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Hot Ginger Caramel Martini
Saved 9/11/07 to The Mommy Club

Themed Kid's Birthday Parties


Well, it seems like lately we have been going to so many toddler's birthday parties. And, every single one has had some sort of theme. The most recent were Buzz Lightyear, Wiggles and Clifford. Do you guys throw themed birthday parties? I know I never had them as a kid, and I certainly don't remember going to any themed parties. We did do a construction themed party last year for my son, it was nice, because I didn't have to go out and buy specific commercialized stuff. We bought yellow and orange streamers and plates, and put up construction cones everywhere. Our cake was homemade and I put on it little construction trucks pushing "dirt" (the dirt was smashed up Oreo cookies!). Anyway, my son had a blast, but I'm wondering if the adults appreciated the "theme" aspect more than my son!

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rubialala rubialala 7 years 1 week
I only did the large food spread for his first year. After that, I serve cake, juice, and water. I put so much time, energy, and expense in to the games, invitations, goodie bags and decorations that I choose not to do lots of food. The kids don't appreciate all of the food, so I figure why bother? The party is really for them anyway. And we always have our parties from 3:00 - 5:00 so we aren't catching any meal times in there. They eat lunch before they come and/or eat dinner after they leave. But really, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, just whatever works best for your family!
bluesuze bluesuze 7 years 1 week
Rubialala, Wow! Thanks for all those cute suggestions. Quick question, when the kids get a little older and it's mostly just their friends, do you just serve cake and ice cream? Do you serve anything else? Right now my son is young, and it's been mostly family at our parties, and I've had this huge spread of food laid out and I always have so much food leftover. But when he gets to school and starts making more friends, I'm just wondering what I should serve them to eat at the party. Just wondering what you do. Thanks.
rubialala rubialala 7 years 1 week
I have done a themed party for every birthday party that my son has had. First year it was Polka Dots and Winnie-the-Pooh, second year it was Buzz Lightyear, third was Thomas the Train, fourth was CARS, and fifth will be Pokemon. You can see pictures of the cakes in the Cake Decorators Unite group. I try to stay away from all of the main stream stuff. I do what I can to make it easy for myself but also super creative for the kids. Here are some of the things I have done: Year 1 Invitations: I purchased this sweet post card size card that was white with blue trim and a little boy overall set on a hanger on the left side and then they did the information custom on the right side. Then this blue ribbon went through the pocket on the overalls and tied at the top. Menu: I found this cake in a Martha Stewart Baby Magazine before I was even pregnant I think! I knew it was exactly what I wanted and I would just change the polka dot colors if I had a girl to like pink and purple. So a round cake with smooth white fondant and then blue and yellow polka dots, and making green where they overlapped on the cake. It was really spectacular. I also had chips and salsa, fruit plate, meats and cheeses, juice, water, iced tea, and lemonade. I really went all out on this one and it was a lot of work, but totally worth it! Decorations: I got a balloon bouquet with yellow and blue balloons and then a Pooh and Friends balloon that said Happy Birthday. Pooh and Friends circle confetti sprinkled all over the food table. Pooh and Friends plates and napkins, yellow and blue flatware and cups. Schedule of Events: We invited a lot of family and friends. The kids were still pretty young, so I just let them play with some toys, there were no organized games. I also put out the scrapbook that I was working on at the time and let people look at it and then I had two blank pages out for people to write on and I included that in the scrapbook with his birthday pages. It was really cute. Party Favors: Handed out as kids left the party. A clear bag with blue dots all over. Inside was a small baby bottle (cheap kind) filled with blue jelly beans, and blue twisty straw, etc. Thank You Notes: I always just buy the Thank You notes at the party store to match whatever theme I’m doing. I make sure to write exactly what the child gave and thank them for coming to the party. Year 2 Theme: Toy Story Invitations: CALLING ALL SPACE RANGERS! THIS IS STAR COMMAND. BUZZ LIGHTYEAR AND SPACE RANGER (child’s name) NEED YOUR HELP. MISSION: Join Team Lightyear and defeat Emperor Zurg’s plan to end all birthdays. STAR DATE: Saturday, August 20th. SECTOR: Address, City, State Zip TIME: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. RSVP: STAR COMMAND (phone number) TO INFINITY AND BEYOND! Menu: I got a Buzz Cake, just a rectangular cake with blue frosting on the base and then she did a small yellow moon on top with craters in it. When I got home I put Buzz and Little Green Men characters from the Disney Store on the cake to make it complete. I served the cake and then just juice. Decorations: A very large Buzz balloon, a Toy Story balloon that said Happy Birthday and then complimenting plain solid balloons for a balloon bouquet. That’s all I really did this year. I had Toy Story plates and napkins, blue cups and flatware. Buzz circle confetti sprinkled on the table. Schedule of Events: The kids were still pretty young, so I mostly just let them play with