I need some ideas for my soon to be 6 year old's birthday party. I was just going to have a family get together, but he wants a birthday party. We are new to this area (1.5 months) so I am not that familiar with the kids in his class and the ones I have met are "rowdy". I am unsure what to do.
It is usually snowing here so outdoors is out of the question. I have a small house so that is out too. I can get a large birthday room for free "yay" so that is not a problem. What kind of theme should I use? What games and how many should I plan for? How many children should I invite? Should it be a boys only or the whole class?
A friend suggested a sleepover, but I feel he is too young for that. We live in a rural area too, so if a little one got upset, it takes a while to travel here. He loves the outdoors (deer, ATV's, etc.) and he loves Army men, go figure! I am alone on this project as I have no friends here to help me out. The last party was a disaster, the parents did not watch their children and I was all alone trying to wrangle 15 little ones, ages 3-4. Not fun, I couldn't enjoy my son.
Any ideas, suggestions, comments would be helpful. His birthday is Jan. 27th!
Thanks so much.
My son just turned 7, so I am just barely ahead of you. We just moved to our area nine months ago. You could try to find camouflage decorations or just go with dark green and light green. For the cake I would just ice a cake with chocolate icing and use green sprinkles and put army men on it. If you can find the chocolate rocks you can make a big 6 on the cake. Kids that are that age still love basic games like pin the tail on the donkey. You could pin the helmet on the soldier, hot potato (pass a GI Joe action figure), or find the hand grenade. Have balloons all over the floor and put a note inside one that says "BOOM". The one who steps on it wins. You should be able to find army men packs at the dollar store. They would make good goody-bags. If you have access to a large room, I would invite the whole class. That age has easily hurt feelings. Good luck! (01/04/2005)
A good rule of thumb is to only invite as many children as the age of your child: 6 years of age equals 6 children invited. Or just invite family, if possible, when he's still that young. Does he have any favorite cartoon/TV characters (maybe GI Joe or action heroes)? I always planned my son's parties around these. That makes it easy to find plates, napkins, tablecloth, etc. You could make a cake yourself or have the local bakery at the grocery store do it for you. They have lots of ideas/examples to choose from with your special theme in mind. Add lots of balloons and drape twisted crepe paper streamers from the ceiling to make it look festive. Perhaps your son could even come up with some suggestions for games that he'd like to play. Good luck and have fun! (01/04/2005)
I am the queen of parties! I love parties! You can get lots of cool ideas from http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com. If you really want to enjoy your son's party along with him you may want to consider inviting no more than 6 friends. I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb is one guest for each year of your child's age. Six kids is manageable without their parents. If you are going to invite the whole class maybe you could suggest that the parents stay also. It would be twice the cake for half the headaches.
By Dawn from MA
I recently taught my 4, 5, and 6 year old grandchildren to play some kids' card games and they loved it. They now play with each other, and want to play in the evening before bed (instead of watching television, yeah!). How about inviting parents to stay and having a "card" party, with an adult at each playing area, playing too? Kids seem to love having the attention of an adult.
You could play kids card games, "Slap Jack", Crazy Eights, or any child's card game, then give each of the kids their own card game to take home with them. They're very inexpensive and might even be found at the Dollar Store near you.
You could have them play as a tournament, 6 year old boys are quite competitive, to see who gets to be "King of the (SlapJack) Hill."
I adhere to the one child per age rule for birthdays (my kids are April and Sept.) and then we have an invite everyone party outdoors in the park in nicer weather. If you go with the army man theme, try doing a boot camp modified for your living room (or garage if possible). String ropes across the room 12" off the floor for a "mud crawl" on their bellies, walls/boxes to climb over. Have a magnetic dart firing range (you could use cookie sheets with sticker targets and kitchen magnets if you don't have a dart set) or a bean bag toss made with holes in a box (painted with camouflage of course - good prep job for your son to do) and old socks filled with rice. Stomp the balloons (or bubble wrap sheets) with stickers inside each balloon, but no grabbing stickers until all balloons are popped and "clean up" reveals them on the floor. Decorate a helmet made from empty ice cream cartons (not just round but rectangular too), follow the leader marching exercises (while singing marching jodies you could make up ahead of time "Your right, your right, your right, left, right" type of thing. Who said kids shouldn't learn at a party!). Also try a treasure hunt with packing peanuts in an old wading pool or cardboard box with goodies scattered under the peanuts (plastic soldiers, stickers, pencils, cards, etc.).
