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It is understandable that kids get hugely excited about parties. It’s also understandable that they can feel like a massive chore for the parents who have to plan and host them! So here’s a big list of the best kids party ideas for parties at home or outside of the home that will help you throw a truly memorable (for all the right reasons!) party for your child.
Get inspired from this list of kids’ birthday party ideas for all ages, from 1st birthday parties up to tweens and teens. From simple afternoon tea parties to exhilirating activity parties, pick the one that works for you and then use my kids party planning tips and download my free party planning checklist to get organised.
A quick note: If you are looking for party theme ideas I’ve got a list of 99 of the best kids party themes you can dip into.
70 KIDS PARTY IDEAS FOR FUN AND EASY KIDS PARTIES
1. AT HOME: INDOOR ART AND CRAFT IDEAS
The best thing about art and craft parties is that the thing the kids make can double up as the party favour they leave with at the end of the party. This massive benefit will hopefully help you overlook the huge potential for a lot of mess to clear up 😉
- Decoupage crafting – Deco Patch kits are great for kids parties
- T-shirt art party – these Splat Planet colour-in T-shirt kits are genius, especially for kids who like to stick to colour-in between the lines!! But you can also buy a bunch of plain white Ts and use fabric paint, like this set of 18 bottles of 3D fabric paint, which would be huge amounts of fun
- Tie-dye craft party – this is great for kids from the age of 4 upwards, the older they are the more creative they can be. This is a great value set of tie-dyes for kids.
- Slime making party – Slime isn’t what it used to be! It now comes in an array of colours and fancy forms. Don’t believe me? Just look at the myriad different slime making kits, from ice-cream slime to galaxy slime kits!
- Finger painting party – perfect for toddlers, just set out some poster paints and paper. Oh and make sure to protect every near-by surface!!!
- Friendship bracelet making party – this is a lovely one for 7 and 8 year old kids. Here’s a good kit.
- Air-dry clay modelling – this is great for kids of all ages. Make sure to stock up on kits that include modelling tools and ideally instructions or examples of things to create. This is a really good kit to buy.
- Lip balm making – great for kids from 9 years upwards. This kit is really popular.
2. AT HOME: INDOOR ENTERTAINERS
Hosting the party at home is a great way to save on costs, it also means you don’t have to get anywhere, you can just get everthing set up at home. There are loads of different types of kids party entertainers to choose from, here are a few popular ideas to give you some inspiration
- Magician – this is some useful advice on how to choose a magician for your party
- Mad scientist – this is a great party entertainment idea for kids aged 5 upwards. Fancy being the mad scientist? If you’re in the UK, this Science Party in a Box has everything you need (and it’s won a NetMums Award)
- Bubble artist – this works well for kids from 3 upwards, watching a child get enveloped in a giant bubble never ceases to be amazing!
- Puppet show – perfect for entertaining kids between the ages of 1 and 5 years old
- Balloon modelling entertainer – if you’re particularly crafty you could do this yourself, this kit has 100 modelling balloons and a pump or if you have a smaller gathering, this is the most delightful retro-looking balloon modelling kit with 30 balloons, pump, stick on eyes and (most importantly!) instructions
- Story-teller – this is a great way to entertain toddlers and pre-schoolers
- Face painter and temporary tattoo artist – this is best for smaller groups of kids, otherwise the wait for their turn can become overwhelming and also means you need to come up with lots of other things to keep them occupied. If you want to hazard doing the face painting yourself, this face painting kit comes with picture instructions and has everything from paints and stencils to glitter and even hair chalk
- Drama class party – this is a great way to bring together kids aged 6 and 7 for a fun at-home party. We used Perform (UK based) to provide a kids party for our daughter and it went down a storm.
3. AT HOME: FOOD FOCUSED PARTY IDEAS
Food focused parties can take one of two forms. Either you have a food theme or you have a food making activity.
- Afternoon tea party – this is a great idea for a first birthday party, which let’s face it is more about the parents than the kids!
- Donut wall party – great for tweens, you can theme the whole party with donuts!! Ginger Ray does a great rainbow shaped donut wall. Krispy-Kreme does some donut decorating kits. And Baker Ross has some fab donut cushion sewing kits.
- Pizza making party – you can buy ready-made bases or ready-made pizza dough or you can let them go the whole hog and make the dough from scratch. Then set out a selection of pizza toppings to add. It’s a nice touch to provide every child with an apron (their parents will appreciate it!) which could double-up as the party favour. You can get some beautiful personalised aprons on Notonthehighstreet.com. Top tip: Aim for younger kids making mini-pizzas to avoid waste, also aim for making mini pizzas if you have a lot of party guests, otherwise they’ll be waiting ages for them to be cooked.
- Cupcake or biscuit decorating party – Bake up a batch of cupcakes and then provide the kids with a selection of things to decorate them with. The Cake Decor store has everything you could ever possibly need. Alternatively, go for biscuit decorating. Craft & Crumb have some amazing cake and biscuit baking kits – anyone fancy a pizza biscuit or hamburger cake?! They also do some great biscuit making party bags, which you could give to each child at the start of the party to make their biscuits and then they take away the result.
4. AT HOME: INDOOR ACTIVITIES
It’s one thing deciding to host a kids party at home, it’s quite another to keep them entertained. If you are not planning on hiring an entertainer, you will need to come up with some great ideas to keep the kids occupied. Here are some of the best and most popular ideas.
