10 Tips for Creating a Theme Birthday Party

Your child has selected a super special, must-have theme for her birthday party! How exciting!

Wait. Now what?

Consider these tips for weaving a theme throughout the threads of a party plan; it’s easier than you might think.

1. Invitations

Let’s face it, often we choose to send generic, pre-printed invitations, even for a theme party, just because it’s easier. After all, as long as it spells out the time, date and location, it gets the job done, right? That may be true, but when planning a theme party, the invitation might also be considered the party’s first impression, and a fun way to get guests excited about the theme right from the start.

Creating an invitation to match your theme doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Even DIY invitations can be as simple as printing a flyer on computer paper that includes clipart or images that represent the party theme. These tips for making your own theme party invitations can help you on your way to creating a fun “sneak preview” for your future party guests.

2. Location

In some instances, when it comes to theme parties, there’s just no place like home. After all, in your own home no one will tell you that you can’t hang decorations over a window, change the furniture placement to make room for a dance space or host relay races in the dining room. Another advantage of hosting a theme party at home is the unlimited amount of prep time for setting up and decorating.

That being said, there are many times when an away-from-home party venue makes more sense, such as when you need a larger space, the assistance of a staff or when the party theme itself calls for accommodations you just don’t have at home (it’s hard to have a rock-climbing party without a rock climbing wall).

When choosing the setting for your theme party, start with a list of your must-haves: Is there a place for that photo booth or facepainting stand you envisioned? Can the craft station be accommodated? Can an outdoor party be quickly moved to shelter if it starts to rain? Such a checklist will help secure a location that meets your needs and save you from the disappointment of realizing you overlooked an important detail after you’ve already booked a venue.

3. Photo Booth

Since parents have discovered that you don’t need to actually rent a real photo booth to have one at your party, it’s little wonder that the photo booth has gone from a party trend to a theme party staple. If you have a backdrop and some props, you have all you need to make your own photo booth. From tablecloths and shower curtains to a wall of colored balloons to a tri-fold standing board decorated with streamers, the options for backdrops are so varied that you can likely create one to fit your theme from supplies you already have at home.

4. Facepainting

Facepainting is a fun activity that many parents forego when planning a theme party because of the need to hire a professional face painter. However, a theme party provides a great opportunity for a DIY facepainting activity. You don’t have to learn how to paint a variety of whole faces with intricate details to please the children at your event. Instead, purchase a face painting kit and learn how to paint just one whole face or several easy designs that fit within your theme, such as a butterfly on the cheek for a fairy party or a simple nose and whiskers for an animal-themed party.

5. Party Games

Party games are a great way to fill in any gaps in your party’s timeline. They also provide a fun way to carry on the party theme. Traditional games like musical chairs and freeze dance can almost always be adapted to fit the theme through both music and actions. For instance, a puppy-themed party could have kids playing musical dog beds instead of musical chairs. Freeze dance could become sit-and-beg dance. Both games can be played to songs like How Much is that Doggie in the Window? or Who Let the Dogs Out?

6. Characters and Entertainers

Does your little girl want to see Princess Elsa at her Frozen-themed party? Perhaps the kids would be thrilled by an actual pirate at their pirate party. Costume characters can certainly enhance your party theme, but there is no reason you have to hire a stranger to dress up and come entertain your guests. Costumes like those of princesses and pirates can be worn by parents, older siblings or family friends.

Other options for entertainers at a theme party include a musician who invites kids to sing along to songs, an adult to read stories or someone to lead guests in a craft activity – all related to the theme.