I have 2 children, 2 years apart in age, and neither wants to have the same party as the other, or do what their classmates have done! Working on Mykidstime means the pressure is on to come up with new ideas each year, not only for them but for some of their friends too! Here are my 20 Excellent Party Ideas Sure to Delight 6 to 12 Year Olds, and earn you the title of “best party host ever”!
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#1. PJ Party
My girls always wanted to have a sleepover with their best friends. As most parents of younger children would not be keen for them to go on a sleepover, we came up with the idea of having a Pajama Party instead.
We held it from 6 to 9 pm and all the kids came in their pajamas, with their favourite teddy bear. We created a den in the living room using duvets, pillows and cushions and played party games and had a midnight feast!
You may also like 11 Entertaining Sleepover Party Games
#2. Movie Party
Turn your living room into a home cinema, rent the latest DVD or Movie from your service provider, make your tickets, these could be your party invites.
On the day cook up popcorn to be served while watching the film. Let the birthday child make up admission tickets. Dim the lights and let the show begin. Here are 50 Best Family Movies, for inspiration.
#3. Restaurant or Cookery School Party
Our local Pizza Restaurant runs pizza-making cookery parties, all of the fun and none of the mess!
When the kids arrive they get to make dough balls for starters and then move onto the pizzas. They can choose what toppings to add and each pizza is marked so the children know they are getting their own creation! Dessert was ice-cream with a variety of toppings to choose from, so again each child can customise their dessert.
Alternatively some cookery schools or local restaurants will come to your home and bring everything needed for the kids to cook their own party tea. Most offer a variety of menus and this option means you have the entertainment covered too.
Or if you are feeling brave, follow our home pizza recipes and let the kids loose in the kitchen, with supervision! Followed by decorating cupcakes.
You may also enjoy – Party Food Ideas for Kids with Food Allergies
#4. Local Hall / Sports Ground Party
Both my children share their parties with school friends who have birthdays around the same time. Between us, we have rented the local hall. They will often have sports equipment available for use, and bibs/vests which are helpful if playing team games.
You could host a sports-themed party, with soccer or other ball games, running games yourself or hire an entertainer/ask a local coach to help.
We have played games like stuck in the mud and 40/40, Simon Says etc. The older daughter and her friend set up a nail bar and treated everyone to a nail makeover.
We have hired the hall several times and have cooked on site and ordered from a local take-away for these parties. Both worked equally well.
All the children seem to really enjoy this format as they get to run around and have fun together.
Find games inspiration on – 20 Fun Kids Party Games and Activities & 20 Childhood Games
#5. Local Leisure Centre Party
As children get older and can swim, a trip to the local leisure centre makes a great party. Swimming pools often have inflatables that the kids can use and a cafe onsite for food after they have finished swimming.
My daughter also attended a friend’s party where they had hired the gym instructor to give the kids a fun zumba lesson. Or check out the local climbing wall and see if the kids can all go for a lesson.
#6. Local Castle or Attraction Party
We are fortunate enough to live near an OPW Castle and have hosted a party in the grounds of the castle one year. They provided costumes for the children to dress up in and we brought along a picnic for everyone to enjoy.
We found it ideal because the castle grounds were enclosed. And was good value too. It is working checking the local heritage centre too as they will often cater for parties and may have costumes or games on-site.
#7. Craft Party
A pottery painting party is always good fun and each child will create a memento of the day to keep forever. Most pottery painting venues have a cafe attached or allow you to order in food.
There is usually the option to paint pre-cast pieces which are glazed for collection at a later date or you can creative with clay!
At Home Craft Party
Alternatively, a Decoupage Party is easy to do at home. Your local discount store will often have items that can be covered and you can pick up suitable paper there too. Then all you need so some PVA glue that dries clear.
Sometimes a local interiors company may offer Decoupage Parties where they come to your home or venue and bring everything needed.
Jewellery Making is also popular. Again there are companies who will come with everything needed or you can buy beads and string and help the children create their masterpieces.
Get more ideas here – 10 Creative Kids Party Activities that Are Perfect for Loot Bags & Crafts for Kids Perfect for Parties
#8. Bowling Party
Often offered as a combination with another activity, such as soft-play or laser tag, a bowling party is great varied fun. You can buy a package deal that includes food too, which usually works out better value.
Most bowling alleys will have the option to leave the side-rails up for younger kids, making it easier for everyone to score points.
