Plan a memorable party for boys and girls

Filled with balloons, friends, family and fun, birthday parties help to create memories that last a lifetime. Go beyond simply purchasing decorated cups and plates with characters on them. Instead, with a little imagination, you can plan a party around a theme that will enchant children and adults alike.  Here are three fun kids birthday party ideas -- airplane party, garden party and zoo party -- along with birthday party games for kids within each theme.

Whether you are planning a first birthday party or another special birthday for your son or daughter, these simple ideas that will make your child’s birthday memorable and magical.

Airplane Birthday Party
For adventurous aviators

  • Create invitations to look like a boarding pass on your computer. The date and time of the party will be the day and time of the party.  It’s easiest to print these at as a horizontal photo card.Stretchy Flying Airplanes - 12 per unit by SmallToysCredit:
  • Make mini-runways to decorate the tables. Take strips of black construction paper about six-inches in diameter and paste small yellow strips to indicate the lane markers.  Make paper airplanes or use toys airplanes that the children can take home later as favors.  
  • Create a "ticket counter" reception table, where guests check-in and or you receive the birthday gifts.
  • If you have a food stations or game or activity booths, label them with signs like "Terminal 1, Concourse 4."
  • Games can include making paper airplanes and flying them through a hula hoop or having planes land on a designated landing pad.  The plane closest to the landing pad wins a prize.
  • Assemble goodie bags on a table in “baggage claim section,” so that guests can take the goodie bags when the leave the party.  Create luggage tags to tie to each bag or grab some tags from the ticket counter at the airport before the party.  Include stretchy flying airplanes (photo above) in each goodie bag.
  • On thank you notes or on labels on favors you can say “Thanks for flying with me – Love, Captain Emily.”

Garden Birthday Party
For little gardeners or lovers of beautiful flowers

  • Create invitations using a pack of seeds.  Glue a label onto each packet with party information.  Tie with twine as a ribbon.   6 pc Flower Shaped Cake Candles by Cake DecoratingCredit:
  • For party favors that can be placed on the tables: Take a pack of gum shaped narrow and long.  Cut butterfly wings out of paper and glue to the gum.   
  • For a yummy treat in place of or in addition to the birthday cake, have children make “dirt cups.” To make, fill a small and shallow cup with chocolate pudding, crushed Oreo cookies, and a few gummy worms.
  • How about fun flower candles on the birthday cake?
  • As a simple make and take craft activity, make flowers and small bugs out of pipe cleaners.
  • Use unused flower pots to hold utensils and napkins.  Tie the pots with a pretty ribbons.
  • To make a goodie bag, use garden gloves as the “bag” to hold small toys. Or, forgo the goodie bag, and tie a garden shovel with a ribbon and attach a small Jamba Juice gift card.

Zoo Birthday Party
For the wild animal lover

  • As invitations, send out paper zoo animal masks with the all the party details written directly on the mask.Inflatable Zoo AnimalsCredit:
  • Hold the party at a local zoo or create a “zoo” at home.
  • Create an “animal feeding area buffet” using small table top signs and inflatable animals.  Cut sandwiches in the shape of animals.  Label food items after animals, such as “Lion Lemonade.”
  • Games can include pin the tail on the lion.  Create a zebra game: Hand out white and black streamers to small teams.  Ask each team to select one person to be wrapped in the streamers so he or she becomes the zebra.  The most creative zebra wins.
  • For the goodie bags, use animal print bags and stick a decal that says “do not feed the animals.”  But be sure to include animal crackers.
  • For party favors, how about a Barrel of Monkeys? This classic toy is just a few dollars each.  Or, how about “chimp sticks,” a cute set of chopsticks for kids that features food-grade silicone rubber chimp on one end and monkey hands on the other?

You don’t need to go through great expense to execute these kids' birthday party ideas. You’ll find most of these birthday party supplies at your nearest dollar store, craft store, or party supply store. Online stores like or Oriental Trading Company also have a large variety of themed birthday party supplies.  

Take these kids birthday party ideas, add a little imagination and creativity, and you’ll create a party your guests will remember for years to come!