How to Choose the Perfect Kids Birthday Party Theme

I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the field of children’s party planning. After all, I’ve got three kids, ages 9, 7, and 5. If you add it all up, that means that I have planned no less than 21 birthday parties for my kids. Whew! It makes me tired just thinking about it! I’m sure many of you are wondering “How in the world have you done this 21 times already and with 21 different party themes?”

Winter Wonderland First Birthday PartyWinter Wonderland First Birthday Party

This may seem like an overwhelming task, but I’ve actually found it to be pretty easy over the years, following a few simple guidelines. Keep reading below my rules on how to select the perfect birthday party theme!

Preppy Whale First Birthday PartyPreppy Whale First Birthday Party

Get input! Once your child is old enough to give input (age 2 to 3), definitely ask him/her what he/she wants!  But, don’t let them dictate the theme 100%. This may sound controlling, but trust me, my kids have come up with some pretty strange party themes over the years that I’ve had to nix. I love to see what my kids want to do, and then we work together to figure out the exact direction of the party theme, and also if it really is achievable. It’s a really fun process, and my kids LOVE planning their own parties and giving input!

Puppy and Kitty Themed PartyPuppy and Kitty Themed Party

Use Pinterest to help you find unique party themes! Pinterest is a great resource to find birthday party themes that haven’t been completely run into the the ground. Try searching “unique boy party themes” or some similar phrase. You’ll see endless photos of a million different parties, but something you see may spark an idea and get your wheels moving on a particular party theme.

Fire Truck Birthday PartyFire Truck Birthday Party

Be careful choosing a party theme that is too obscure. Maybe your child is into meerkats, who knows? While this could be a cute party theme, it might prove hard to execute without a ton of DIY work on your end or working with Etsy vendors to make all kind of customized items for your party. Ever seen meerkat party plates? No, I didn’t think so! So while I would give you an A+ for thinking “outside the box,” I’d definitely recommend staying away from a very obscure theme unless you’ve got the time to devote to it.

Bunny Themed Birthday PartyBunny Themed Birthday Party

Stay away from licensed party themes. I’m quite certain for most of you out there this will be the hardest of my rules to follow. Stores and big companies LOVE to license party theme merchandise and sell it in bulk. Kids love it and it’s easy for parents. But, I’m the first to say it drives me up the wall. It’s not unique in any way, and everyone is completely tired of attending a Paw Patrol or Cars themed birthday party. I challenge YOU to be more creative. Instead of Paw Patrol, why not throw a Dog or Puppy themed party that allows for more creativity with decor? Instead of a Disney Cars themed birthday party, think of doing a City Streets themed party with all different kinds of cars, trucks and roads. Years later when you look back at the photos, your parties will be more timeless and classic.

Butterfly Garden First Birthday PartyButterfly Garden First Birthday Party

Stick to a single theme. Sometimes, parents go overboard and try to combine three of their kid’s favorite themes into one party because it’s what the child has directed he/she wants. “Congrats! You’ve been invited to Gia’s Slime-Puppy-Butterfly Party!” This will leave your guests confused and lends itself to a party that looks like it has multiple personalities. Pick a single theme and stick to it!

Race Car Birthday PartyRace Car Birthday Party

Plan your child’s party theme in advance. My recommendation is to start thinking about the theme 6-9 months in advance. I usually start asking my kids what’d they’d like about 6 months out. Yes, sometimes they divert and change their idea, which is totally fine, but I always give them a “decide by” date and after that they can’t change it! Mama’s gotta start buying and crafting! Planning this far in advance will allow for your to find unique items for your party decor that may require some advance planning!

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