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How to Choose the Perfect Party Theme for Your Child’s Birthday

Birthday Party Theme

The Perfect Party Theme

Themes can be helpful for directing the party planning process. Read on for how to help your child select a fun, age-appropriate theme for their birthday gathering. 

First things first: We’re not telling you that you have to have a party theme. If you just want to have a big playdate at a park and let the kids run wild, awesome. If the birthday child just wants to have friends over to watch a movie and eat pizza, no need to throw a theme on top of that. But if you want to up the ante a little bit, a theme is a great way to give yourself a framework for the event. It helps you to decide on decorations, activities, food, etc. If your child picks a popular theme, you may even luck out and be able to purchase a package of ready-made assets for the soiree.

So how do you choose a party theme? Or, perhaps the better question is, how do you coach your child to choose a theme that’s actually doable? (We love their imaginations, of course, but it’s a bit of a challenge to create a party around Marvel-Paw Patrol-chocolate-emoji-Princess as the theme.) Read on for some tips from the parenting trenches.

Let your child be involved, but set a cut-off date for the decision.

An excited kid will probably change their mind on the party theme 57 times before the day of the party. But you’ll have to start preparing at some point, so they’re eventually going to need to land on something and stick with it. Your invitations should go out a few weeks before the date of the party, so communicate to your child the deadline for making a theme decision.

Think about the age range of the guest list.

If there’s a big gap between the oldest and youngest guests at the party, think about a theme that can be aged up or aged down. A less specific theme helps on this front. For example, a rainbow theme can include face-painting and bubbles for little ones and friendship bracelets and hair chalk for older attendees.

Let the location be your inspiration.

You can cut down on decorations if you work with the location for the party. Party on the beach? Surf’s up, dude! Bowling alley gathering? Go neon or ‘80s! A blank canvas (your home, a party room) is a little harder to work with, but our favourite tip is to cover a wall with mural paper, write the theme in big bubble letters and let the kids go to town doing the decorating for you.

Be mindful of your budget.

Themes can be executed in varying degrees of elaborateness. If you want the most bang for your buck, go with items that take up lots of space—balloons and banners can go a long way. Add some themed or matching napkins and cups and call it a day. If you really want to go all out, you can add balloon arches, a pinata, a cake topper, specialized favours and more. Pinterest will have all kinds of ideas for you, but word to the wise—if you don’t have the time, inclination or budget to get crafty or hire help, just go with what feels comfortable. Your kid’s going to have a great time no matter what!

Remember to be inclusive.

Be sure to select a party theme that works for all of the kids who come to the party. Avoid themes that could alienate or make other children feel uncomfortable. Be sure to select activities that everyone can do so every guest has a great time.

a man carrying two children

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