Brainstorming New Birthday Party Themes
By Heather Gausline Tate
Sometimes parents spend weeks perusing Pinterest, but often with multiple children and busy schedules, parents will grab whatever matching plates and cups they see at the party store. Selecting a theme does not have to be stressful, especially with these great ideas from local parents who have hosted creative party ideas without the fuss.
Parents need to look at what their child’s favorite activities are, such as basketball, ballet, music or Legos. What is the child’s favorite animal or book? Which book is the parent’s favorite to read with her child? Especially for younger children, book-themed birthday parties are a solid go-to, whether it’s a standby like Dr. Seuss and Winnie-the-Pooh or their current favorite book like The Little Blue Truck, which is the theme Holly Gaytan has chosen for her son’s first birthday party.
Teri Hamilton, mother of three, says that she always lets her children select their own theme based on their interests. Her soon-to-be 11-year-old has chosen a paint party for this year’s theme. It may be tempting for parents to choose the theme themselves, but when the kids get to make this choice, it is more exciting for them.
Sometimes the easiest place to start with a birthday party theme is the place itself. Having a birthday party at the bowling alley, swimming pool, arcade, or skating rink lets the venue become the theme.
Shae Miller says she combines her child’s interests with a place. After her daughter Ellie discovered Scarlet’s Donuts and the Curious George episode “Zeros to Donuts,” Miller decided to combine the two for a party in the park. They ate donuts in the park for breakfast, served with eggs and bacon, milk, juice, coffee, and water. They said the party was a success, and it was not difficult to do.
Camping, beach, under-the-sea, circus and outer space are some suggestions for this type of place-inspired theme. Kids can choose a favorite place they’ve visited or want to visit. London, Paris and New York can all be themes for birthday parties. A sky-scraper or double-decker bus would make for excellent cake options, while party favors can be puzzles of the location.
Along with place, time-inspired parties can be fun. Kids can select a decade like the 50s for a sock-hop birthday party, the 70s for a groovy birthday bash, or a much older era like a medieval party with knights and princesses. Places and time periods are less-commonly used for birthday party themes, but the options are endless.
This is a fun and easy way to pick out a theme, using the closest holiday to the child’s birthday. It doesn’t have to be a major holiday. In fact, minor holidays can be the most fun. Kay McCully says that her youngest daughter was born on February 20, so one year they had a Mardi Gras party with a king cake as her cake, and it was their favorite party yet. If a child has a birthday in late April or early May, a Cinco de Mayo birthday party, complete with a piñata would make a wonderful fiesta!
Have a fall birthday? Halloween is such a great option! Andrea Morgan Pfisterer, originally of Saltillo, says that since her daughter’s birthday is close to Halloween they have often done a costume party. This gives the kids another chance to wear their costumes they already have for that year’s trick-or-treating. Mandy Bowden combines the theme for her kids’ birthday parties with their Halloween costume choices. “Last year was the Wizard of Oz,” she explained. This way parents are able to reuse costumes. Children love dressing up, and costume parties give them a great reason to do that.
Heather Gausline Tate is an English tutor, freelance writer and travel agent. She lives in Guntown with her husband Logan and their two sons London and Christian. This year she is planning their plane-themed and Curious George-themed 6th and 2nd birthday parties.