Read these 28 Birthday Party Themes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Birthday tips and hundreds of other topics.
No theme party is complete without theme invitations. Depending on what the idea of your party is, you can get pretty creative with various theme invitations. Don't limit your ideas to the standard two-dimensional cards. For instance, if you're throwing a party with a karaoke theme, send guests a CD full of music they can sing along with. You can even create a jingle to let them know about the event. For a theme party with afternoon tea, send a tea bag along with the invitation. An invitation can be sent in envelopes, boxes, as cards, with props, or even via computer.
Throwing a themed birthday party with guests from one to ninety one? Try a movie themed birthday party that the whole family can enjoy. This is what you'll need to do:
Outfit guests with glow necklaces or glow sticks. Use glow paint on invitations. Use green and purple plates with glow in the dark stickers on tablecover and cups. Play Hot Potato with a glow-in-the-dark ball, flashlight tag, and make glow bracelets with glow beads, paint nails with glow paint or use milky pens to make designs. Serve neon-green drinks with glow straws. For older children, rent a black light for a glow dance party.
A lot of kids birthday party theme ideas are based on contemporary movies, TV shows, and characters. If you want to try a different alternative to the common birthday party theme for kids that'll still give children a fun-filled day, try throwing a "grown up" dinner party or afternoon tea. Let kids choose their own "grown-up" invitation to send out to guests. You can help the kids decorate a more formal place setting and menu. Make place cards so that everyone knows where they'll be sitting. Then let the kids dress up in their version of grown up attire.
For children who are more computer savvy, you might consider a party theme based on a non-violent computer or video game. One advantage to this party theme is the ability to make some of the invitations or party supplies yourself. Many sites have images or logos that you can download to make accessories for a party. Once the celebration is underway, you can continue the party theme by creating teams and letting each child have a turn playing the computer game that the party theme is based on. If the children are too young to play the game together, modify the activities by creating a challenge that the kids can participate in. For example, re-enacting a scene from the game or searching for objects that appear in the game.
The 'tween years' -- where a person is not quite a teenager and not a kid either -- are challenging on many levels. A tween's interests are split between the two groups, so he or she can be a hard person to figure out! As a result, planning a birthday party for a 12 year-old is a tricky business. Be sure to do your homework before hand. Find out the interests of the birthday boy or girl and his or her friends and build the birthday party theme around them. Does he/she like sports? Music? A certain movie or TV show? Once you have chosen the theme, be creative in the execution, considering how the food, drink, decorations, music and games can carry the theme through in your party. And don't forget to have fun!
Because movie and television characters are marketed for party supplies, it is easy to have a party that showcases your child's favorite character. Girls who want to get dressed up for a storybook party theme might want to have a costume just for the occasion. Choose from possibilities like Little Red Riding Hood, Tinker Bell, and Cinderella. Girls participating in a cosmo girl party theme can be rock star cool with their own studded sunglass frames. Once your teen birthday girl gets a chic new look, record the makeover on a disposable camera. Birthday party themes are easy to create with the right cake, decorations and favors, but don't forget about the games. If it's a girl's party, let them make edible jewelry using string, cereal and candy.
Just because you're throwing a birthday party for the birthday girl doesn't mean you simply pull out all the pink plates and streamers you can find. Even younger girls will respond to party theme ideas with a certain level of sophistication. If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, here is some inspiration for you.
Storybook theme- Younger kids will love participating in a combination of arts, crafts, and music based on a storybook theme. You can even get the little ones dressed up in the characters of their choice.
Cosmo Girl theme – For girls interested in the latest trends, an introduction to the hippest hair, makeup, and clothes will be a fun time by all. In this party theme, girls get to glam up in an age appropriate fashion.
Spa Time theme – Got some budding teens to cater a party theme to? Put together a spa party that they'll be sure to enjoy. Manicures, pedicures, and a new hairstyle will make every adolescent birthday girl feel her best.
For kids or kids at heart that love animals, you can't miss with birthday party themes that incorporate wildlife. Here are some birthday party themes for animal lovers.
Wild Outback: Kangaroos, koalas, and crocodiles – oh my! Create a scene from down under with a paper rock wall, Have compasses on hand for favors and load up on walking sticks for a mini hike. Decorate with stuffed versions of animals from down under or see if you can get a zoomobile with the real deal to come out to you.
Water Life Exploration: Use blue cellophane to create a wall of your underwater world. Decorate with plastic fish, octopus, and stingrays. Make your own mini “touch pool” by filling a large plastic tub with sand, water, mock starfish and string rays, and plastic sea anemone. The kids can swim in a large “pool” filled with blue colored balls and mock fish.
Prehistoric Dinosaur World : Go back in time and have a prehistoric dinosaur world party. Have recorded sounds of tyrannosaurus rex and his mighty roar. Create a sand pit and host an archaeological dig for dinosaur bones. Send the kids home with a paper mache “dinosaur egg” filled with candy and plastic dinosaur toys.