Ask soldiers what they did at boot camp and scale it down to something manageable. Most of these ideas can be adapted to any theme by decorations used. Remember, boys like to move and/or get messy and/or loud (preferably all 3) so give them safe ways to do it. (01/11/2005)
My son will be 6 on March 3rd, so we're having an indoor ice skating party at a local rink. It's going to be so much fun! (03/01/2005)
I have 3 boys, and they love parties! At the age of 6, it seems as though the girls don't really "bug" them, but they tend to have a lot more fun without the girls. I've done everything imaginable at my house, turned it into every boys theme you can think of, but the one I find to be the easiest in a small space or a birthday party room, is (jungle theme) which may fit nicely into the Army ideas.
It is very easy to find jungle/animal games and prizes. 6 year olds love prizes no matter what they are, and you can generally find great things at the $1 store that are big and exciting for them.
I like the indoor fishing pond, with a small blow up swimming pool and a fishing pole, each child gets something, dancing to music with balloons, keeping them off the ground, and clothes pin in a bottle.
I think cupcakes work best for birthday parties, especially if you're going to a party room. They are already cut and in individual packaging! I also buy the individual ice cream cups and Capri sun juices! No cutting, no scooping, and no pouring! My kids have all loved it! We save the big cake, for the family! Good luck! My youngest will be 6 this year as well. (12/30/2005)
By Kimberly W
My son turns 6 in December and he too wants a sleepover so I have decided he should invite only 2 of his closest friends. I rented a tent, bought them flashlights and am making small army/campout birthday bags for the boys. We are going to make our own pizzas with Thomas' English muffins, make our sundaes with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream, syrup, the works. There will also be some munchie foods, sweet and salty of course and also some veggies in case they like them also. I am renting 2 videos for them to watch and told their parents if they felt uncomfortable with their sons sleeping over alone they could also stay. We have a pullout couch bed so I am going to put the tent on top of it and let their imaginations run wild, they are boys of course who like the camping, pirate theme. Plus it's low cost you can get all of the stuff at a dollar store or thrift shop. If it helps you can also get a lot of information from parentcenter.com. (11/09/2006)
We had an Army themed party for my son last year and it was great. I decorated with camouflaged material, each child was given a set of "homemade" dog tags with their name on it, each child was encouraged to wear camouflage as written on the invitation. The party was only 2 hours long and we did have around 12 children. We played games such as an obstacle course made with objects found around the house, etc. It was a huge success. (11/25/2006)
I came to this site to get some ideas for my son's birthday party, which I did, but I did not see the one I am doing mentioned, so here goes another idea! I also thought 6 was a little young for sleepovers, so we decided to have a "pretend" sleepover. The boys will come dressed in their p.j.s and we are going to play games like slipper toss in which the kids can go one by one or be split into teams and they have to toss a slipper (or both) into a bucket from whatever distance away you choose; freeze dance; face painting by his older sister; and maybe a magic show by the neighbor's 11 yr. old boy. When my daughter had a sleepover party we decorated pillowcases with glow-in-the-dark paints and the kids loved them! You can also buy all the G-I-D items for them to take home. Also, you can buy popcorn bags to use as the kids goody bags or just fill them with popcorn!
Good luck and have fun! (01/02/2007)
My son turns 6 May 3 he is a big Scooby Doo and Hot Wheels fan so we are having a mixed theme for the party. When the guest arrive they will have a designated place to put the gifts. After everyone arrives they will have a small craft time (which will be decorating the paper gift bags I purchased for goody bags each child gets one with markers crayons and stickers). While they decorate the bags I hide the gifts. When the kids go to watch the birthday boy open their gifts, they will only find a clue where the gifts are. The clue leads to another clue and at each clue there will be a game to play such as pinata (which is a huge blue Hot Wheels car), musical chairs, pin the sandwich on Shaggy or Scooby Doo Where are you? etc. The last clue will lead to the hidden gifts. Good luck to all. (04/26/2007)
Have a remote control racing contest with the boys, they'll love it! (04/26/2007)
I find all the traditional games work like: pass the parcel, musical statues, musical bumps, pass the balloon, Simon Says also works well. These are the sort of parties that we had when we were young and sometimes the old ideas are the best, pin the tail and squeak piggy squeak are also good. The old fashioned jelly and ice cream goes down a treat. Good luck. (04/30/2007)
GAMES: Go on the web and search for some games or just play hide and seek, mummy wrap, treasure hunts, or "What time is it Mr. wolf?". Boys usually like to run around and have fun; so plan some relay races, or let them play volley ball or just toss a ball, play soccer, kids tennis, some board games, or maybe hire a magician to come and do some magic tricks for them. I did that once it was so cool!
FOOD: Just order some pizza or have a bbq hot dogs, salad, anything!
