10 of the Best Birthday Party Themes for Kids

Looking for ideas for birthday party themes for your child’s party? Here’s 10 of the best birthday party themes for kids, that your child will be sure to love – from Dinosaurs to Wild West, to a Scooby Doo Party!

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#1. Dinosaur Party Theme

  • Invitations: Dinosaurs, Palm Trees, Volcanoes.
  • Decorations: Turn party room into a primeval rainforest with plants & dinosaur footprints on floor.
  • Costumes/Party Wear: Suggest guests wear dinosaur or cave people costumes.
  • Party Food: Dino shaped sandwiches & biscuits; “lava juice”; volcano with sparklers  or dino shaped cake.
  • Party Game: “Hatch the dino-egg” (Put prizes inside balloons for them to sit on an burst).
  • Party Bags: Dinosaur jelllies, dino stickers, crayons & dinosaur booklet/picture to colour in.

#2. Princess Tea Party

  • Invitations: Rolled up invitations, tied with a ribbon, inviting them to Princess X’s party at the Royal Castle.
  • Decorations: Decorate the party room with pink, purple balloons, silver streamers, stars and glitter.
  • Costumes/Party Wear : Ask the guests to wear their princess dresses and jewels.
  • Party Food: Fairy cakes, princess popcorn, Unicorn or princess cake.
  • Party Game: “Princess Pea game” where they guess how many dried peas are in a jar and win a prize for the closest.
  • Party Bags: Nail polish or lip gloss, hair clips, princess stickers.

You may also like these ideas for a Frozen-themed party – Frozen Party Ideas, Frozen Party Food, Frozen Birthday Cakes

#3. Outer Space Party Theme

  • outer space party _photopinInvitations: Aliens, spaceships, planets, stars.
  • Decorations: Decorate the party room with silver balloons, silver paper, planets hanging from the ceiling.
  • Costumes/Party Wear: Suggest they wear alien and spaceman costumes.
  • Party Food: Star shaped biscuits, moon juice, Alien shaped cake.
  • Party Game: Each child gets a turn being captain of the spaceship, in charge of the control panel.
  • Party Bags: Glow in the dark stars, space stickers, space dust.

#4. Spooky Party Theme

  • Invitations: Haunted house and bats.
  • Decorations: Decorate the party room with cobwebs on the windows, black balloons, black crepe paper, spiders hanging from the ceiling, create “Specimen Jars” with anything that has the potential of looking revolting, e.g. cocktail sausages for Fingers; shredded red cabbage for Brains; hard boiled eggs, crack shells, soak in tea then peel for Eyes;
  • Costumes/Party Wear: Guests to arrive in spooky costumes e.g. witches, ghosts, mummies.
  • Party Food : “Witches Fingers” (Long chicken strips)“Worm Casserole” cook egg noodles and spaghetti and mix with butter and grated cheese, sprinkle with bread crumbs (dirt) and bake until cheese melted and crumbs toasted. Make a fruit juice punch and float plastic spiders in it. Apple bites with jam and “teeth” made from slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Party Game: “Mystery Boxes” – need boxes with lids with a different “spooky” item in each one for each guest to feel. Decorate the boxes with special effects, spider webs etc. Inside put: bones (fresh carrots) / brains (tofu – round off the edges) / eyeballs (Peeled grapes or oiled olives) / fingers (cocktail sausages) / hair (cut from an old doll or wig) / hand (Fill a latex surgical glove with water, drape it over a bowl to give it some shape and freeze it. Just before the party, stick it in a tray of dirt, sand, or rice so your guests has to feel around / ears (dried apricots) / intestines (wet cold spaghetti) / liver (half of a tinned peach) / skin (oil a soft flour tortilla) / teeth (unpopped popcorn)
  • Party Bags: Plastic spiders or lizards, Halloween stickers, jelly worms and fizzy snakes.

