If you have a young child, you are probably going to be organizing lots of birthday parties until your child is old enough to do it themselves. Even more planning is required for the parties you host at your own house. Never fear! While a DIY birthday party is an ambitious task, we’re here with suggestions for your child’s next birthday bash. We chose four popular party themes for children. If your child chooses a different theme, the Internet is full of ideas that will make any birthday party memorable.
Unicorn popcorn: This sweet-and-salty treat requires sprinkles, colorful candy melts (pink, purple, blue, and yellow are common “unicorn” colors), and, of course, popcorn. While you’re popping the popcorn, stick the candy melts in the microwave and heat them up for about 30 seconds, or as needed. Lay your popcorn out on a baking sheet, drizzle each color over the popcorn, and cover the popcorn with sprinkles so that they glue themselves into the candy. Reheat the candy melts and drizzle over the popcorn for another layer.
Unicorn Crispy Treats: Same idea, different treat! Drizzle some candy melt over some Rice Krispies Treats and dust some sprinkles on top. If you want to get extra crafty, you can use icing to decorate the treats with eyes and unicorn horns.
Rainbow Chocolate-Covered Strawberries: Buy the reddest strawberries in the store and some melting white chocolate. When you get home, melt the chocolate and dip your strawberries in it (but make sure to rinse and dry the strawberries first!). Then, dip the strawberries in some rainbow sprinkles, and lay them out on some wax paper to dry.
Unicorn lemonade: Line the rim of your glasses with icing and sprinkles, then fill the glasses up with pink lemonade. Mix in some edible glitter, and enjoy!
Unicorn water: Water can be fun, too! For a healthier alternative to sugary drinks, you can find some colorful water flavoring drops or powder, mix it into the water, and top it off with a dash of edible glitter. Your guests can even make the unicorn drinks themselves at a special drink-making station.
Games and Crafts
Build Your Own Unicorn Horn: Buy some cone-shaped styrofoam pieces from a craft store and decorate them with paint and glitter to create unicorn horns. Then, glue these horns on headbands so every party person can be a unicorn.
Pin the Horn on the Unicorn: You can find a pin-the-horn-on-the-unicorn kit online. Don’t forget to find something to use as a blindfold if a blindfold is not included in the kit.
Unicorn Scavenger Hunt: Create a scavenger hunt that will have everyone following unicorn tracks and chasing rainbows. Their findings can be party favors, treat bags, or a pinata full of candy.
Rice Krispies Treasure Chest: Take two Rice Krispies Treats and stack one on top of the other. Then, you can use chocolate icing to draw two simple, vertical lines down the middle of the treats (set horizontally), and draw a lock between the lines. As a plus, you can stick some popcorn in between the Treats to make it look like treasure is spilling out the chest.
Loot: This snack mix for pirates can be anything: pretzels, peanuts, cheese snacks, cereal, and bite-sized candies will be perfect for your pirate party. Mix all these ingredients up in a bowl and leave them on a table so the partygoers can serve themselves.
Jell-O Ocean: Buy some blue Jell-O, gummy worms, Swedish Fish candy, and octopus gummy candies. Mix the Jell-O in a bowl and put the candies in the mixture before the Jell-O sets. That way, when the Jell-O does set, it’ll look like you have some tasty sea creatures swimming in an ocean of Jell-O.
Sea Water: Mix some blue punch, Sprite, and pineapple juice for this sweet, swashbuckling drink.
Pirate Punch: This drink calls for red punch, lemonade, and pineapple juice.
Games and Crafts
Treasure hunt: Aye aye, captain! The party pirates can search for treasure as a standard scavenger hunt, or they can dig through buckets of sand until they reach the treasure. Pro tip–you can buy toy treasure chests online and fill them with chocolate coins and other goodies.
Water games: It’s not a pirate adventure without a lot of water. With a water balloon fight, water gun battle, and a kiddie pool setup, the pirates can continue their quest (and burn off some energy!).
