Being creative when planning a child's birthday party is difficult when it seems that other moms have already used up all the good ideas. Party preparation can create enough stress to make a mom throw up her hands and just order pizza. Luckily, kids can provide much of the inspiration--their ability to dream and imagine is an important asset. Discussing party ideas with other moms can help avoid repeat themes in months with multiple birthday celebrations.
1. Mother's Little Helper
All birthday parties feature the child who turns a year older on her special day. Parties use a central idea to unify decorations, games and even gifts into a theme. Mothers can observe a child's favorite occupations throughout the year and then build the celebration based on one of them. Kids decide what they want to be when they grow up--and change their minds often, so moms can have a fresh source of inspiration every year.
2. Creative Focus
Having a themed birthday party helps you organize and plan the party. A birthday theme also functions to highlight the interests of the birthday child. Guests can enjoy participating in the celebrations--and learn a bit about their host's favorite things. Some kids will go home with ideas for their own celebrations brewing in their minds.
3. Special Attention
Birthday party themes should make the kids feel special. Creative or novel ideas can impress other moms--sometimes sparking an unofficial birthday party theme Olympics--but watching a kid's look of wonder when he walks into a decorated room is the real pay-off. Guests also should feel cared for. Having an adult pay attention to a child makes them gain confidence and self-esteem.
4. Special Effects
Superheroes change over the years, but they remain the favorites of boys and girls. Taking a panel from a comic and making large wall decorations, or creating life-size stand-up cardboard comic heroes makes the theme come alive for kids. Animals are also perennial favorites of kids. Creating animal-shaped treats is a must, and making kid-sized animal homes provides a place for guests to explore. Constructing the dwellings is a good weekend project for the family. Plastic kiddie pools make good structural frames for bird nests. Line the inside with thick mats of straw and shredded paper and disguise the outside with green branches. Hiding small treats in the straw adds to the appeal. A miniature bear cave lets kids feel like adventurers--all from the safety of a backyard. Start with an igloo-style doghouse. Tuck it into a corner of the yard, then cover it with artificial turf, branches and twigs to help make it look like it look cave-like. Painting is a good activity for kids of different ages, and creating a theme around creativity itself makes a party interesting. Hang red sheets or curtains to create a bohemian atmosphere. Select great artists from the ages and provide each guest with a beret and a decorative name tag. Museum stores are good sources for napkins, plates and party favors that feature famous works of art. Provide each guest with a small canvas board and water-based paints, or waxy pastels. After everyone makes a masterpiece, have a gallery show--and then clean up afterward.
Not all moms have the time or budget to create elaborate parties. Simple themes can be creative too, such as choosing a child's favorite color, and making food and decorations to match. Food coloring is an inexpensive way to safely turn whipped cream orange or ice cubes green. Providing children with same-colored party hats and gift baskets filled with inexpensive party favors will please the kids and not break the budget.
- Little girl as a party-animal image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com