Children’s birthday parties can range from a very simple affair to a big production. Everyone wants their child’s party to be unique, and while balloons create a great party atmosphere and make the venue look special, you can add so much more to complete the big day.
Here are 8 unique ideas for your next children’s party put together by Helium Balloons Sydney to make your child’s party day one to remember.
1. A tropical beach party…at home
If your party is in the warmer part of the year, create a tropical paradise in your back garden. Fill a wading pool with clean builder’s sand and provide sand toys for all the guests. If you have the space, add another wading pool with water to splash around.
Put up a beach umbrella and have beach chairs, towels and cushions for the guests to sit on, plus a picnic rug or camping table for the food etc.
Add tropical colour with bright florals and/or leafy themed invitations, hanging decorations, paper plates and napkins. The cake can also reflect the beach theme and party food can be easy picnic style. Serve drinks from a beach esky using colourful plastic glasses, fruit juice ice cubes, tropical straws and cocktail umbrellas.
Choose games and activities that reflect the beach, such as a sand treasure hunt, frisbee, a hoola-hoop challenge, water quoits and bubble blowing; you are only limited by your space and imagination.
2. A puppet or doll making party
This idea is one for the ‘crafty’ kids, and requires supervision depending on the age group.
Try a theme such as monsters or fairies and maybe make an improvised puppet theatre so that guests can perform with their puppets!
Cardboard, old socks, scarves and tennis balls, even balloons can all be used to make puppets and dolls, the range of materials is infinite. Select materials to suit the age range of the guests.
Craft like this keeps young children occupied for ages and engages their imagination. For something a little simpler, provide basic cardboard cut-out puppets or dolls that the guests can then adorn from a variety of stick on jewels, feathers, pompoms, coloured pens and other odds and ends which can be collected prior to the party.
The cake, food and accessories could all have a theatre or storytelling theme. During the making phase, play party music and maybe include some storytelling to fire up the imagination. Involve the puppets or dolls in some of the games…such as shadow plays or musical chairs!
3. A carnival party
A Carnival is an ideal theme for active children. Carnivals encompass processions, juggling acts, fortune tellers, music dancing face painting and masquerade. All, or some, of these activities can be included in the games and activities for your party.
Stick to a basic colour theme of 3 – 4 colours eg. Red, Blue, Yellow and Green, and then add gold (can be in the form of tinsel or glitter) …it will make the whole thing more festive and invite guests to dress in their own idea of carnival costume.
You can choose ‘Weird and Wonderful’ or ‘Festive Fun’ and decorate the party area with streamers, coloured ribbons, balloons and fairy lights to match the mood. If you have enough room, a tent or marquee will add to the atmosphere. Most party foods will look great on fantastically decorated and coloured tables, and the cake can reflect you selected colour theme.
4. A glamour party
Glamour and glitz are always a bit of fun, and Glamour Party is a great excuse to dress up and be a bit special. This theme is for any age group, and gender. Decide whether your party will be ‘formal’ or ‘fun glamour’ and invite your guests to arrive to match the dress code.
Alternatively, you can have a dress-up box as the guests arrive, they can adorn themselves on arrival. Charity shops have plenty of items to create a ‘Glamour dress-up box’. A full-length mirror makes this activity loads of fun. Feather boas will help to add glamour and fun tiaras or top hats can be handed to the guests or added to the dress-up box.
Use glitter balloons, tinsel curtains to decorate and great dance music and a mirror ball (if possible) would be a great addition. The cake and food can be fun and special too reflecting the theme, with the addition of ‘glitzy’ plates, cups/glasses and napkins.
Select activities that are age appropriate such as ‘themed’ musical chairs and glitter wrapping for pass the parcel etc. or team games like charades for older children. Don’t forget that most people love to dance if the music is good!
5. A cookery party
This idea is ideal for those who like to have busy little hands, if you don’t mind a mess.
Make invitations in the form of a ‘Recipe for a great Party’ and upon arrival, issue guests with aprons and chef’s hats upon arrival.
The cake and some of the party food can be made before the big day so that no-one will go hungry and any special dietary needs can be catered for.
Adult supervision is required, and obviously adult management and use of the oven or microwave is essential. Also, much of the preparation requiring the use of knives can be done prior to the party so that concentration can then be on assembly and/or decorating.
Keep recipes simple and easy. Prepare as many of the ingredients beforehand as possible so that time is mainly spent assembling finished treats such as mini pizza toppings, salad assembly, ribbon sandwiches, biscuit cutting and (pre-made) cupcake decorating. While assembling, discuss which foods they liked best when it comes to the taste testing!
Fun then comes from the eating of their own creations (or the pre-made foods!) and if there is time, just some general party games to let off a little steam, plus there may be some treats to take home.
6. A travel party…explore the world
The theme of travel is ideal in today’s multi-cultural world. Travel can be included in every aspect of the party starting with ‘Map’ invitations and asking the guests to arrive in a costume of their favourite country. This theme can be educational, but more importantly fun and exciting!
Decorations such as ‘Globe’ balloons (either hand drawn or purchased), map tablecloths, hanging flags and coloured streamers in the national colours of different countries will all add to the atmosphere.
Provide food from different countries …Pizza (Italy), spring rolls (China/Vietnam), mini hamburgers (USA) ribbon sandwiches (UK) Humus (Greece) …whatever comes to mind and is easy to eat!
Games such as a global treasure hunt, with clues, finding places on a map based on whatever city selected from a little suitcase. Team games of travel questions or guessing the origin of different music can be geared to different age groups. For active children check out the various traditional ball games that come from different countries.
7. Movie or Book party
There have been countless Harry Potter themed occasions including the book launches where children and adults dress up as their favourite characters. If your child has a favourite book or movie, then base you theme around that.
The number of fantastic children’s books and movies provides a rich field of options to choose from. Some popular books and/or movies include Happy Feet, Mary Poppin, Cars, The Incredibles, the Lion King, Star Wars, Snow White, Toy Story and Alice in Wonderland to name a few.
Co-ordinate all aspects of the party to reflect your theme – invitations, food, decorations, games and even music can be based around your child’s selection and ask guests to participate dressed as their favourite character. Invitation and decorations can be made from printed out characters from the selected book or movie.
If you are having a ‘sleep over’ party, think about including a viewing of the movie after the main activities to settle the children down and give you some ‘clean-up’ time!
8. A Mini Olympics Party
This is an ideal party theme if you have a large outdoor area or park at your disposal. Make equipment and games age appropriate so that no injuries are incurred.
This is an ideal theme for energetic children, and everyone can be included. Those reluctant to be involved in the sporting activities, can participate as judges, umpires, field assistants and record keepers so that everyone can be involved. Team games also involve everyone from the boldest to the shyest.
Games can all be handled with a sense of fun and humour – make weights using a stick and balloons for weightlifting, or frisbees for discus and plastic balls for shot-put and running games and relays get everyone going. Let your imagination have fun! This way all guests can be issued with medallions during the party.
The cake could be a sporting ground with figures on it, or a trophy cup or medal for the special Birthday Person and picnic styled food which can be made ahead, will be ideal for busy athletes.