If you're on a tight budget and your child is clamoring for a birthday party, don't despair. At the heart of everything, most kids really just want to have a handful of friends over to play. You can make the party as simple as an outing to a local park or the community swimming pool. Pick some old-fashioned games to play like pin the tail on the donkey, have a 3-legged race or a potato on a spoon race, and play charades.
You can provide lunch sacks to be decorated as an activity rather than buying decorated "goody" bags. If you want to provide more than cake and ice cream, have a "make your own pizza" party, with homemade dough and pizza sauce plus a variety of toppings.
Once kids are about 6 or 7 they could have real fun at the bowling alley! Most alleys now provide birthday packages which include bowling, shoe rental and food. This might be an idea if you're looking for something easy - someone else does the work and planning, and your kids are entertained! Try to hit the alley when "moonlight bowling" starts - they turn off most of the lights, and anything that is white or pastel glows in the dark!
An easy way to keep a party theme going throughout is to pick one color for everything. For example, if the party's theme is Elmo, buy red plates, cups, napkins, streamers and balloons at the grocery or "dollar" store.
The decorations will carry the theme, and you will have paid much less than had you bought the expensive printed goods.
Many parents of young children like to celebrate half birthdays. Especially for children whose birthdays can be diminished by major holidays on or near their birthdays, having a birthday theme of a half birthday can make them feel special.
Want some great half birthday party ideas? You can bake a cake and cut it in half. (Freeze the other half for some other special dinner.) Come up with other "half themes" as well. You might decorate only half a room or make half a birthday card.
Involve the birthday child when choosing a birthday party theme. Don't get hung up on particular television shows or movies. It's much easier to plan a "cowboy" party than a "Cowboy Bob" party! In addition to buying plates, napkins, and cups, it's fun to have some of the party decorations be homemade. If your child is old enough, let them help make and plan the decorations for the party theme.
Find some music to play while the guests are arriving. In addition to games and prizes, think of some activity the kids can do at the end of the party that can be interrupted. A craft that the kids can easily finish at home or within a few minutes can be a nice way to have the kids wind down a bit.
Having trouble choosing a birthday party theme? When you're stuck for a party idea for a teen, you should first figure out what your budget is for the party. Tell the teen what the budgeted amount is and let them help figure out what they can do. Ice skating at the local ice rink (without renting the room and paying for their cake and ice cream) can fit many budgets.
*Another option is to have a dinner party with food that can be "built to order" like tacos or pizzas. You can feed a crowd without breaking the bank if you plan ahead and still let the kids have fun.
Ask everyone to come dressed as fairies! This gets the girls involved in the party, and also lends to the magic and look of the party! Serve tiny food to your fairies. And have them decorate a star wand (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. Or you could have them ready before the party.) If it's within your budget you could also drape an entire "fairy grotto" with tulle, or if not, try hanging balloons and sparkly stars from the ceiling with shiny ribbons (make use of your local dollar store for these things!).
(Some of this idea is courtesy of Petra our own scrapbook-tips guru).
For a child theme party, it's often fun to focus on a sport or favorite activity of the birthday child. If your child likes to swim and is old enough that you think most of the guests will be water safe as well, find out about having the party at your neighborhood swimming pool if one is available. At the neighborhood swimming pool, you can decorate a picnic table at the pool with a Hawaiian or island theme, get a pinata, and provide some snacks or have pizzas delivered. Kids can generally entertain themselves for hours in a pool and will spontaneously come up with all sorts of games to play.
Looking for party themes for a birthday boy? You can get away with a standard gathering of guests, cake, and ice cream, but the birthday celebration would be so much more fun with more imaginative party themes. Don't worry about being short on ideas. We've got some for you here:
Undercover spy theme – Turn your party for your birthday boy into a secret agent affair. Let guests solve a mystery, try on disguises, and fill their day with double agent type gadgets to explore.
Sports camp theme – If you've got an athlete in the family with a birthday on the horizon, throw a sports camp party event. Create uniform t-shirts for the guests and hit the field for friendly sampler of flag football, soccer, and basketball. When the guests are ready to crash, serve refreshments, have cake, and pass out trophies for favors.
Racing Car theme – Decorate with checkered flags and racing banners. Create a pit stop full of snacks and drinks to go. Then line up the miniature racetrack with cars and remote controls.
A fun birthday theme is to hide the presents and give the birthday person (whether adult or child) scavenger hunt style tips about the where the present is located. On a piece of paper, write a clue about where the next clue can be found. Lead them on a chase of however many clues their age can handle: two or three for younger kids and more for the older ones. For really small children, use pictures rather than words to indicate the location of the next clue. Another similar birthday theme is to tie a string to the present, then run the string all over the house and end up on the birthday child's bed. When they get up in the morning, they have to follow the string to find their first gift.