GUESTS: I think you should let your son decide who he wants to invite. Show him a picture of his class and let him point to who he wants to invite. Since he is a boy there are probably going to be more boys than girls. And make sure you are comfortable with who he invites too!
THEME: Go to the store and let your son decide what theme he wants (Batman, Spiderman, Superman, etc.)
Oh yeah and one more thing, have fun!
You can have a "Mad Science" party (madscience.org). They come in for about an hour to do experiments and things. In this area it starts at $200 and then add ons are additional. (cotton candy, potions). You can hire a magician to come in; kids love that. How about a puppet show, nothing too babyish or if he likes a character you can get someone to come in dressed up. Other than that pinatas are fun, you can play music and do freeze dance, musical chairs, and limbo. Or you could do "make your own" ice cream sundaes or decorating cookies or some other craft thing, sand art for instance. Good luck! (10/12/2007)
I have a son that will be 6 in early December and a son that will be 2 in early November I am having trouble coming up with ideas for both. Something I thought about that might help you, would be a bonfire party. They could have hot dogs and make s'mores. You would probably need the parents to stay or have helpers to watch the kids with the fire so they wouldn't get hurt. We thought about making sugar cookies and decorating them since his birthday is 20 days from Christmas, we might have a ornament decorating contest, things like that. Hope it helps! (10/16/2007)
Play musical chairs with them and passing the parcel. Board games are also fun and scavenger hunts. Rent a movie and order pizza. Costume parties are fun, too. (01/22/2008)
I had a Wig and Mustache party for my 6 year old son, it was such a hit! The girls wore wigs and the boys wore mustaches or wigs, it was the cutest thing you ever saw! I bought a Polaroid camera and took pictures of my son with his friends and family, then wrote thanks for coming to my party with a Sharpie on the white strip of the picture. I added the picture to the gift bags, which were just filled with candy. We played musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey. Everyone had a blast! (09/27/2008)
We have a large family and lots of birthday parties! I have noticed that some of the following has gone unsaid on this nice list and hope all readers will consider these thoughts:
Third party locations are always the best because there cannot be hard feelings over spilled foods/damage/mess, etc. in your home. Standards for children's behavior differ greatly from family to family! You also need worry less about "rowdy" kids and there is less overall clean up. And when the party is over; it's over.
The more the merrier. Consider how you would like to handle siblings of primary invitees and make your policy clear to RSVP'ers. If your child will be inviting kids from group settings like the classroom, ball team, scout group, etc., please consider inviting all the kids. Avoid the great deal of hurt feelings on the part of both parents and kids, and it goes from the very young all through early teens! Many people will not be able to come due to their own family commitments. It is highly unlikely that they will all come, but the inclusive invitation will make a positive statement about you and your child.
Also please consider food allergies and ask RSVP'ers if they have food allergies. It may seem inconvenient to you, but a child in allergy shock will put a damper on your party (not to mention the sad child!). Again the thoughtfulness will go a long way with the other parents!
Finally the ever expensive "goody bag". Consider giving an age appropriate fun book to each child with a note inside the cover saying "Thank you for coming to share my fun.", or some such. Books for children can be purchased inexpensively if you make some phone calls and browse the internet. Wrap each and let the children "grab bag" them on the way out of the party. The parents won't have to throw it away and will appreciate the lack of candy/disposable junk and your thoughtfulness!
Also if you want parents to stay and supervise their own children please make that clear on the invitation and then again with RSVP'ers. There are nice ways of saying this too. Consider wording like "Come enjoy the party with your child please."
Have a great party and keep your camera handy!
Best Wishes to all! (11/11/2008)
One of our friends had a tour of a fire station and the kids all loved it. (11/17/2008)
By Brent W
Just one more idea. I like to make my own cakes to save money. Since I'm not good at all as a decorator, I pick out an appropriate small toy to put on the top. He still has something after the cake is gone that way. This week my son was 10 and I bought a Lego set that had a police car, speed car, and helicopter. He put them together. We're making (today) a half-choc half-white cake, decorating with white icing, sprinkling with blue decorator sugar, and writing with white icing. The Lego creations go on top and I'm done! Hope your party goes well. I got a lot of ideas for games by searching for indoor party games for boys (because of snowy 0 degree weather outside that limits the sledding and the basketball area.) Here's the web address for where I had the most help with game ideas: http://www.kids-birthday-party-guide.com/child-party-games.html
My daugther turns 6 in January, and we live in New England, so we are having a sledding party. The kids bring their own sleds and we will sled down the hill across the street, then come back to my house for cake and hot cocoa. It will be fun! (01/16/2009)
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