Kids parties have definitely changed over the past few years. Gone are the days of bobo the clown and a packet of popcorn for each kid. When I was younger, we were only too happy to be with our friends and play outdoor games. Now, kids have become decidedly more creative and their ideas have become more exclusive. That means mom and dad, that you have to keep up. It also means trying to figure out the kids’ entertainment that will keep them happy and still be kind on the pocket.
So to help you along I’ve picked out some of the best ideas and tips for arranging that dream party for your muffin, including a few quick kids party theme ideas, to entertainment activities. By far the best way to start is to choose a theme and build the party entertainment around the theme.
Eek! Wait, what was that about Bobo the clown? why can’t we just hire him? Don’t worry, there are plenty of engaging party ideas that are simple and best of all, cost-effective. With a little bit of planning and a touch of home-made love, you can spare yourself the debt.
Who can resist balloons, right? Balloons are ALWAYS a favorite. But instead of using balloons as they are traditionally used, as party decorations, make them part of the party fun.
- Balloon treasure hunt
Small children would love this too, but some may be frightened, this activity is possibly better for the bigger kids. Place the treasure hunt clues inside the balloons and have them ready for popping. Fill the room with plenty of balloons, not all of them should have a clue in though. Get the kids ready to start looking for a balloon with a clue in it and pop it to move on to the next round of clues.
- Balloon drawing
Give each child a marker and 2 or 3 balloons. Let them draw just what they want to on their balloons, ask them to make it as detailed as they can get it.
- Balloon sports. (cricket or volleyball is great for this idea)
Set up an area where the kids will play their balloon sports. For cricket, buy inexpensive pool noodles and cut them into “bats” (Why not put a long stick in the middle for added for added rigidity) Partner the kids into pairs. And let them go crazy with their sports. Balloon sports are great as they significantly lower the risk of someone getting hurt.
- Balloon painting
Both the tots and older kids will love this one. Add a bit of paint into each balloon after you’ve blown it up and before you close it. Tie the balloons to a canvas and offer each child three to four darts. (Do get tot-friendly darts. They shouldn’t be so sharp that they become a danger hazard. The trick here will be to blow the balloon up to its full capacity so that it will burst easily.) For added fun and depth to the painting, make sure that you alternate between color, paint types, and thickness. Make it extra special for the kids and arrange the canvas out of smaller square canvasses that each one can take home as part of their party favor.
This is an awesome idea for very active children, make it extra enjoyable by adding incentives and prizes. Make sure that everyone gets a prize to keep it about the fun and not the competition. Hand out exciting and unexpected prizes like a prize for the greatest effort, a prize for the winner, a prize for the one who jumped the highest. Kids of any age will enjoy this, but be sure to set the obstacle course up appropriately matched to the age and abilities of the kids, otherwise they will quickly become discouraged and will no longer take interest in it.
- Outdoor boot camp
Use anything you can find to set up the most amazing and challenging course. For added fun, throw in a few mini-games like musical stop-and-go or stop-when-the-whistle-blows.
- Indoor tunnel fun
Indoor tunnels are just great. Even mom and dad will be tempted to join in the fun. Use sheets and blankets, string and old boxes, whatever you can find to set up a DIY tunnel system in your home.
Traditional party games are still the best
Revamp them, work a little bit of creativity into them. For example, everyone still loves a good game of pass the parcel. Why not play a treasure hunt pass the parcel for older kids? Instead of wrapping small gifts in each layer, wrap clues into the layer with objects needed to help them figure out their clues. For smaller kids, wrap interesting things, like a paint brush, or a stamp and have them use that stamp later to decorate their section of the tablecloth.
Theme it by color
For those parents who might not like the idea of a superhero or character theme, why not theme it by color? You could go wild here, choose to use shades or complementary colors.
Animal themed party
Kids love animals, and the possibilities for an animal themed party are simply endless. Make animal masks for each child, and have them be different animals at a zoo party. Younger kids will have a ball pretending to be a lion or a bear.
Arts and Crafts themed party
Have the kids all paint their own cookies with edible paint or create their own party favors with pastel colored play dough. Imagination is the key here. Why not ask your child what she, or he, would like to do if they had a crafts party and build the theme based on the answer.
Whatever the party ideas, do let parents know in advance so that they can plan the child’s attire according to the party. Have fun, get your own kids involved and keep evolving those traditional games into something extra exciting.