How do you create an event as exciting and fun as your birthday boy or girl? We’ve got you covered! These kids’ party themes are sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
Do Kids Party Themes Really Matter?
Is it possible to throw a birthday party without an official theme? Of course! But having themes for kids usually makes your life a little bit easier. They can help you simplify your ideas, so you only have a few invitations or decorations to choose from instead of an infinite number.
You might also want to use the theme as a starting point so you can create your own hybrid theme. For example, one year, my son wanted a giraffe and turtle theme– not a general zoo or jungle theme, but just those two animals. And everyone had a great time!
How Do You Choose Kids Party Themes?
If your child’s two or younger, you’re in the clear! These parties tend to be more about the parents than the toddler, so do something you’ll enjoy. Pretty much any idea you have can be a fun idea for them. Just make sure you get cute pictures of the birthday child with their smash cake.
If your kids have strong opinions about their likes and dislikes, start by talking with them. What are they interested in? What does the birthday girl enjoy? What can you realistically do to make your son’s big day extra special?
Make sure you heavily weigh their input when it comes to birthday party ideas, but at the end of the day, you’re the parent and have ultimate veto power. So even though jetting off to a private tropical island with a few friends might sound like an extraordinary party for kids, it’s probably not very realistic for most of us who aren’t a Kardashian. That’s when you can suggest an Island-Themed party at the neighborhood pool instead.
Read on for some of our favorite ideas for kids parties that they’ll remember forever. While this list is filled with plenty of inspiration and ideas, they’re just a starting point so you can have the best party ever!
Simple Kids Party Themes
Less can definitely be more when it comes to kids party themes. Here are a few fun ways to get the party started without a ridiculous amount of effort.
Bubble Party- Is anything more exciting to a young child than bubbles? Not really! For a DIY party, you could get a bubble machine to crank out the bubbles or have small bubble containers as gifts for kids. It’s cost-effective, makes for easy party favors, and everyone’s pretty happy. Word of caution: make sure you have a Plan B if the weather’s not cooperating since bubbles are often better outside. For an extra successful bubble party, book a professional bubble act like the expert photographed above. Do your research, as not all bubble acts are created equally!
Pool Party – Two of my kids have summer birthdays, and I’ve lost count of the number of pool parties we’ve hosted. You don’t have to plan any games if you don’t want to, though we’ve often had a pinata to get people out of the pool before cake and ice cream . Beach balls, pool floats or even diving toys can all make excellent party favors.
Color Party- Most of us have a favorite color, but some of us REALLY have a favorite color that we will embrace forever. If that’s your child, why not have a pink party? Or an orange party? Or even a rainbow party where everyone wears their favorite color ? It simplifies everything, like food and decorations, and creates an aesthetically pleasing environment for all the party-goers.
Dance Party- This theme can actually be pretty broad, as a ballet party at a studio will look pretty different than a “Just Dance” party with a video game. If you’re much braver than I am and have an aspiring rock star, you could add karaoke to the mix. But a fun dance party is a perfect theme on its own.
Art Party- Whether you have preschoolers who are just starting to finger paint or older kids who love to paint their own pottery, this can be another versatile theme. It’s also ideal for smaller parties if you have more complex craft projects in mind.
Sports Party- Get the competitive juices flowing with a sports party! You can either go all-in on your child’s favorite sport, like football, tennis, or soccer or make it a general sports theme for everyone.
Dog Show Pawty- Many of us have four-legged best friends, and if this is the case for your child, bring your dog and his friends to the party, too! Have a simple dog show where all the kids can walk around with their best puppy friends.
(Note: this party theme works better with smaller dogs or dogs with docile personalities. You probably already know whether or not this would be a good idea or would go horribly wrong.)
Literary Kids Party Themes
There are so many fabulous classic children’s books that provide excellent ways to frame your ideas. Here are a few of our favorites
Peter Rabbit Party – A Peter Rabbit or Beatrix Potter-themed tea party is a lovely way to celebrate your birthday!
Madeline Party- Bust out your Eiffel Tower and yellow straw hat.
Magic Treehouse Party- This theme lends itself beautifully to treasure hunts or a scavenger hunt where you search for clues to the mystery.
Harry Potter Party- Dust off your wands and get ready for some magic!
Peanuts Party- You’re a good man, Charlie Brown! And a Peanuts-themed party complete with decorations from the gang can be a fun idea for the young and young at heart.
Curious George – Who doesn’t love a cute little monkey and the man with the yellow hat?
TV/Movie Party Themes
These party theme ideas won’t be the most timeless, but they’re so much fun for the kids! If you’re the parent of a child who loves these shows, you could probably plan this type of festivity quite easily. But here are a few popular ideas to get you started, starting from younger to older.
- Daniel Tiger
- Mickey Mouse
- Mary Poppins
- Paw Patrol
- Bubble Guppies
- Peter Pan
- Harry Potter
- Star Wars
Some of the best toys are timeless and excellent themes for your next big event.
Barbie – Bring on lots of pink! Whether you want to have party-goers bring their favorite Barbies and friends or just set up the iconic Barbie doll box for photo opportunities, this can be a really fun party.