Choosing a birthday theme for your child's party can be of high importance to your child. In addition to television characters or movie stars, consider your child's favorite animal or color. Dragons, Mother Goose, and unicorns are popular themes for the under 4 crowd.
*Older kids can enjoy a birthday theme such as cowboys, princesses, superheroes, space, and pirates. Teenagers like karaoke, beauty spa for the girls, a dance party, or a "make your own video" party if you've got a camera available.
If you have fraternal twins, or a son and daughter close in age parties can be hard to coordinate. What about a dual castle theme? You could work in a boy's and girl's interests by dressing one as a prince, the other as a princess and working your party's theme around that!
Choose a birthday theme that suits your child's personality. If you haven't seen it done before, just adapt classic party ideas to match your theme. If your child likes to build with Legos, make that the theme. You can make a cake decorated with Lego figures or make the cake look like a big Lego piece.
Have games that challenge how fast kids can build certain things from Legos. Put a bunch of Legos in a jar and have kids guess how many pieces there are inside. Send each child home with a small Lego kit for the party favor.
Feel sad because you only have a birthday every four years? Don’t be! Like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, here are a few great suggestions for how to have a great un-birthday party every year instead of waiting and only having a quarter of your birthdays.
Pick Your Favorite
Most people are stuck with one day to celebrate. Not you. Pick your favorite day and rock out. For example, if you remember your graduation fondly, then your new birthday party date could be June 20th. You can pick any date that has special meaning like the day of your first kiss, the day you got your driver’s license, or even the day you got your braces off.
Keep Everyone Guessing
Rotate your birthday through the seasons so the fourth year is your winter year, happening on your actual birth date. The other three are fun, season-themed parties involving everything you like best about winter, spring, summer, and fall. If you have a favorite movie or book, this is the time to create a party theme to surprise your guests. Everyone will look forward to celebrating you.
It Is All About You
No matter what anyone tries to tell you to do about celebrating your birthday, remember that it is always your call. Don’t let anyone rain on your birthday celebration. If you love the zoo downtown but it is outdoors, pick a date where everyone can comfortably enjoy themselves while celebrating your day.
Your birthday is your special day. Whether you celebrate it once a year or once every four, as long as you're doing what makes you happy, the rest will naturally follow.
Birthday songs make the perfect soundtrack for some of the most special moments in your life. To help you decide on the best songs to play at any birthday party, here is a list of relevant top ten songs:
If your little guy thinks Elmo is the best thing ever, then you are probably considering an Elmo birthday party theme. Luckily, many other parents have decided to throw parties for their toddlers with the same theme, so there are plenty of supplies and ideas to help make your party planning easy.
A birthday party theme is important because it shows off your child's personality and hobbies. If your son enjoys animals, throw a zoo-themed party with supplies and decorations with exotic animals. Digging for buried treasure in a sandbox is perfect for a pirate-themed celebration. Birthday events with spy party themes call for special agent badges for the guests to wear. Having a sports camp theme? No sports camp is complete without an appropriate drink container. Party themes more along the lines of racetracks and fast cars call for racing helmets for each of your speed enthusiasts.
Who says kids should have all the fun during birthdays? Adult birthday party themes can make celebrations fun for grown-ups too. If you're looking for adult birthday party themes which are guaranteed hits, try some of these ideas.
Casino Nights – Bring out the dice, playing cards, and craps table too. Have an evening with cocktails and roll out the fancy buffet.
Arcade Afternoon – Who says adults always have to act that way? Set up air hockey, foosball table, and traditional arcade games. Keep the dining requirements simple – chips and dip, pizza, and sodas will complete the arcade experience.
A Posh Affair – Have guests dressed up to the nines, turn your humble home into a swanky pad, and bring out the fine wines. Don't forget formal invitations and the classy tunes.
Climbing Adventure – Not afraid of heights? Have the gang climb a rock wall for a height defying experience. You can book time on location or have a mobile rock wall come out to you. After all that climbing, your guests will be famished, so be sure to serve picnic fare for your hungry guests.
This party requires the birthday child to keep a secret . . . her guests are about to be kidnapped!
Call guests' parents a few weeks before the party to let them in on the plans. Find out where each guest will be found at the appropriate time (times will have to be staggered to allow pick up of each guest). If you're having a sleepover, parents will need to pack a bag and let you know where it will be.
On the day of the party, pack a few drinks, snacks, party hats and drive to each location, picking up the guests one at a time. The fun builds as the group gets larger.
The possibilities for creating your animal birthday party themes are endless. For a party with an animal theme, incorporate activities like Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Try some animal wall decorations to set the mood for the birthday event. Try a fish piñata for an ocean life birthday party theme. Animal birthday party themes can incorporate party decorations from the Animal Planet, Zoology, Barnyard Celebration, The Dog and The Cat. Let your birthday child play dress up in a binocular and hat adventure set.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|