Throw a Mind-Blowing Boy’s Birthday Party


It’s pretty easy to put together a party for toddlers. Get some cake and ice cream, play a few games and have them run around the yard. Then have the parents come and get them while their sugar high is still going strong enough that they haven’t all crashed into each other yet and turned into a soggy mess of birthday goo.

But as children get older, particularly boys, it gets harder to keep them entertained. Taking them to a water-park or movie can get expensive, plus it’s easy to lose control if you have too many boys along. Here are a few ideas for a fun party that’s also easy on your budget.

Take a hike: Plan to explore one of the many safe hiking options available near Phoenix. Choose one with limited height exposure or distance. Plan a picnic lunch. If you’re in a National Park you may be able to take advantage of a park program with a ranger to explain some of the wildlife or other insights of interest to the age group. If it’s not snake or scorpion season, a night hike followed by ghost stories around a campfire might be a fun variation.

Have a Lego party: Create a series of Lego contests using Legos you provide. Include Lego giveaways as prizes. This only works if you son and his friends are Lego fans.

Create an all-night movie marathon: Choose a great series that they will all like like Star Wars or X-Men. Pick up a variety of popcorn and movie snacks. Plan on pizza at about 11 p.m. and sleeping bags out at midnight. Chances are they won’t make it all the way through but that’s OK. It’s the possibility and the permission that makes it exciting.

For some other great ideas and venues for birthday parties around Phoenix, Raising Arizona’s Kids has a list of opportunities. We’d love to hear about your ideas.

Planning a special children’s party

5760630_SYou don’t have to spend a fortune to organize a special party for children. Planning and creativity can make any party something to remember. Here are a few suggestions:

Choose a theme: Current children’s movies often offer a full selection of paper products such as plates, cups and centerpieces, but don’t limit yourself to these options. For example, a “Toy Story” theme could feature actual character dolls – smaller ones to decorate a cake, and larger ones to serve as a centerpiece.

Plan activities: To keep the energy going, set up a series of games and activities. Here in the Southwest, a piñata provides a great way to get every child involved. Be sure to make it harder to hit the piñata at first, so that every child has a chance to take a hit. Other games could include relay races and, for older children, a treasure hunt. You may want to mix active games with quieter ones. Be prepared to explain the rules and process for each activity, and encourage your little host or hostess to give everyone the opportunity to play.

Stick with finger foods: Pizza fingers are easier to manage than full slices, and sandwiches are tidier than fried chicken. Offer a variety of kid-friendly options. For dessert, consider cupcakes or cookies.

Plan for parents: If you are inviting the parents to stay have an assortment of drinks and appetizers ready for them. You may want to encourage them to bring cameras to document the party, with photos that can be shared later. Clearly define a time for the party to end, for the benefit of parents who drop their child off at your home.

Prizes for everyone: Children who aren’t as good at games should leave with prizes and treats also. Goody bags filled with small packages of candy and an assortment of inexpensive toys are a nice way to wrap up the day.

Above all, remember that children may come prepared to have fun, but could still be shy and unsure in a social setting. Pay attention to the wallflowers and encourage them to get involved in the games and play. With this approach and your careful planning, everyone will have a terrific time!