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Birthday Party Ideas and Games

Children of all ages love birthday parties. As a parent, you probably already know that planning a birthday party that everyone will enjoy takes imagination to come up with clever party ideas. We have compiled a list of favorite party themes to help with your party planning.

Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt party is very popular with most children. You can create your own treasure, which could be old jewelry, gold coin candy and toy presents that you hide all over the house or the backyard. Or you can create a treasure chest out of a cardboard box with a map where X marks the spot! Parents and kids can dress up like pirates with eye patches and you can create games like walking the plank.

Teddy Bear Party

Most children love teddy bears. A fun idea for a children's party is to ask all the guests to bring their favorite teddy bear. In case some guests forget, make sure you have a few extra bears on hand. Create a bear cave by using cardboard boxes, stacking pillows or moving furniture to the corner of a room. You can add blankets and toy party sets to make the bear cave homey. For a fun activity, you can have the children all create their own bear masks to wear at the party. You will need construction paper, glue sticks, tape and crayons. In keeping with the teddy bear theme, bear shaped cookies and a cake with a teddy bear decoration are perfect treats. Make sure you include gummy bears in the grab bag too!

Knights and Castle

Castles and medieval knights are a popular party theme for kids. You will need to create a play castle, which can be made with cardboard boxes, some old furniture, or an outdoor tree house or swing set. You can make shields and buy plastic toy swords for all your little knights. A favorite is the fake draw bridge that you can build with a board and two milk cartons, allowing the kids to get across the imaginary moat to the castle. One of the parents or an older sibling can pretend to be the dragon. You can play games where the losing team can be sent to a castle dungeon. The cake should have a castle or knight decoration.

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Sports Theme

Choose a sports theme for kids who are interested in athletics. For decorations, you can cut out pictures of popular athletes or hang a few posters on the walls and ceilings. Use masking tape to make the family room floor into an athletic court. If you have a kids' basketball hoop, a Nerf football, a Wiffle ball set, soccer goal or paddle ball, you can have guests play games. Make sure you do not make the games competitive so guests do not leave feeling like they lost.

Time Capsule

A time capsule activity is perfect for a toddler's birthday party. Create a scrap book where guests can write a letter, include a picture or design a page for the child to open when they become an adult. When the toddlers become adults, the notes and letters will be very meaningful. You will need to have paper, pens, markers, scissors and tape for your guests. You may also want to inform the guests beforehand so they can bring pictures or other relevant items such as newspaper clippings, magazine articles or notes from friends who could not make it. Make sure you seal the time capsule shut and clearly put a label on it that tells people not to open it until the predetermined date.

Outdoor Pool Party

For an outdoor pool party find a children's play pool, maybe a slip 'n slide, and some water toys. Ideal foods are summer selections, grilled items with and salads. Best of all, there is no need to worry about making a mess. You can organize games but kids will usually have a blast with just a plain old water fight. Do not forget to make sure your guests do not run when there is water and slip.

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Elmo Party

Elmo is the popular, red muppet from Sesame Street who is the talk of the town for children. If your child loves Elmo, or any other character such as Batman, Pokemon or Dora, you can create a character themed event. You may want to hire an Elmo entertainer - someone who dresses up and talks like Elmo. Elmo can lead the kids in singing songs and playing games. You can give away Elmo prizes and grab bags as well. Remember to dress your child in red!

Arts and Crafts Party

Moms who like scrapbooking will enjoy planning this party. An arts and crafts themed party will encourage your child's creativity. All you need are some crayons, glue sticks, colored construction paper, wood sticks, vellum paper, scissors, lots of space and some willing helpers. Children can make their own paintings or create toy models. Glitter, scrap cloth and other fabrics are fun additions.

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