#5. Wild West Themed Party

  • cowboy theme party_photopinInvitations: Make a ‘Wanted’ poster: “We want YOU–To Come To Our Party”. Wanted Any Buckaroo Knowing This Outlaw: (child’s picture and Name) , Reward: Birthday Shindig and Games.
  • Decorations : Decorate the party room with balloons and streamers, straw bales! And use what you have that is “western”. You could make a canvas tent. Make gun holsters from craft paper with an opening at the top to hold napkins and plastic ware.
  • Costumes/Party Wear : Suggest they wear their best cowboy and cowgirl costume!
  • Party Food : Star cookies decorated to look like Sheriff badges. Hot dogs and beans. If able to have it outside, set up a Camp Fire with Dogs and Beans always a hit, and toast marshmallows. Cake cut into the shape of a cowboy boot or cowboy hat or cactus.
  • Party Game : “Gold Rush” with buried pennies in sand and let kids find them, or “Gold Nugget Rush” – buy sweets in gold foil (any kind will do), scatter about and have a mad rush to see who collects the most gold.
  • Party Bags: Red and Blue bandanas, water pistols, sheriffs badges, whistles, rubber snakes, harmonicas, play money, wild west stickers.
Recommended Reading: More Party Themes for Boys & Girls

#6. Underwater Themed Party

  • Invitations: Fishes and seahorses and mermaids or inside flat plastic Ziploc bags with sand and little shells at the bottom.
  • Decorations: Turn the room into a giant aquarium with tinsel, streamers, strips of cellophane or crepe paper in shades of blue and green, shells. Hang tropical fish and jellyfish from the ceiling. Use blue and green lightbulbs to give an underwater effect. If possible, bring a sandbox inside, and sink a treasure chest into the middle.
  • Costumes/Party Wear : Invite guests to come as mermaids or divers.
  • Party Food : Fish fingers and chips. “Seawater” juice. Starfish and seahorse shaped biscuits.
  • Party Game: “Catch the Fish” – need 3″ fish made from tissue paper, straws, clear plastic cups. Place the fish on a table top and let the children blow at the fish through the straws and try to catch them with their cups. See who can catch the most in 2 minutes.
  • Party Bags: Sea stickers, bubbles, chocolate shells.

#7. Pirate Themed Party

  • Invitations: Skull and crossbones, inside BEWARE Captain “child’s name” is having a Pirate Party on date with plenty of swashbuckling fun. Come if you dare! Wear your pirate garb, etc.
  • Decorations: Balloons and black and gold streamers. Find a Halloween skeleton to hang on your front door. Make an old looking sign that says “Enter at yer own risk”! Make a treasure chest from a large cardboard box to use to hold gifts. Use a net for table cloth.
  • Costumes/Party Wear: Invite guests to wear their best pirate wear!
  • Party Food: Hot dogs with pirate sails attached. Popcorn and gummy worms make good “fish bait”. Cake and ice cream. Red fruit juice punch for “crocodile blood punch”.
  • Party Game: “Treasure Hunt” –  lots of work, but good fun for the kids. Find a hiding place for the goodie bags and give the kids several clues. Modified version of the treasure hunt for younger children is to buy a small gift for each child, wrapped in different coloured or themed wrapping paper. Hide the gifts, then give each child a small sample of the unique paper his/her gift is wrapped in and get them to find their gift wrapped in the matching paper.
  • Party Bags: Eye patches, gold chocolate coins, fake gems for treasure.
Recommended Reading: 12 Kids Birthday Cake Ideas