some toys. I had Toy Story coloring pages out, too. It was a fairly small get together, they say one child for every year your child is old, so two little girls came and all of the parents know each other really well so we just kind of hung out. It was nice to have it pretty low key. Party Favors: Handed out as the kids left the party. Buzz gift bags with Buzz stickers, plastic twisty straw, etc. Thank You Notes: I always just buy the Thank You notes at the party store to match whatever theme I’m doing. I make sure to write exactly what the child gave and thank them for coming to the party and then I just let him draw on one side of the card. Year 3 Theme: Thomas the Train Invitations: The front had Thomas the train on it and it said: All Aboard! On the inside it said: You are invited to Engineer (child’s name) 3rd birthday party.. Train Station: Our address. Arrival and Departure: Time of Party. To reserve you ticket please call: our phone number. Menu: I got a Thomas the Train Cake, just a rectangular cake with white frosting and then she did Thomas' face on the top. I served the cake and juice. Decorations: A very large Thomas balloon, and a smaller Thomas balloon that said Happy Birthday and then complimenting plain solid balloons for a balloon bouquet. I had Thomas the Train plates and napkins, blue cups and flatware. Schedule of Events: This is a general schedule, I wasn’t like a military person making people stick to this. I mostly did this to make sure I had planned enough for the kids to do. 3:00 p.m. Guests Arrive 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Coloring Pages. I printed Thomas the Train coloring pages from the internet and had a bunch of different characters for each child to choose from. Then I made sure that each kid had enough of their own crayons and stickers to use so that they wouldn’t have to share. Skin Art. I bought some Thomas the Train skin art from eBay and my husband put that on the kids when they got tired of coloring. 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Door Knob Signs. I purchased foam door hangers and I bought transportation related foam pieces for the kids to put on them. I set aside letters for each of the kids’ names and they put their names on the door hangers. Those went in the goodie bags for the kids to take home when they were done. 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Train Table. This was the biggest hit. We have all of our parties at my parents’ house because our condo isn’t big enough and my parents have a back yard, etc. for the kids to play. So I took their coffee table out of the living room and put his Thomas the Train table in its place. The kids just played and played with this and I think they could have kept it up, but they weren’t shy about wanting cake, either! 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.. Cake and Juice 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Presents 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free Play, we open the presents and everyone gets to play with the new toys. They love this and my son has never had a problem sharing his brand new stuff, which is nice. 5:00 p.m. Guests Leave (hand out goodie bags) Party Favors: There was a Thomas the Train train whistle, the door hangers, Thomas stickers, etc. Thank You Notes: I always just buy the Thank You notes at the party store to match whatever theme I’m doing. I make sure to write exactly what the child gave and thank them for coming to the party and then I just let him draw on one side of the card. Year 4 Theme: Cars Invitations: Attention Race Fans...announcing the (our last name) Racing Birthday Extravaganza...the (child’s name) 4.0 (or 3.0 or 5.0 however old the kid is)! Race Date: Date of party At The (our last name) Speedway: Address, City, State Zip then instead of RSVP I put: Official Sponsor: Mom and Dad and our phone number Menu: I had my girl make a rectangular cake with black and white checks on the side, the Cars logo on the side. Then on top, she did a figure eight race track with a tunnel and everything, it was really incredible. We put three of the metal Cars characters on the cake. I served the cake and juice. Decorations: A large Lightning McQueen balloon with plain solid balloons to match in one bouquet and then the same thing but with a large Mater balloon. In the past I put the balloon bouquet on the dining room table, but this time I put each bouquet on the table on either side of the couch. I had Cars plates and napkins, red cups and flatware. I hung a couple of those plastic colored triangle flags across the ceiling. Schedule of Events: This is a general schedule, I wasn’t like a military person making people stick to this. I mostly did this to make sure I had planned enough for the kids to do. 3:00 p.m. Guests Arrive 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Coloring Pages. I printed CARS coloring pages from the internet and had a bunch of different characters for each child to choose from. Then I made sure that each kid had enough of their own crayons and stickers to use so that they wouldn’t have to share. Skin Art. I bought some Cars skin art from eBay and my husband put that on the kids when they got tired of coloring. 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Red light, green light. I cut one piece of green paper and red paper into a circle, laminated them, and taped them on to an unsharpened pencil. We played this game outside. First I showed the kids what to do – hold up the “green light” and they all come running, etc. and then each of the kids took turns being “it.” They had a lot of fun and in the end it turned into a chasing game, but that’s okay! 