Popsicle Stick Ship: Use a handful of regular popsicle sticks to create a two-dimensional deck, mast, and flag. Paint it and decorate the flag with fun stickers.
Pirate Spoons: For these, you’ll need wooden party spoons, cardstock paper, googly eyes, permanent markers, and glue. Decorate the round part of the spoon with googly eyes, a nose, a mouth, and even a beard, and use cardstock paper to create pirate hats and/or head scarves to place above the eyes. Then, draw the pirates’ clothes on their “bodies.”
Birthday Cake Puppy Chow is the perfect treat. Pour Chex cereal into a large bowl with a lid. In a separate bowl, combine white cake mix and powdered sugar. Melt candy coating according to directions on the package then pour over Chex cereal. Add sprinkles to the mixture and fold everything together. Pour cake mix and powdered sugar mixture on top of the cereal mixture. Place the lid on the bowl and shake all the ingredients together.
Magical Princess Wands are made using pretzel rods, almond bark, sprinkles, and sanding sugar or edible glitter. In a microwave, melt almond bark. Dip each pretzel rod halfway into melted bark and allow excess to drip off. Coat with sprinkles and sanding sugar or edible glitter. Place pretzels on waxed paper; let stand until dry. Store in an airtight container.
When it comes to princess-worthy drinks, what’s more royal than a tea party? But you don’t need to serve tea or even use teacups. Mason jars filled with pink lemonade, a dainty paper parasol, a slice of lemon on the side, and maybe some edible glitter mixed in for more pizazz is adorable enough!
Crafts and Games
Kiss the Frog is a spin on the classic party game pin the tail on the donkey. To make this easier on yourself, plenty of pre-made kits for this game are available online. Blindfold and spin participants then have them place the lips on the frog. Whoever gets the placement right wins!
Save the Princess is an activity that requires a bit more work from you. In a large bowl, place toys like a crown, plastic glass slipper, princess figurines, and more with water. Freeze the bowls prior to the party and when it’s time, let the children “save the princess” using toy tools to break the ice, freeing the toys.
Masquerade Masks: Purchase plain, white half-masks from any craft store or use a paper template online. As for decorating, this is the part where kids can really go wild. Decorative ribbon can be hot glued to the edges of the mask along with feathers, sequins, rhinestones or other stick-on jewels, and spray-on glitter. Painting the masks is also a good (but messy) option!
Dinosaur Mud Cups: Make your chocolate pudding and allow it to cool or use pre-made pudding. Put chocolate sandwich cookies into a gallon-sized Ziplock bag, and use a rolling pin or a can to crush the cookies. In a cup, layer pudding and crushed cookies until the cup is full. On top, sprinkle more crushed cookies and place a gummy dinosaur. Optionally, place popcorn “meteors” by the gummy dinosaur.
Dino Track Cookies: I recommend using premade dough for sugar cookies or peanut butter cookies. Bake the cookies according to the directions. Once baked, use a plastic dinosaur toy to make footprints on the cookie. Then, for sugar cookies, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top for a nice gritty layer of “dirt”. For peanut butter cookies, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top to serve as “dinosaur droppings” or “meteor bits” (your choice).
Drinks for this party could include “lava” red Kool-Aid or a swamp-green fruit punch complete with pineapple, strawberry, and cherry chunks. Some mint leaves could also add more swampy decor and a delicious zing.
Games and Crafts
Dino Dig involves a large plastic bin filled with sand. Bury some toy dinosaurs in the sand. You can also fill and bury plastic eggs with candy bones or dinosaur gummies. Let the kids dig for the toys and candy either with their hands or with tools.
Paper Dinosaurs: Start by cutting the paper plates in half (any size). Decide what color body the dinosaur should have and paint one of the 1/2 plate pieces. Have the children also paint two clothespin “feet” for each dinosaur. Once the body is dry, draw and cut out the dinosaur’s head, spikes, and tail. Glue the head, tail, and spikes to the back side of the paper plate. Add a smile and googly eye to the dinosaur’s head and attach the clothespins for the feet then they are done.