- Classic party games – take a look at my big list of classic kids party games
- Gaming party – If you’re in the UK, the Pop Up Party Arcade gets brilliant reviews for creating at home gaming parties
- Escape room – Clue Quest, the London Escape Room people have a selection of printable escape room kits you can buy for parties at home
- Glow in the dark dance party – you can buy an actual black light glow in the dark party kit. Make the most of it by using it for birthday parties and at halloween!
- Karaoke – rent or buy a karaoke machine and then run for the hills to avoid having to listen!!! This karaoke machine has bluetooth to connect it to whatever karaoke app you want to use
- Glam squad – great for teen girls (or boys) wanting to get their glam on
- Spa party – there is so much fun to be had buying stuff for a spa party, everything from face masks (always a winner with tween girls!) to nail polish.
- Indoor glamping/slumber party – hire indoor teepees or provide the kids with fun sleepover packs
- Movie night – get a consensus on the movie beforehand, buy stacks of pick n mix and popcorn and pop them in themed cinema-style cartons
5. GARDEN PARTIES
Make the most of the summer months by hosting a party outside in the garden. Here are some great ways to keep kids entertained in the garden without the need for hiring an entertainer.
- Scavenger hunt – come up with a set of clues and things to find and you’re away!
- Glamping – there are plenty of kids party glamping companies to choose from to book
- Music festival – get the kids to bring their own tents, get a playlist together, create a firepit and maybe throw in a fireworks display. Great for teens.
- Hot tub spa party – hire a hot tub, provide the kids with spa pamper packs and let them relax and enjoy! Tweens LOVE a hot tub party.
- Bubble machine party – make sure to buy a bubble machine like this Gazillion Bubbles machine that can blow out hundreds of bubbles. Perfect for kids of any age, but particularly great for yielding squeals of delight from toddlers and preschoolers.
- Water splash party – Take a look at my big list of fun water play ideas for kids and take your pick. Splash parties can work for any age, just choose age-appropriate games.
- Bouncy castle – hire a bouncy castle. Just make sure to check the company providing it are licenced and paying attention to safety.
6. ANIMAL INSPIRED PARTY IDEAS
Most kids love animals and animal themed parties are a great way to get a little education into a kids party – nourish those young brains!! They are also a great way to support animals and their welfare.
- City farm – take the kids to look at the animals, usually city farms have a space you can hire for party food
- Animal petting party – find a reputable company to bring well looked after animals for the kids to learn about and pet
- Creepy crawlies party – again, find a reputable company to bring well looked after insects and bugs
- Animal sanctuary – this is a great way to support a local animal sanctuary if they allow visitors
7. ACTIVITY CENTRE PARTY IDEAS
There are plenty of entertainment venues that are absolutely perfect as ready-made party entertainment spaces for kids. Here are some of the most popular places to host kids’ parties.
- Bowling alley
- Trampolining centre
- Climbing wall centre
- Swimming pool party
- Soft play centre party
- Ice-rink skating party
- Roller-rink roller skating party
- VR Experience party
- Escape room
- Laser tag party
- Paintballing party
- Go-karting party
- Group cinema trip
- Circus skills party
8. OUTDOOR: SPORT FOCUSED PARTIES
If your child and their friends are sport-mad, why not throw them a sport themed party? You could set it up as a more competitive affair for older kids or stick to having someone come and demonstrate skills for younger kids. Here are some ideas for popular sport-focused parties.
- Gymnastics party
- Football skills party
- Cricket party
- Olympics-style athletics party
9. SPECIALITY PARTY VENUES
There are hundreds of local venues that offer parties for kids. Here is a list of ideas for the types of venues to consider.
- Chocolate making party
- Bathbomb making
- Pizza making
- Pottery painting
10. OUTDOOR ACTIVITY CENTRE PARTIES
Check local listings for outdoor activity centres that offer parties for kids. This kind of party is perfect for kids from the age of 9 upwards, where they can cope with a little bit of cold in winter or when they need more mental stimulation and activity than just party games.
- Bushcrafts – check local directories for local bushcraft experts or centres
- Den building – great for team building skills alongside having lots of party fun
- Survival skills – useful skills to learn alongside oodles of fun
- Horse riding – ask your local stables if they host parties
- Adventure playground – always a winning idea for kids with lots of energy
- Zip-lines (Go-Ape if you’re in the UK) not for the faint-hearted, but lots of adreneline fuelled fun
HOW DO YOU ENTERTAIN A PARTY OF KIDS?
How you entertain a party of kids depends on lots of variables. You need to consider the age of the children, the hobbies, your budget, the time you have to plan it, whether you want to provide the entertainment yourself.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO FOR YOUR CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY?
If the party is for your child’s birthday you need to consider your child’s favourite hobbies and likes. I’ve put together a whole post on everything you need to know and think about when planning a kids party.
You also need to think about how many children you are happy to invite. The amount of kids invited tends to go down as your child gets older. That is until you get to sweet sixteen parties and upwards.
DO YOU HAVE TO THROW A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR YOUR CHILD?
Absolutely not! It is lovely to throw a big party for your child’s first birthday, but that party is as much for you as parents as it is for your child! However, you absolutely don’t have to throw a party at all.
The same goes for how you celebrate your child’s birthday as they grow up. There tend to be whole class parties for kids from the time they start school until they around ten years old.
Tweens are often happy to have a smaller gathering or even have a birthday treat or experience rather than having a big party.
You can usually get away with having minimal kids to host right through until your child hits sixteen, at which you might find that they suddenly want to start throwing big parties again.
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