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Obstacle Course. We came back inside for this one. I had two orange cones set up in the living room, this was the starting point. Then I set up a card table and put one more orange cones on the other side. The kids stood behind the double orange cones, went one at a time under the table, around the orange cone, and back under the table. When they “high-five” the next person, that person can go. We did this a bunch of times. 3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Back outside for the Relay Race. I set two orange cones about six feet apart even with each other on one side of the front yard. On the opposite side of the yard I put two more cones up across from the others. The kids stood in teams behind the cones, and then they each had a partner and they had to hold hands while they ran to the other cone and which ever team finished first was the “winner.” We just did this over and over, there wasn’t ever really a winning side or losing side. This all sounds like a lot, but don’t think those parents weren’t calling me the next day thanking me because I wore out there kids really good!!! I got three calls the next day! 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Cake and Juice 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Presents 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free Play, we open the presents and everyone gets to play with the new toys. They love this and my son has never had a problem sharing his brand new stuff, which is nice. 5:00 p.m. Guests Leave (hand out goodie bags) Party Favors: I bought Cars goodie bags at the party store and put Cars stickers, this thing that looks like an oil can but you put it in water and then it squirts out water (great bath toy), leftover Cars skin art, and a Cars fruit snack. Thank You Notes: I always just buy the Thank You notes at the party store to match whatever theme I’m doing. I make sure to write exactly what the child gave and thank them for coming to the party and this year my son wrote his name in the Thank You note, previously I just let him draw on one side of the card. This year, Year 5 (in January 2008), we are going to do a Pokemon Party. I'm making the card look like a Pokeball by taking a 12 x 12 piece of red scrapbook paper and folded it in half, then using my circle cutter I cut out a circle leaving about 1 to 2 inches intact at the top. This created my card (for each 12 x 12 piece of paper I cut out 2 cards). I then used black paper and my personal paper cutter to make a 1 inch wide black line the width of my red Pokeball. Next I made a smaller black circle and an even smaller white circle to place on top. As you opened the invitation, the top circle reads: *Guest's Name" I choose you! Then when you looked down onto the bottom circle it read, "...to come to my 5th Birthday Party! Come with me and train to be a Pokemon Master!" Then I just listed Address, RSVP, etc. Schedule of Events: This is a general schedule, I wasn’t like a military person making people stick to this. I mostly did this to make sure I had planned enough for the kids to do. 3:00 p.m. Guests Arrive Coloring Pages. I will print Pokemon coloring pages from the internet and had a bunch of different characters for each child to choose from. Then I will make sure that each kid had enough of their own crayons and stickers to use so that they don't have to share. Skin Art. I already bought some Pokemon skin art from eBay and my husband will put that on the kids when they got tired of coloring. 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Games. Pokemon Bingo. I will make this game myself. I will use the computer to print out grids with the words BINGO across the top and Pokemon characters in the spaces, free space in the middle. I will probably use pennies for the markers (not recommended for children who put small things in their mouth). Winner receives a pack of Pokemon cards. 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Pikachu Stomp. I will blow up about 60 balloons and hide a small Pokemon toy in one of them. The children pop the balloons and the child who finds the sticker won a prize. Throughout the entire party, I have this game planned. Team Rocket are the bad guys and I'm going to explain to the kids in the beginning that we are responsible for protecting Pikachu from Team Rocket. My son has a Pokeball with a stuffed Pikachu in it and I'm going to set it up on a side table and then when the kids are distracted with the other games, I'll have my dad take it and place it somewhere else in the house. Then in between each game we'll make a big deal about how Team Rocket stole it and we'll look for it and then put it in a "safe" place and then it starts all over again. 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Pikachu Pinata. If I can't find Pikachu or a Pokeball, I'm just going to make a large ball out of paper mache, paint it like a Pokeball and then fill it with candy. 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.. Cake and Juice 4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Presents 4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free Play Hand out Goodie Bags, filled with: Pokemon cards, Pokemon stickers, mini Pokemon puzzle, Pokemon candy, Pokemon bubbles, Pokemon bouncy ball, Pokemon crazy straws. 5:00 p.m. Guests Leave And if you are thinking, Oh she's SO creative, I'm not. I pull ideas from the millions of ideas at www.birthdaypartyideas.com - check it out. I don't use every idea from every party. I pick what I know will work for our family, his age, and also expense and time. I think it's fun. Have a blast!
