Awesome Birthday Party Themes
Five popular themes adapted for toddlers through preteens
Bowling, skating, swimming, karate; games like basketball and soccer. Have referee, coach, or lifeguard on hand.
Where: Public courts, local YMCA or school, clubs, and rinks.
How much: School or town field: free, plus $50 fee for coach or ref; $120 to $350 to rent gym with basketball hoops.
Pros: Kids burn energy, have fun; it's often a chance to try something new.
Cons: Slight risk of injury. As a rule, sports facilities and schools carry insurance, but ask beforehand. Sports-shy kids can feel left out, so focus on teamwork, such as triples tennis and relay races.
2 to 3: Too many rules, too complicated.
4 to 5: Keep activity free-form and silly, like tumbling or sack races.
6 to 8: Kids are more adept and can maneuver around a soccer field or ice rink; emphasize spirit, not scores.
9 to 12: Rules are easier to follow; try team sports, like basketball and soccer.
Next: Field Trips