By Eva Ingvarson - Editor, Evite.com
Here are three ways to transform your party into a magical place your guests are sure to remember and the birthday person is guaranteed to love:
Put blue light bulbs in your lamps and hang plastic sea creatures from your ceiling. Tan sheets on the floor take the place of sand, and a few potted plants act as aquarium plants. Pre-cut fish, starfish and octopus shapes out of construction paper, and at the party let kids color their own underwater creatures to put on the walls.
A net hanging from the ceiling, a black flag, toy parrots and treasure boxes of beads, coins and gaudy costume jewelry help turn your home into a raucous pirate ship. Hide (in plain view) treasure maps with clearly marked “X”s so guests can find treats you’ve hidden around your home.
Transform a backyard into a candy-filled fantasy realm by hanging wrapped candies from trees and bushes and creating a flower patch using colorful oversize lollipops. Vibrant streamers and helium balloons help give your backyard a whimsical look.
Encourage kids to get creative with these ideas for party games and activities:
Kids love to dress up. Encourage their make-believe games by providing them with lots of inspiration: crazy wigs, hats, clown noses, thick glasses, crowns and tiaras, animal ears, alien antennae, moustaches and more. If the kids need some costume guidance, suggest that they create their own superhero by putting together a costume and giving themselves a unique superpower.
For a small group, choose one craft for everybody to learn how to make all together. For a larger party, split kids into smaller groups and let them take turns making origami, paper airplanes, bead necklaces or key chains. After a set amount of time, or when kids start getting restless, rotate each group so everybody gets to try their hand at each craft.
If you’re hosting a large group of young kids with different interests, let them find their own fun instead of trying to choose one activity to entertain them all. A reading area with comfortable pillows becomes a quiet spot for bookworms; age-appropriate board games entertain small groups; an active zone with balls and jump ropes lets kids get rowdy; and a craft station with crayons, markers, paper, glitter, stickers and clay is perfect for budding artists.
Food and Favors
Make the food part of the fun by serving dishes with some assembly required. Pre-cut and cook ingredients and place them in bowls on low tables so kids can top their own pizza or tacos, frost and decorate cupcakes or make their ultimate ice cream sundae. For a more healthful dessert that is no less colorful or delicious, replace the ice cream bar ingredients with yogurt, granola and fruit pieces.
When it comes to the goodie bag, think mini for maximum enjoyment: Mini flashlights, glow-in-the-dark rubber balls and rubber stamps all make great gender-neutral party favors. Wrap party favors in brightly colored paper and ribbon to make the gifts seem more special and to prevent anyone from getting jealous of the birthday person’s presents.