One of the biggest things we stress about when running our own party is how to keep the kids entertained. At a certain age, the beloved party game of Pass-The-Parcel or Pin-The-Tail start to wear thin. The kids get bored and start running amok, or locking themselves in the bedroom and getting up to goodness knows what.
I’ve been a kid’s party entertainer for something like 20 years now, so I’ve built up quite an arsenal of tricks to keep school aged kids engaged. The best thing you can do is get them actively participating in their own entertainment. Rather than handing their entertainment on a platter (like with a show), make them work for it – with relay races, crafts, physical challenges or experiments.
Hook all this activity into a theme that reflects their current interests – look for the latest playground trends or movies, or just whatever the birthday child is currently obsessed with.
Here are my Top 5 themes that will keep even the most active of kids engaged. They suit both girls and boys, and are ideal for the 6-10 year age group.
Mad Science Party
If you’ve got curious kids who love to experiment and blow things up, then this is a perfect party theme. Let the kids get hands-on making flubber, vinegar volcanoes and Coke and Mentos geysers, all using safe household supplies. This is one of my most popular party themes, and it’s guaranteed fun for everyone. Even parents love to get involved with the experiments!
I have a whole heap of resources already collated, to help you plan your Mad Science party:
- The Complete Science Party Plan and Science Experiment Party Kit
- Mad Science printables – in green & orange or pink & teal
- Mad Science party blog
- Mad Science Pinterest board
Twenty years after Harry Potter came into being, wizarding themed parties are just as popular as ever. You can have so much fun with themed activities, such as:
- Holding a sorting hat ceremony
- Conducting a potions class
- Playing quidditch
- Making wands
- Going on a ‘Marauder’s Map’ treasure hunt
There are also so many wonderful decorative touches you can make, and fun can be had drinking butterbeer and raiding the Honeyduke’s lolly shop.
Photo by Silvergum Photography
Minute To Win It Party
The concept of ‘Minute To Win It’ is that you have one minute to perform as much as possible of a whacky challenge. For example, transfer as many cotton wool balls from one plate to another, using your nose with a dob of petroleum jelly on it! There are so many fun game ideas, all of which use cheap household supplies, and most can be played indoors. It’s an especially good theme for colder weather, and for older kids too. Divide the kids into a red and a blue team, keep a tally of points, and conduct an awards ceremony for the winning team at the end. For plenty of game ideas, head to Pinterest and search ‘minute to win it’.
Image: The Unlikely Homeschooler – check out their blog for great game ideas.
Superheroes never go out of style, and both boys and girls love dressing up as one. This is and ideal theme for active kids, because you can get the little heroes running around performing all sorts of physical challenges in their own superhero school. These might include:
- X-ray vision treasure hunt
- Superhero obstacle course
- Tying up parents with crepe paper streamers and rescuing them
- Super-speed relay races.
It’s also super-fun to start the party decorating individual capes and masks.
Photo by Silvergum Photography
I have a whole party outline you can follow in my Superhero School Party Kit.
Star Wars Party
Here’s another theme that is being enjoyed by a whole new generation. You can make this theme especially active by running your own ‘Jedi Academy’. So don your best hooded robe, arm the kids with pool noodle light sabers, and play fun games such as:
- Jedi training obstacle course
- Stormtrooper 10 pin bowling
- Death star pinata
- Pool noodle lightsabre training.
Photos by Silvergum Photography
Check out this Star Wars party blog, to see a party in action. To create your own spectacular Star Wars party, be guided by my Complete Star Wars Party Plan or Jedi Academy Kit. You’ll also find printable invitations and decorations in the shop.