Awesome Birthday Party Themes
Five popular themes adapted for toddlers through preteens
Arts and Crafts
Collage, beading, woodworking; projects with fun materials like gooey clay, puffy paints. Find ideas in arts-and-crafts books.
Where: Table at home or party space (some have instructors); check "Party Planning" in Yellow Pages.
How much: $50 to $100 for supplies alone; $150 to $400 total at party place.
Pros: Low-key activity. Party-goers get to take home something they've made.
Cons: Mess. Provide big T-shirts or plastic smocks and expect a cleanup. For kids who get antsy or who finish early, have an extra project or coloring books ready.
2 to 3: Use easy-to-handle materials: big chalk for driveway art, finger paints.
4 to 5: Go for instant gratification: cereal-loop necklaces, decorated visors.
6 to 8: Try more involved step-by-step projects, like painting birdhouses.
9 to 12: Cool stuff is a must: tie-dyed T-shirts, beaded key rings.