My youngest two children, a girl and a boy, have birthdays that are three weeks apart. For their early years, when parties included primarily neighborhood friends, I combined their parties. I knew I had to come up with a theme that satisfied both genders in a range of ages. Here are a few party themes that work well for boys or girls.
Princess and Knights
Every little girl wants a princess party and every little boy needs to release some energy. Encourage your guests to dress up or provide costumes to wear when they arrive.
- Cross the Moat – Start with a large board or a few 2 x 4’s and keep getting smaller as the game goes on. You can have your moat over a small swimming pool or simply sitting on the ground.
- Cup Stacking Castle – Work as a team or as individuals to make the tallest and sturdiest castle. You can limit the amount of cups each team gets or set up guidelines like it must have 5 cups on the base.
- Find Cinderella’s Shoe – Ask all the girls to take off their shoes and drop one in a bin. The girls will sit on chairs and the boys will have to grab one shoe and see who it belongs to. This is a good way to partner them up for the Cup Stacking Castle.
Depending on their preference, the kids can decorate their own armor, mask or tiara as found on Oriental Trading. They also have some great castle crafts.
Pirates and Mermaids
Similar to the Princess and Knight party, Pirates and Mermaids has something for everyone.
- Sink the ship – Cut a pool noodle into slices to form circular boats and add a toothpick sail. Order bouncing balls in bulk to serve as your cannon balls. The guests serve as pirates and try to sink the ships with cannon balls.
- Mermaid Race – Players will wear one leg of a pair of panty hose to cover both feet and legs. They will race on their bellies or backs as mermaids on land to see who gets there first.
- Treasure Map – Find the treasure by following a map with clues. Set up in the party space or get the neighbors involved in a scavenger hunt.
Use an empty Gatorade bottle to create an I-Spy bottle. Alternate filling the bottle with small toys and either colored sand or rice.
This is a fun indoor party with black light or outside after sunset.
- Neon Glow Tag – Have the kids wear play clothes that can get paint on them. Supply everyone with a clean white t-shirt. Break the group into teams and arm them with a paintbrush and neon glow paint. Set up boundaries and encourage the guests to splatter as much paint as they can on the other players. For safety reasons, supply the kids with neon sunglasses.
- Color shut down – This is like old maid with glow sticks. Purchase several glow sticks and paint the bottom of one of them black. The kids will hold the glow sticks in their hands and try to make color matches by picking sticks from other players without getting the “old maid” painted bottom.
- Glow in the Dark balloon volleyball – Cut the end off a glow stick and pour the contents in a latex air filled balloon. Tie off and have the kids try to keep the balloon from hitting the ground.
Make glow in the dark play dough or bubbles. Both are made simply by adding neon non-toxic paint to your favorite DIY bubbles or play dough recipe.
Kids love to help in the kitchen, but these cooking projects can be made outside on the patio or inside at the kitchen table.
- Dirt pudding cups – Everyone loves getting dirty. Use crushed Oreos (have the kids make them with rolling pins in Ziplock bags) and layer in cups with premade chocolate pudding. Don’t forget to add the gummy worms!
- Too pretty to eat – The guests can decorate white bread with paint brushes and food coloring. When they are done, toast in toaster or in oven and return them to the kids to spread with jellies, butter or peanut butter.
- Play with your food – Guests can design mosaics with dried colored beans, colorful fruit pizzas or make cars or boats out of bell peppers. The fun is only limited to their imaginations.Craft:
Keep up the cooking theme by creating food in a jar recipes that the kids can take home. Go through the steps together to fill the jar with the right ingredients, in the right order. Preprint the cooking instructions on paper for the kids to attach to their jar and take home.
Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She loves to plan parties for all ages and celebrations. Follow her on Etsy at PamsPartyPrintables.