#9. Treasure Hunt Party
This takes a bit of planning but offers hours of fun for all the children. Depending on the time of year, you can hide clues both indoors and outdoors. We have used a Pinata as the prize so that all the children get to enjoy goodies after the treasure has been found.
Make the questions reasonably challenging, otherwise the hunt will finish too quickly! Here are some tips on organising a treasure hunt.
#10. Disco Party
Hosted Kids Disco
Kids Discos are becoming more popular so look out for local events that have a kids disco around the time of your child’s birthday.
Some may even offer a Silent Disco for Kids(like our local spot), which are great fun – each child is given headphones and 2 DJ’s vie for their attention. So the kids can switch between each DJ to listen to the songs they like best.
Host Your Own Disco
Or you could host your own Disco either at home or in the local hall.
- You can be DJ. Have your child create a play list in advance on your computer using Spotify/equivalent, or on an iPod.
- Close the curtains and get a disco light to create the right atmosphere.
- If you are not brave enough see if you can hire a local DJ to do the job!
#11. Theme Party Ideas
From a Minecraft Party to a Lego Party or a Frozen Party let your child decide their party theme and turn your home/venue into a magical place for them and their friends to enjoy.
Make cool themed cakes, invitations and party food and have all your guests dress up as their favourite character.
Get some theme party ideas for boys, for girls and for everyone.
#12. Science Party
It’s official, kids love mess and what better way to keep them amused than doing fun science experiments like creating bubbles, slime, playdough, a volcano and much more.
We have some fun Summer, Halloween and Easter Science Experiments for you to try out or you could check locally to see if there are any Science Party Entertainers who will bring along all the items needed, and entertain the kids for you!
#13. Pet Farm Party
Head to the local pet farm for an afternoon of feeding the animals, tractor rides and fresh air.
Most pet farms now have party packages that include food or you could check if they allow you to bring a picnic lunch. And they usually have an indoor and outdoor play area.
#14. Makeover Party
Dig out the dress-up box, and any old make-up and clothes that you have, and let the kids spend an afternoon dressing up.
Girls also like to do hair and nails, so buy plenty of inexpensive nail polish and hair accessories, and get the kids to put on a fashion show when they are all happy with their look!
You may also like Fashion Show Sleepover Party ideas
#15. Karting Party
Hold a go-karting grand prix at your local karting centre – the kids will love the thrill of karting, if they haven’t tried before. See who can do the fastest lap and who is the safest driver!
Most karting facilities offer party packages including food and trophy, so enquire about the best option for your party.
#16. Sports Day Party
Head outdoors to the garden or the local park and turn it into a sports day extravaganza.
Have 3 legged races, egg and spoon races, sack races and good old fashioned sprint races. Pack a picnic or get food delivered. Make sure to pack sun lotion, a whistle and lots of water!
Lots more outdoor ideas in Super Fun Outdoor Games, Outdoor Activities to Stay Fit & 50 Fun Outdoor Activities.
#17. Ice Cream Party
What child doesn’t like ice cream?! See if the local ice-cream truck will come along to your party. They may even let the birthday child pull their very own 99. You can often pay a set amount in advance and the kids can line up to be served cool treats.
Alternatively you could make your own in advance, using our 10 Ice Cream Recipes for Kids. Set up your counter or table with a variety of toppings and let the kids customise their treats.
#18. Movie Star Party
Most children these days are very tech savvy, so channel their knowledge into a movie making party. You can download free movie making apps for tablets, android phones and Apple devices including iMovie, Video Star, Magisto, Movie Maker and much more.
Get the kids to create a short script, appoint a director and actors and create a movie for everyone to watch. They could also use lego characters/toys as their stars, in stop-motion movies.
And the Oscar for best actor / actress goes to…Create your own mini Oscars to give out after the film. Don’t forget the red carpet!
This may be useful – Handiest Apps for Stop Motion Animation
#19. Spy Party
My niece had a cool spy party for her 8th birthday. The invitations arrived with the name of a special spy character and a brief description of the character that each child had to model themselves on. They had to complete a mission when they arrived in order to get party loot bags at the end.
There are loads of great spy party ideas on the internet including how to take fingerprints, themes, games and more. I like this one from Birthday Blueprint.
#20. Survival Skills Party
Re-live your youth and host a fun survival skills party or head off to the forest for a few hours and let the experts take over! From crawl tunnels to Sling Shots I love the ideas on the Greatfun4kids blog.
Don’t forget the toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate But I think you could give the campfire soup a miss!
Do you have a great party idea? Please share it in the comments box below.