Lego -If you build it, they will come! This can be a really fun party theme for builders of all ages, and you can be sure to send some extra Legos home with guests in their goodie bags.
American Girl – Even if you’re not living near a cafe, you can enjoy a fantastic party with your doll BFF. You could have an American girl hair salon where you do your hair and your doll’s hair or a simple tea party. You could also have a photo booth or video setup where you let the dolls have their own adventures.
Slime Party – I don’t know many parents who love slime, but kids will love creating new forms of slime at your house. They can add extra accessories like charms or glitter to a classic recipe. If you have younger ones, a Play-Doh party is another excellent variation on this theme.
Hot Wheels Party – Start your engines and let your hot wheels fly! Set up Hot Wheels race tracks around the house or even obstacles on your kitchen floor. This party also lends itself to easy party favors, as every guest can take a couple of cars home with them afterward.
Pokemon Party – You could take this theme in many directions, whether just having your child and friends play Pokemon or setting them up with a creative Pokemon GO party idea .
Classic Party Themes
There are some classic party themes that last the test of time. Here are a few classics that were just as fun 40 years ago as they are today.
Circus Party – Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! This is always a fun theme where you can include lots of animals and acrobats. Balloon animals could be a perfect addition to this kids party theme. If the circus isn’t your favorite, you could always split the theme and opt for a Safari Party or Gymnastics Party instead.
Farm Party – Almost every toddler knows what the different farm animals say, “moo, baa, quack, oink.” So why not celebrate the simple pleasures with a farm party? You can either have farm-themed decorations or even bring a petting zoo to your house where you can see the animals in action.
Princess Party – Is there anything more magical than a group of 3-year-old girls running around the house in tiaras, princess costumes, and little slippers? You could also shake things up and have a princess and pirate theme or knight and princess-themed party.
Under the Sea Party – This aquatic theme is always a hit. You can have it at a pool or an aquarium, or just get some blue streamers and transform your house into an underwater wonderland. You could also opt for an ” At the Beach ” or Mermaid Party instead.
Car Party – This classic theme is pretty similar to Hot Wheels but a little broader. Tweak it to suit your child’s interests and make it Monster Trucks, Nascar, or FormulaOne Racing.
Dinosaur Party- Whether you have a budding paleontologist, or just a big fan of Barney, Jurassic Park, or Dinosaur Train, dinosaurs are a great party theme with a pretty wide range of possibilities. You could dig for fossils, sing the “I Love You” song, or get chased by dinos taking over the world.
Pirate Party – Ahoy, mateys! If your kid loves a good treasure hunt, eye patches, and sword fight (with foam swords, of course), this might be the birthday party theme for you!
Construction Party- Put on your hard hats and get ready for a fun party! You can have party guests build structures out of Magna tiles or play with different kid-approved tools.
Venue-Based Party Themes
Many times your location pretty much determines your party theme. In these instances, you can often just show up and let the party take care of itself.
Jump/Trampoline Park- These are ideal parties for letting kids get their energy out! If you have preschoolers, be sure to ask ahead so you’re not there with too many big kids.
Obstacle Course/Adventure Park- Party guests will love running through the trees and sliding down ziplines at this party! Be sure to check ahead if there’s an age or size restriction at your local place and enjoy a day of adventure!
Pool Party (encore)- This party can work any time of year. You could go to a YMCA or Rec Center pool in the winter or an outdoor pool when the weather is nice. Younger kids might need additional supervision for a pool party, but a group of older kids just play on their own. If you’re in a beach community, that’s another fantastic party venue.
Fast Food Party- As a child of the ’80s, some of the very best birthday parties happened at McDonald’s. While they’re not the big events they once were, you can still plan an easy theme party the kids will love at a fast food restaurant like Chick Fil-A . Just be sure to check with the venue first.
Gymnastics Party- Many gyms also provide excellent party packages, so if your child likes to flip and tumble, this can be a really fun party.
Movie Theater- Going to the theater can be a fun birthday party idea for any movie buff. If you want a huge party, you could rent out the theater, invite the whole class, and encourage parents to stay. You could also just get some tickets, popcorn, and candy for a few close friends.
Sporting Event- If your kids love specific sports, this can be an ideal party theme. You don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money, either. High school sporting events are often free or only cost a few dollars to attend. If you have an older cousin or friend on the team, you might even be able to arrange a meet and greet with all the players.
Playground- This is another place where you can have an extremely low-key party your kids will love! Bring some cupcakes, gummy worms, juice boxes, and snacks for easy treats, and just let everybody run around and play.
Salon – You’re never too young to enjoy a little pampering! Treat your daughter and her friends to a manicure or other spa treatment. Some venues even cater specifically to kids.
Ice Skating Rink/ Roller Skating Rink -Put on those skates and glide away! This location isn’t ideal for young kids, but grade school children and older kids will have a fantastic time!
Bowling Alley -Even as an adult, I still enjoy the bumper lanes in a bowling alley! This is another fun party venue that’s weather-proof and enjoyable for kids of all ages and athletic abilities.
Get This Party Started!
There’s not one winning formula when it comes to selecting the best birthday party theme.