Birthdays are an important milestone for any child. Finding the right theme is just one piece of the puzzle. You also have to organise decorations, invite friends and family, purchase gifts and sort out a venue. And let’s not forget about the pièce de résistance: the cake.
If you’re struggling to settle on a kid’s birthday party theme, explore the 12 ideas below. A little bit of planning is all it takes to create the most memorable birthday for your child.
1. Outer Space
Turn your child’s birthday party into the final frontier with space-themed decorations. Cover the windows in black paper or sheets to create the dark, limitless atmosphere, then string fairy lights across the ceiling and walls to bring out the stars. Little space explorers can come dressed in their space suits or even as extra-terrestrials.
You can find recipes for various space-themed snacks online, including everything from asteroids made with marshmallows and cereal to healthy moon cakes made with peanut butter, rice cakes and bananas. Don’t forget about the Zooper Dooper ice blocks if you’re celebrating during summer.
2. Arts & Crafts
Does your kid love to create? Foster their creative side with an arts and crafts birthday party featuring painting, decoupage, scrapbooking, origami and stencils. It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained throughout the day and they’ll even have various creations to take home and show to their parents.
There are so many ways to expand on this birthday party theme, including getting crafty in the kitchen by creating sweet treats and having guests create presents for the birthday boy or girl. These can range from bird houses and masks to party crowns and painted hats.
3. Disney Princes & Princesses
A timeless birthday party theme, Disney princes and princesses have been attending kids’ birthday parties for decades. Disney’s new blockbusters have given us even more character ideas for this theme, including Kristoff, Moana, Merida and Elsa. Disney costumes are not only easy to find in shops, but can also be created quite easily and cheaply depending on the character.
Decorations are also easy to come by, from plastic table covers (no worries about those inevitable spills) to paper cups and plates. For snacks, you can create oyster cookies for Ariel, poison apple cupcakes for Snow White and marshmallow wands for Cinderella.
With the popularity of the Marvel and DC superhero universes continuing to grow, there are even more kids calling for superhero-themed birthday parties. These costumes are a dime a dozen, so it takes no time at all turning your kid into Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man or Thor.
You can purchase a range of masks and decorations for practically nothing off Amazon and any cake shop worth its icing should be able to whip up a cake featuring your child’s favourite superheroes. If you’re hosting the party in the backyard, why not set up a little superhero obstacle course with hula hoops, water pistols, tunnels and popping balloons.
Kids grow up so quickly. One day they’re happy running around in their underwear, the next they only want to don the latest fashion. Embrace this inevitable change with a themed party celebrating your child’s new-found style. A fashionista party theme can even include a runway event where all the guests (adults included) get to strut their stuff.
This theme can also work for younger children. Simply purchase a range of plastic jewellery and second-hand clothes and shoes and you’ve got yourself a backstage area filled with outfits for the little models.
6. Glow in the Dark
Perfect for night parties, the glow-in-the-dark birthday theme conjures images of glow sticks, neon decorations and ceilings littered with glowing star stickers. You can spell out the birthday boy or girl’s name in glowing letters and even supply glow-in-the-dark hats, glasses and wristbands to your guests.
These days you can also purchase cakes with glow-in-the-dark icing and candles. Need inspiration for some party games? Fill some plastic water bottles with glow sticks and play ring toss or get everyone involved in a fun game of glow-in-the-dark twister.
7. Tea Party
For something more relaxed, what about organising a tea party for your kid’s birthday? They can invite their closest friends around for a fun afternoon spent sipping tea and sweet drinks and nibbling fresh pastries, finger sandwiches and biscuits.
The tea party birthday theme can be as simple as serving small platters with some drinks or as elaborate as recreating the Mad Hatter tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland. We’re talking crazy costumes, colourful decorations, the Cheshire Cat and plenty of quirky treats to go around. Candy worm cupcakes anyone?
8. Willy Wonka
It’s nigh impossible to find a kid who doesn’t love chocolate. In the land of Willy Wonka, chocolate is joy and love and fun. For your child’s next birthday, bring the magic of Willy Wonka to their special day with delicious chocolate treats.
This can be as simple as serving assorted chocolates or as big as setting up a sundae bar, getting Dad or Mum to dress up as Willy Wonka and sending out “golden ticket” invitations to all the guests. You can even create songs to sing throughout the day about the birthday boy or girl or the games being played, such as chocolate scavenger hunts.
Disco might have died in 1979, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be resurrected even for just one night. If your child loves to boogie, bring disco roaring back with a mirrored disco ball, stretchy spandex pants, open-necked shiny shirts and flares.
Get the party started with tunes by Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Sister Sledge and the Village People. You can fill your entire house with the sounds of synthesisers, syncopated basslines and electric pianos. When the kids get tired from all their dancing, they can refuel with party snacks and drinks, including little plastic cups filled with colourful jellies and sprinkled doughnuts.
10. Pancakes & Pyjama Party
Few kid’s birthday party ideas sound cosier than pancakes and pyjamas. I think all of us kind of like the idea of slipping into our PJs, getting comfortable under a blanket with all our friends and indulging in a range of sweet and savoury pancake creations.
Can you image? Chocolate chip pancakes with ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream served alongside pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. Our taste buds are going crazy just thinking about it. Throw on some movies or music in the background and you’ve set up the perfect indulgent night in for your child and their friends.
11. Witches & Wizards
When you think of a witches and wizards-themed birthday party, Harry Potter immediately comes to mind. However, you might be surprised by the range of costume options, from Sabrina Spellman and Merlin to Melisandre from Game of Thrones and Gandalf.
Witchcraft and wizardry can also lend your kid’s birthday party a sense of mysticism and magic. Decorate the rooms with figures from fables and legends, create bubbling bowls of strange and delicious concoctions and invite guests to brave secret themed rooms containing mysterious figures and noises. There are plenty of party games to choose from as well, including broomstick races, poison apple bobbing and potion making.
12. Sporting Heroes
Athletes and sport stars play a significant role in our kids’ lives. Who didn’t idolise an athlete when they were growing up? Let your kid walk in the shoes of his or her favourite sporting hero this birthday by throwing a sport-themed party. Your guests can come dressed as their favourite athletes and play sport-themed games.
These could range from Score the Goal (a variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey) to tunnel ball relays and sports trivia. There’s also a myriad of recipes online for creating the perfect sport-themed snacks, including jalapeno popper football cheese balls and mini basketball player cookies.