Scrap the Invite Cards
Skip the disposable invitation cards, opting for Evites or other digital invitations. Evites will go right to the parents’ inboxes and there is a huge selection of cards that will adorably fit your theme.
Loot bags are so been there, done that! Plus those cheap toys (and their packaging) go right into a landfill. If you are giving away party favours, make it something your guests can make themselves! You could try tie-dye shirts or pottery art, better yet, why not opt for something consumable? Your guests will have fun making these favours and these gifts won’t end up at the bottom of some toy box.
Giving to Charity instead of Gifts
Ask your guests to donate to charity in lieu of giving you a gift. Making it easy on your partygoers while supporting a wonderful cause. Choosing a cause with your child also teaches them giving back and caring. Here’s a great site to check out for more information.
Food and How to Serve It
Avoid using single-use utensils and flatware! Instead, use your own cutlery and opt for food that doesn’t need plates, like pizza, and homemade cupcakes make for a nice plateless cake substitute. Also, avoid providing your guests with juice boxes and plastic water-bottles.
Entertainment and Activities
Face painting is a great activity for guests and does not produce any waste! It’s environmentally friendly and your guests will love it! Eco Glitter is also totally biodegradable and will not end up sitting at the bottom of the ocean as regular glitters do.
Be creative and create an eco activity, such as crafts that are from recyclable items or can be recycled, or baking, kids LOVE baking. Play good old fashioned games like Freeze Dance, Simon Says, and Limbo – you’d be surprised how much FUN these simple, silly games will keep kids happy. Don’t overthink it! All of these tips will help in throwing an environmentally friendly party, but being cautious and doing your best is a step in the right direction.
Summer is around the corner and so are summer parties! Host an outdoor party this summer that your guests (and their parents) will remember for years to come!
Pool Party:Pool parties are classic and great for kids eight and up. It will keep your guests occupied the whole day long. If you don’t have your own pool, many community centres accept bookings for birthday parties. If you are hosting in your own pool, be sure to have an adult supervisor at all times!
Hawaiian Luau:Decorate the backyard with tikis and tropical flowers! Hire someone to teach your guests how to hula or play music from Moana and play freeze dance. Hand out leis and have your cake match the theme!
Beach Party:Whether you invite your guests to the actual beach or host it in your backyard, this theme is sure to be a hit! Blow up some beach balls and play volleyball. If you’re baking a cake yourself, blue icing and graham cracker crumbs make for perfect water and sand. Let the kids decorate their own flip flops by purchasing fabric markers and white flip flops.
Summer Olympics:Bet you haven’t seen one of these yet! Invite your guests to come wearing the colours or jersey of their chosen country, and set up some obstacle courses in the backyard or in a nearby park! Let the kids compete and award everyone with cupcakes decorated like gold medals!
Wilderness Explorers:What’s more fun than a scavenger hunt? Let the kids scour the backyard by setting up a puzzle that involves teamwork and problem-solving. Your questions can even challenge your guest’s knowledge of the great outdoors. A jungle-themed cake is a great addition to this type of summer party!
Garden Fairies:Invite your guests to come dressed as garden fairies! Let them play pretend in the backyard. Play freeze dance and let them decorate their own fairy wings with glitter. You can even have a fairy themed cake!
A Bug’s Life:Hand out magnifying glasses for the kids to go on a scavenger hunt with questions about bugs! Or set up bug-themed crafts. For the cake, use Oreo crumbs for the dirt, chocolate pudding for the filling, and gummy worms to decorate.
Fossil Finders:In your own sandbox or at a local park, burry fake bones and other treasure. Have the kids collect the “bones” they found to build a dinosaur. White fondant for bones and graham cracker crumbs for sand make for a perfect cake.
Movie Under the Stars:This party works best if you own a projector! Set up your projector in the backyard and a big white sheet as the screen. Pop some popcorn, put out some blankets/chairs, and put on a kid-friendly movie!
Road Hockey Party:Set up some nets on your driveway, a ball, and pick up some cheap sticks from the dollar store. You can decorate the cake to look like a real ice-rink. (This theme can also be substituted for a basketball theme, with basketball nets, and a cake decorated like a quart.)
Kids love loot bags! You know, those little bags filled with toys and treats that they receive at the end of the party. Only trouble is, many of the keepsakes are dollar store items that just end up in the garbage. Loot bags can also be expensive and stressful for parents when planning a birthday celebration. Here are some loot bag alternatives that will keep costs down but still create a memorable experience for the kids.
- Hire an entertainer
Balloonists, face painters, or nail artists are all great options. This form of entertainment is fun or kids of all ages. Not only will your guests experience a one-of-a-kind experience, they’ll have a short-term souvenir from the party which can be captured long-term in pictures.
- Offer a T-shirt
Offering t-shirts that are themed or colour printed with the birthday child’s name is a great reusable alternative to loot bags. Not only can they wear the item at the party, but they’ll be able to wear it again and again. Check out these customised t-shirt options here.
- Make a keepsake craft
Work your craft around a theme
These adorable popsicle stick Minion or monster crafts,
superhero popsicle heroes or these paper bag monsters puppets. In a fun craft for preschoolers, use fruit loop cereal to craft a necklace or rainbow, or create a great eco-craft like these two versions of bird seed ornaments using cookie cutters or oranges. Or get messy with one of these paintable options: woodland birdhouse craft or monogram letter art.
