Let the rebellion begin! With this theme, kids get to break all the rules -- or at least reverse them -- in every which way they can. From the minute they get the invitation, they know they're in for an afternoon of big N-U-F!
- Let kids and parents know the theme by writing the party specifics backward on the invitation and instructing guests to hold it up to a mirror to read it. Remind them that clothes should be worn backward.
- Decorate with the theme in mind: balloons hanging upside down from colorful ribbons taped to the ceiling, tablecloths and place settings under the table, and banners hung upside down -- with sayings written backward.
- As people start arriving, have the host greet them with a hearty "goodbye!" and tell them to carefully walk backward into the house.
- After everyone is accounted for, distribute goodie bags and open presents.
- Next, go straight to cake time: Sing "Happy Birthday" (or "You to Birthday Happy"), have the birthday boy or girl blow out the candles -- definitely not a ritual that you want to jumble! -- and cut and serve the cake on upside-down paper plates accompanied by spoons.
- Get into the game: Rethink classic childhood games and give them a backward bent. Think backward tag, hokey pokey, races and jump rope.
- Serve classic kid fare alfresco and inside out. Examples include the backward mini burger, in which two burger patties surround a mini bun, and hot dogs halved and sandwiching half of a bun.
- When it's time to go, don't forget to bid the guests "hello!"