Friday, April 30, 2010

We've Chosen Our Birthday Party Theme, Now What?

You've chosen a theme for your child's birthday party and often things get hectic at this point. You frantically try to gather everything that you need and often activities is the last (and most dreaded) portion of your planning. What in the world can you play and do at a party with such a specific theme?

First, let's talk about how many activities you should have planned. One important thing to remember is that it's always better to OVER plan than to under plan. There's nothing worse than a bunch of children with nothing to do. So have a couple of extra games stashed away that you can whip out in case of rain, or if the games just move quicker than you anticipated. On the same note, however, don't OVER plan your party. Children enjoy "free time" to just do whatever they wish, as well. I recommend having 3-4 activities planned. More than that and typically kids are "activitied out."

Two party games that are always a hit are a treasure hunt and the "old reliable" Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I have never used a donkey, though, and always tie it directly to the party theme. For instance, if you're having a Wow Wow Wubbzy party, have your favorite designer create a poster sized Wubbzy, without the tail, of course. If you're planning an Ooh La La, Day in Paris party, use a poster of the Eiffel Tower and have the party goers pin a picture of your guest of honor in front of the tower. It just takes a little bit of creativity and you can make it work and still have all of the laughter and fun and that goes along with this great activity. The treasure hunt is easy enough to tie into your theme, if it's a Blue's Clues party, mark each area with a blue paw print, etc. This is also a great way for kids to pair up in groups. Even though it's not intended to go that way, it always happens, so be sure to leave a large enough treasure that each of the guests will get a share.

A great activity to get your party guests mingling (and use up a lot of the planned activity time) is to have a mixer activity planned. Write a list in the following format:

Mixer--find someone who ______________

and send the kids on a fact finding mission. Of course the child(ren) at the end of the mixer with the most answers is the winner.

Or, if you don't have time to write and print the list, consider playing the Liars Club - where each person makes three statements about themselves. 2 statements are true, 1 is a lie. This is very fun because many people have done things that sound untrue. Everyone tries to guess.

There are many resources on the internet to help you plan your activities. One of my favorites is This site is very well organized for indoor vs. outdoor, has games for very young players and even has Bible games listed.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post. I'd be happy to help you in any way that I can.

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