- Rent something cool
Renting from a party rental supplier, like a bouncy castle for younger kids, an arcade game or pinball machine, or photo booth for older kids, or a popcorn machine or cotton candy maker for an outdoor event or carnival themed party. Local companies offer delivery and set up too!
- Host a treasure or scavenger hunt
Set up a fun activity with an ultimate prize. Not only is searching for the treasure through a series of clues a fun-filled activity, but the prize can include edible items like wrapped candies, chocolate coins (doubloons!) and small packages of chips or cookies. Depending on the age you can also offer keepsake items like colouring books and crayons, Play-doh (for the younger set), baseball, Star Wars or Pokeman cards, dollar store gift certificates, and drugstore products like lip gloss and nail polish (for tweens and teens).
- Donate to a charity
Donate to a charity on behalf of the birthday child and give each guest a thank you note telling them a little about the charity and what difference their donation made. Check this site out for free party invitations and ideas.
Need some help coming up with ideas for your child’s next birthday party? Happy Faces Party has curated our top 20 kids’ birthday party themes to get you started. You don’t have to break the budget; you’ll find many do-it-yourself theme ideas on Pinterest for décor, food, party games and more or check out the party section of your local dollar store.
- Disney Princesses
Have all of your guests dress as their favourite Disney princess. Offer up tiaras to your little guests (or make it a craft!), play their favourite Disney theme songs (like Frozen or Beauty and the Beast) and have a face painting station complete with glitter and gems or Sparkle tattoos.
- Pirate/Jake the Pirate
Include a treasure hunt into your theme party using a pirate map that includes a “buried” treasure. Keep them going with loot bags filled with pirate patches and telescope and have a balloon twister on hand to make swords.
- Super Heroes
With Marvel being more popular than ever, Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Captain America are always a hit with the kids. Face painting works in great with this theme.
- Star Wars / space
There’s no shortage of Star Wars party theme ideas. Complement your party with lightsaber balloons.
- Ninjas / Mutant Ninja Turtles
Decorate with the room with colourful patio lanterns and balloons (or use a red/black Ninja colour theme), serve snacks like candy “Sushi” and fortune cookies in Chinese take-out containers with chop-sticks, and offer Ninja bandanas, toy nunchucks and ninja daggers in their loot bags.
- Summer Fun
Why not turn your backyard into an ultimate fun zone. Include an inflatable like a bouncy castle and a water feature like an outdoor sprinkler or slip and slide. Pack loot bags with sidewalk chalk, skipping rope and bubbles for the ultimate in outdoor fun.
As your guests arrive, offer each a backpack full of useful items and a map of a planned adventure. Complete the theme with a volcano birthday cake.
- Disney’s Airplane/Cars
Complete theme with easy to find décor items and loot bags.
- Thomas the Tank Engine/Trains
Calling all engineers. Decorate your little one’s party with easy to find décor: plates and cups, banners and balloons. Offer each child an engineer hat, red bandana and train whistle and have an adult dress up like Mr. Conductor. All aboard!
- Dinosaur/Jurassic Park
Using a sand table (or sandbox if outdoors), have a dinosaur dig with plastic shovels and tools, coloured play sand and assorted plastic dinosaurs and bones.
- Yo Gabba Gabba
Have the kids dress as their favourite character. In the theme, have a dance party with a DJ, play statues and offer up prizes.
- Spongebob Squarepants
Decorate the party like Bikini Bottom with a Tiki theme decor. Serve crabby patties and drinks in plastic coconut glasses with paper umbrellas along with Patrick and Spongebob cupcakes.
- Video game theme
(Super Mario Bros/Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong) – Rent and arcade game or host your party at a kid-friendly arcade. Create food and décor around the theme: Pac Man Birthday cake, game console ice cream sandwiches or cookies and Creeper fruit punch.
- Scavenger Hunt/Easter egg Hunt
All kids love a hunt inside or out! Make clues to keep the game challenging and offer up an ultimate “prize” that everyone can share.
There are so many options for décor including party hats, banners, plates and cups and table cloths (or create your own!). Offer a balloon twister to create fun, keepsake animals or hire a professional face painter to paint lively monkeys, tigers or giraffes.
Offer your junior guests a spa feel by including sparkle tattoos and a “Mani/Pedi” nail painting station.
there are tons of NHL ideas (or other sports leagues for that matter) that can inspire your theme party: from hockey pennants and Stanley Cup centre-piece decor to hockey puck cupcakes or hockey jersey cookies, or an ice rink theme cake, you’re sure to create a memorable party for your little league player.
For the biggest impact and for a memorable party for kids and adults alike, set up a “big top” tent, rent a real popcorn or cotton candy machine, and serve hotdog or corn dogs and corn on the cob. Have a balloon twister on hand for added entertainment.
Create a detective mystery and have all of the kids involved in solving the clues. Offer the kids walkie-talkies and other spy gadgets to play with.
Have your little guests come dressed as fairies or have on hand fairy wings, tutus, and sparkly wands for quick dress-up. Set a delightful table for a fairy tea party with little sandwiches, cupcakes and, pink punch. Decorate the table with flowers, butterflies and fairy dust, for a magical meal.
Here are some helpful suggestions of birthday party themes:
With so many birthday party themes to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed. Keep an eye on the shows your child watches or the games they play to pick a theme that best fits them.