partysugar partysugar 7 years 1 week
A theme makes hosting and planning the party easier. It ties everything together into one big cohesive and happy party. I think kids enjoy them, I know I was all about the theme party when I was little: rainbow brite, little mermaid, etc. But my mom is a preschool teacher so we always had the BEST kiddie birthday parties. For your son's next one, why not think about doing a detective theme? Kids can make and wear badges and you can create a little mystery to be solved. Keep it simple, it doesnt have to be extravagent, it just has to be fun. Hope that helps!
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 7 years 1 week
I guess I wasn't thinking beyond age 1 when I thought about the theme. I guess kids do get it when they can actually talk and know what is going on - :ROTFL: Love the tea party idea! I might have to do an altered version of that some year!
Melanie1022 Melanie1022 7 years 1 week
My daughter just turned two. For her first birthday, we just did a ONE theme. It wasn't all that exciting. Last month for her 2 year old party we didn't have a theme. There were a couple of Dora decorations here and there and a few "character" things in the kids favor bags but not really a theme. We hired a balloon artist who just flat out didn't show up. At the last minute my husband ran out for one of those inflatable Moonbounce things and the kids had a great time. She was only two so she didn't really know what was going on anyway. Next year I may have to step up my game.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years 1 week
all of my girls party's have had themes. the parents aren't there (that stops at about age 4). we've done "build a bear", movie, disney princess, i can't even remember all of the parties and the themes. what else would you do, cake and pin the tail on the donkey? my middle daughter went to one party that was like that when she was about 4 and her comment was "it was a big play date and it was boring". since kids have so many activities planned these days i think you either do it up for the birthday or just skip it and have cake with the family. seriously, every child i know has more toys and books and everything else than they will ever need by about 4 anyway, so the gifts are really unnecessary and personally i think it's too much. all of our parties are "please no gifts" or "bring a book for the school library". last year we skipped the birthday party thing and went to disneyland. minney mouse and peter pan came to our dinner table and brought gifts and sang; very cool.
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 7 years 1 week
I've done both character and themed. We've done a pink party for a first birthday, a circus (really cute the cake was a caurosel, had a cotton candy maker, showed a taped circus on the tv) and we did the tea party/dress-up thing at a local place. We did go to a HUGE 1st "bug" birthday. That mother really knocked herself out, she had a 3 tiered cake, the bottom was dirt, you could see the worm made out of icing, the middle was grass, and the top was sky. She did bug jars as favors with bubbles, stickers, chocolate bug candy. It was her first child ;-) You get more lienent as you go lol.
suebree96 suebree96 7 years 1 week
I agree as well. It's really for the parents. I have only ever thrown two themed b'day parties. For my oldest son when he turned one, he was all about Snoopy, and this March for my daughter , at a place called At The Clayground. It is a little ceramic shop and I threw her a English Tea Party and they painted teacups and saucers. I thought it was cute. See I have five kids and only one of them is a girl. So I had to go the Tea Party. As I said more for the parents.LOL My daughter turned eleven and she loved it.
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 7 years 1 week
I just did butterflies and Fairies for my Daughter's 1st birthday - but I do see alot of theme parties for kids. I agree that the parents get a bigger kick on how you tie everything together more then the kids. My SIL actualy said to my nephew this year "a theme party or another present?" and he chose the obvious! LOL
hvnly34 hvnly34 7 years 1 week
I always throw themed parties, but they are never character parties. We had a princess tea party, a bug safari, a cowboy party, a space party, etc. All our activities are related to the theme (bug hunt, make tiaras, etc.). We have a good time...the kids do too :)