#8. Airplane Themed Party

  • Birthday candlesInvitations: Invitations that look like boarding passes for a flight on “Child’s Name Airlines!” with all the information you would need to board a real flight, including passenger name, flight number, seat number, flight time, and departure time. On the back, “This ticket is non-transferrable. Passengers are allowed one carry-on parent, if desired. Please confirm your flight with the Child’s Name Airlines ticket agent by calling xxx-xxxxxxx. Your flight will depart from gate 6 at the Smith Terminal, which is located at (your address).”.
  • Decorations: Have a “check-in” counter in the front hall, where the birthday child can check guests in by stamping their tickets with a hole punch, then directing them to “baggage claim” to leave their presents. Have lots of signs for “Check-In,” “Baggage Claim,” “Gate 6,” etc. Balloons and airplanes hung from the ceiling. Put chairs in pairs with an aisle between.
  • Party Food: Make up food on little trays with “jet fuel” juice.
  • Party Game : “Pass the black box,” a cardboard box covered in black paper, filled with treasures such as stickers, airplanes, sweets, and passed around to music, when music stops they choose a prize. Have each child make and decorate their own paper airplane and see which one flies the furthest.
  • Party Bags: Small gliders, airplane stickers, whistle.

#9. Backwards Party

  • Invitations : Invitations written out backwards with instructions to use a mirror.
  • Decorations : Hang balloons upside down from their string. Print out a banner to read backwards, put streamers on the floor, turn the chairs round.Put a tablecloth under the table on the floor and have the kids sit under table for cake, etc. When setting table, set everything backwards with cup in front of you turned upside down, then plate in front of it turned upside down and silverware backwards – vase with flowers put in upside down for centrepiece.Put sign on front door asking them to “enter at back door”. Greet them with “good-bye, glad you came!”
  • Costumes/Party Wear : Have the guests dress backwards!
  • Party Food : Serve the cake first, then everything else. For cakes, do upside down fairy cakes, with icing on the bottom
  • Party Game: “Backwards Obstacle Course” – set up an obstacle course and number each child. Have the children run backwards and in backwards numerical order. Time each child and after all are finished, reward the one who took the longest time to finish. Do not announce that this is how you are going to reward or they won’t try to finish first!
  • Party Bags: Tape the goodies to the outside. Or have items in the bags and let the kids wrap their presents to take home.
More Kids Movie Party Ideas: Alvin & The Chipmunks & Kung Fu Panda 

#10. Detective/Scooby Doo themed Party

  • scavenger-huntInvitations: TOP SECRET files addressed to Agent from the ACME detective agency with party details written in white crayon, and instructions to rub a cotton bud dipped in coloured water to reveal the “code” or Scooby Doo and the Gang request your presence to help solve a Birthday Party Mystery!
  • Decorations : Decorate the room with footprints cut out of paper, or finger prints on white paper, have an empty jewellery box with clues inside for a jewel hunt.
  • Costumes/Party Wear: Ask the guests to dress in long overcoats, hats, etc. like detectives.
  • Party Food: “Scooby snacks”, Double sandwiches cut then stacked high, Fairy Cakes with a question mark drawn on the icing.
  • Party Game: “Pillowcase Clues” – Place 20 some odd objects into a pillow case (e.g. ball, eraser, dice, notepad, paintbrush, etc.) and get each child to feel inside. Go down the line with a 1 minute time limit to “report” their findings individually.Make up Decoder Watches: Ribbons cut to fit wrists with match boxes covered in white paper and Velcro. First, write code (code is A=1, B=2, C=3 .. J=10 .. Z=26) on paper and paste it inside the slide-out match box. Glue the ribbon to the back of the matchbox, and attach Velcro to each ribbon end. Draw a watch face on top of the match cover.
  • Party Bags: Filled with small notepad, pencil, mini magnifying glass, badges (or use as an activity and let the kids make these themselves).

Alien Balloons photo credit: jessica wilson {jek in the box} via photopin cc
Wild West party photo credit: Kid’s Birthday Parties via photopin cc

Do you have any suggestions for party themes for a child’s birthday? Share them in the comments below.

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This website was created by Jill Holtz and Michelle Davitt, both of whom are mothers of young children. Jill and Michelle decided to create this resource themselves, and launched in 2007.