Kids Birthday Party Ideas (Ages 8-12)
By an Award-Winning Professional Party Planner
Get ideas for Kid's Birthday Parties
If this is the first page you've landed on, let me give you a quick introduction. I'm Matt James, a professional party planner, and the purpose of this site is to show you the most creative way you can use regular, shop-bought party supplies that can be found in most stores. Not everyone has the craft skills of Martha Stewart or the time to spend several days with a glue gun making things from scratch. It's fine to use shop-bought decorations and supplies—as long as you choose them carefully and know the best way to put them all together. So I'll share a few simple tips and trade secrets that anyone can use to add some creative touches to your party—whatever your budget.
This age group is sometimes the most tricky to plan parties for as they often feel they've outgrown traditional kids party themes, but you know they're not quite ready for teenage ones. The best thing to do is get them more involved in the planning. Perhaps discuss a list of possible party themes with them so they can choose their favorite.
Let them feel like they have plenty of input into all the ideas and decisions and get them to help you with the planning. They'll be the best judge of what will and won't work for their friends. The trick is to make them feel like they're making all the decisions.
Don't be offended if they don't want you around too much on the day—children at this age want to feel independent and have fun with their friends without the parents watching over them. Obviously you'll want to be around to supervise, but make sure there are plenty of activities and games for them to do on their own.
They'll probably want to do things that allow them to feel a bit more grown up such as have slumber parties or camp out overnight in the garden. Themes that might seem more suited to adults or teens can easily be watered down to make them more appropriate as kids birthday party ideas.
For example you can allow girls to feel more grown up by letting them have fashion show / spa / make-over parties while still keeping it girly and age-appropriate. Or let them have Karaoke / dance competitions by calling it a Glee / American Idol party.
Parties where kids make or do things are also popular for this age group so things like a pizza party can be fun. You can make the dough up in advance so they can just roll it out and get creative with the toppings.
Or maybe a group bake where they can make and decorate their own weird and wonderful cakes and cookies.
Click on any of the 1st birthday party themes below for complete party plans including ideas for invitations, food & drink, decorations, and party favors.
Matt James is a professional event planner and owner of event agency Left Field Productions, which has produced events for Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Spacey, Stella McCartney, David LaChapelle, John Waters, and Elvis Costello & Diana Krall. Since 2004, Left Field Productions has won 30 industry awards for excellence including Production Company of the Year. Matt is the author of the book Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired from Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals.
kids birthday party ideas
by an award-winning professional party planner