Skip to main content


party planning I’m guessing that most of the time we grandparents just show up at our grandkids’ birthday parties and watch the chaos ensue. Young children are absolutely and fully engaged in their birthday celebrations as they should be. But if you’re one of the brave grandmas or grandpas who enjoy putting a party together, here are a few fun ideas.

Check this online guide for grandparents and just choose your theme, plan for each of the four main segments of the party and then let the fun begin.

Every party needs a group of kids ready for fun. Once you select your theme, you’ll need to send out invitations, make and put together decorations, plan the food and plan some fun activities related to the theme. Of course the birthday boy or girl will want time to open gifts, but that is the easy part.

Choose your theme.

Think about the things your child currently enjoys. What does he choose when you read books, select a movie or watch something on television. Or think of the activities he or she enjoys the most. Maybe your child is a soccer player or is enamored with monkeys and loves Curious George stories. Does your child enjoy pretending to be a cowboy, or a character such as Spiderman? Does he love farm animals or does she want to be a princess? The theme should spring out of something your child really identifies with.

Plan the decorations.

Most of your decorations can be created with simple art supplies. Gather some pieces of cardboard, some paper and markers, buy a few balloons and you can create articles related to your theme. If you choose monkeys you can make invitations in the shape of a banana, you can make vines from twisted tissue paper, you can use stuffed animals for animal themes. A princess may want a cardboard castle to paint or otherwise decorate during the party. Remember to look for inexpensive party goods at party or dollar stores.

Plan your food items.

Most parties depend on a cake as the mainstay of the munchies. You can also select food items related to the theme—banana chips for monkey parties, cupcakes with a plastic spiderman on top, cowboy cookies or cupcakes frosted to look like soccer balls. If you’re looking for healthier food choices for your themed party, you can select muffins, crackers and cheese, fruit juices rather than sweeter drinks and snacks such as pretzels and popcorn as treats.

Plan some games and activities.

Parties involve a group of very excited youngsters. They need to move and play and use some energy. Plan some active games as well as games or activities that require focus. Any version of tag or pin the tail on the whatever, are fun for children. Target games using beanbags or balls are fun. Remember to tie in your theme with the game and activity time. Face painting is easy to do and helping to decorate or otherwise prepare the food items is another choice. Play musical chairs or a version of it using the theme, for example, do a princess dance while the music plays and then freeze when it stops. Play find the soccer ball (pictures or plastic ones) much as you would do an Easter egg hunt. Divide the guests into teams or partners and send them on a scavenger hunt. Plan a craft related to the theme. You could decorate a hat with puff paints, color a picture of the theme character, make a necklace with theme-related beads or cereal or macaroni pieces.

It’s fun to create something during the party that each guest can take home as a memento. Prizes can be given for game winners as long as each guest is a winner at some time during the party. Craft items can go home and even some of the food items. If you want to be a hit with the grandkids, help them choose their theme and let them do some of the pre-party preparation to build enthusiasm for that all important party day. Check out some of the links below to help you choose a theme, grandchildren’s gifts and plan the decorations, food, games and activities. Your grandkids will enjoy their party, but they’ll also think they have the best grandma or grandpa in the world!

Party Games Plus

Party 411

Birthday Express

Making It

Kids Party