Party Themes Kids Style

By: Jennifer Wilke

Between bouncy castles, magicians or renting out a private venue, kids parties are becoming more elaborate these days. Even the goody bags are adding up. Basically said, planning a kids' party can be a lot of work but, with the right frame of mind, can also be a lot of fun.

It's easy to get caught up in the best vision you can conjure. A room full of laughter and giggles; a cake better than all others; amazing games that not only keep kids happy but leave the parents in awe; and, of course, your child the center of all attention.

What's important to remember is that all this (and so much more) can happen on a big or little budget and, more importantly, all of this is bound to happen on the biggest day in your child's year.

You know about the cake and goody bags. So, here are a few ideas to add to your party that will keep it unique - and still not break the bank.

Theme Costume Party
This idea will work with most themed costume parties, be it superheroes, princesses, pirates or any Disney idea. Not only does each invited child show up in costume but also an adult friend shows up in costume as well. This idea works best when the face is covered also - like Spiderman. He looks more mysterious and perhaps even likely that it may actually be him.

In much the same vain as mascots in amusement parks, all he needs to do is walk like Spidey, kneel down for photo opps and deliver the cake. He doesn't even need to talk. Trust me - not only will your child be looking up in amazement, but all the other kids will too. This is a much cheaper idea than bringing in professional help that will "entertain" too.

Themed Games
And then add to this whole idea with a few theme-oriented games. This can sometimes be tricky but with a bit of imagination, can be done.

For example -
* If a Dora Explorer or Pirate party, make it a Scavenger Hunt also.
* If a Disney Cars party, have each child decorate cardboard boxes with straps to go over their shoulders - and then they can have car relay races.
* If a swim party, have the kids dress in Tropical Luau gear first.

Theme Cake
This part is probably a bit obvious. A beautiful cake that matches the rest of the theme can be either homemade with the many, many molds offered from places like Wilton or from your close-by grocery store or baker.

Themed Goody Bags
Now it's time for the kids to leave. It doesn't seem to be a surprise anymore that loot bags will be handed out but what still surprises me is that I often throw away over half of the contents due to too many sweets or to being small and dangerous.

For my son's Superhero party, I created homemade capes with each child's initial ironed on. Creating "Super Max"! This combined with a mini candy and bubbles created a sweet and loved goody bag.

Other ideas include adding a magnifying glass to Dora Explorer's bag. A plastic flower lai and arm floaties to the swim party. Nothing huge - but things that not only will the child guest love but the mom will too.

If you walk away from this article with only one word - remember "theme" When planning a party, I personally find that having a sweet and fun theme holds wonderful continuity throughout and will bring nothing but good times and memories.

For a checklist on all the main things to do, please check out another article of mine here, titled "Kid's Party Checklist".

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