Kid Party Ideas

What makes for a great kids' party? It's not about the money you spend but the fun and creativity you put into the planning! Whether you're hosting a birthday party or just a Saturday afternoon play date in the backyard, these four themes will bring out the kid in your kids -- not to mention accompanying adults.

Diggin' in the Garden Party

Gather the gang for a fun day of gardening kid-style, where everyone has a green thumb and gets to take away a little pot of summer paradise. How? Dig this:

  • Send cheery flower or bug invites. Include a packet of seeds and tell parents to dress their party goers for a day in the dirt.
  • At a table, create enough workstations to accommodate all attending junior gardeners -- ideally outside, but the kitchen will do, so long as you don't mind cleaning up. Stock each station with a small shovel and a plastic pot for planting. In the center of the table offer loads of stickers for decorating the pots. After pots are glamorized, place buckets of potting soil and flats of small flowers in the center of the table and help kids plant their own mini gardens within their pots. Water the finished party favors and set them aside until kids depart; send them home with the bottom of the pot wrapped in a plastic bag.
  • If you have room in the yard, also create a "friends garden" to commemorate your child's event. Start by having the guest of honor plant a flower or small grouping of flowers in the center of a garden bed. Then invite guests to plant their own flower or plant around it. Include a decorative stake with each participant's name next to his or her planting.
  • Hold a garden lunch: Start with an Astroturf tablecloth, small bouquets of paper flowers and corn dogs sticking upright in garden pots filled with floral foam and covered with a circle of Astroturf (with holes to accommodate the corn dog sticks). Include a chopped garden salad sprinkled with edible flower petals and serve punch in a bowl that includes floating well-washed carnations or hibiscus blooms.
  • Finish a fun day with cookie decorating: Bake sugar cookies in flower and leaf shapes in advance, set up a table with icing and sprinkles, and let everyone's creativity blossom!
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