10 Fun Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Creative and unique themed party ideas for children under 10

Pirates of the Caribbean Party

Ahoy, ye children crazy for pirates! Get everyone in the mood for merriment in the name of Jack Sparrow like Jen Williams did for her daughter Kate's 7th birthday. After a scavenger hunt for gold coins, those who found the most loot lined up to be first to take a whack at the pirate piñata. After pirate face painting, and a chance to make your own slap bracelets and pirate hat, guests practiced their arrgs before indulging in a slice of cake cut from an authentic-looking pirate ship setting sail through blue waves of icing.

Cookie Decorating Party

Who doesn’t love a just baked cookie that they can decorate themselves? Inspired by her daughter’s love for this round treat, Amy Bellgardt from MomSpark.net, hosted a cookie decorating party to celebrate the birthday. Children connected with their inner artist, spreading varieties of colored icing, made with sugar whisked with a milk and food coloring. With tools like little paintbrushes, spoons, and a choice of colored sprinkles and other toppings kids can create masterpieces. And after the party, the cookies make a delicious alternative to goody bags (allowing guests to remember the fun day).

A Party Inspired by Rapunzel

Inspired by the Disney film Tangled, this party is just the ticket to transport kids directly from the front porch to the land of Rapunzel. Supermom, Bettijo, created a fairy tale for her daughter Attalie’s birthday. As guests arrived, they were greeted with a long yellow braid hanging outside the front door. Activities like coloring, creating Pascal Party blowers inspired by Rapunzel’s colorful chameleon, and a game of “Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Rider” helped the kids work up an appetite for dinner — and a Rapunzel castle cake, ingeniously made of stacked cupcakes. The party concluded with flying a lantern into the sky to mimic those released by the kingdom on Rapunzel’s birthday. To round out the day, try some of Bettijo’s additional activity ideas inspired by “Tangled,” like a Bean Bag Tower Toss or Rapunzel’s Hair Tug of War.

NFL or College Football Themed Party

Most little boys become infatuated with the sport of football well before they can wrap their little paws around the ball and send it sailing. This is certainly true for Jill Mills' of Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, boys. After refueling on a lunch of spaghetti and football-shaped meatballs with melted “cheese” laces in front of the game, Mills sent guests outside for a football- tossing contest in the yard, awarding prizes to the kids who threw the farthest. You could also set up a game of corn hole (also known as bean bag toss) dividing the kids into two rivaling teams. Or download the Sports Illustrated football Rivalries app on your iPad and let the kids interact with the content, challenging each other with real football trivia.

Little Man Party

To celebrate her son's, or little man's, first birthday, Shelley of Divine Party Concepts , married gentlemanly elements with a petite size. The celebration began with special neck tie-shaped invitations inviting guests to a “tie and mustache bash.” Shelley served dishes like “Bow-tie” pasta and “Little Man” sliders, along with a “Little Man Beer Station” where kids of all sizes could make their own root beer floats. A photo station encouraged guests to pose with mustaches crafted with construction paper and dowels, and a neck-tie piñata kept the party in full swing!

Star Wars Themed Party

For the little boy who believes he’s a Jedi Master, there’s nothing cooler than a Star Wars fantasy world created just for his birthday — just as Jill Mills did for her five year-old Jedi. Guests dressed up and dueled with specially constructed balloon “light sabers” with a foil handle, and jumped in a Star Wars-themed jumpy castle. The children feasted on Yoda quesadillas, or spinach tortillas filled with cheese, sour cream, and black beans, as well as sweet and salty “light saber” snacks — red and green fruit roll-ups wrapped around pretzel rods like a tennis racket grip. The best part of the day was dessert, designed by Jill and her son: a “Garbage Masher” cake, inspired by his favorite Star Wars scene, decorated chocolate frosting, graham crackers, and pretzel rods.

Country Ghost Theme

For this three year old obsessed with ghosts, Aimee of Paging Supermom concocted a Country Ghost party that thrilled even the bravest little guy. Creepy creativity was evidenced in the invitation; a package containing a white bed sheet and instructions stating “You have the beginnings of a real LIVE GHOST! Create your ghostly costume before our spooky gathering.” Phantom friends posed with bales of hay and “boo” glasses in the spooky photo booth before noshing on ghostly white bean chili and boo biscuits. Coloring activities like this “spooky spider match” created by Aimee, are a fun way to cap off a freaky afternoon.

Cupcake Princess Tea Party

When a little girl loves princesses, tea parties, and cupcakes, mom Mindi Andrewski had to combine the three for her daughter Sydney's 1st birthday. Kids were delighted by the wacky clown who made princess crown balloons, the tried tossing "tea" bean bags into kettles on the table. Flowerpot centerpieces sprouted sprouted cupcakes in bloom (left), with a jumbo cupcake-shaped cake for the birthday girl. When the kids retreated to play with the tea party set, parents were invited to share a few adult tea beverages like hot toddies.

Candy Themed Party

When birthday celebrations eventually involve desserts, think about getting right to it with your theme like this candy party created by Jen Hadfield of Tatertots and Jello for her daughter’s 12th birthday, with Tootsie Roll pop invitations foreshadowing a sweet celebration. Guests followed giant balloon lollipops to the front door, and inside they would design personalized pendant necklaces. Embellished candy-colored lunchboxes doubled as goody bags with which to fill favors from the massive candy bar, then taken home to be used as jewelry or lunch boxes.

Barn Party

For the little lady who loves ponies and all other farm animals, do like mom Kristin Andreski did for her daughter's birthday and create a barnyard reception. After hopping about the animal-inspired jumpy house, and playing on the corn kernel crafts table, kids were armed with little bags of carrots to feed the friendly animals. The farmyard theme came through in the birthday cupcakes, decorated with toppers depicting piglets, cows, roosters and flowers. After a day in the "country," guests were sent home with animal-inspired treats, like horse rein licorice, and animal-shaped stamps and lollipops.