the whole thing to look like a fire engine. They were a big hit!
Check back tomorrow. We’re going to talk about some unique invitation ideas.