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Throw a favorite-things party for your kids

A few of my favorite things

If you're having a hard time pinning down the theme, menu and activities for your child’s birthday or other special-occasion party, stop limiting the options. Have the kids make a list of their favorite things and incorporate several into a Favorite Things Party.

Favorite things party

1Party themes

If your child can't choose between dinosaurs and pirates, why not do both? You can have different areas for each of the favorite things, or mix them all together. Chances are, by the time the party is over, the dinosaurs will be on the pirate ship, and the pirates will be riding the dinosaurs. Having things that don't go together doesn't matter to children. Their imaginations will make it work, and they'll have a marvelous time in the process. It doesn't have to be any more expensive to throw a party with multiple themes, either. When you're buying party supplies, just mix it up: differently themed plates, cups, napkins, etc. Or make your party decorations with the kids. All it takes is some paper, markers or crayons, stamps or stickers. It can be the party before the party.

2Party food

Pizza, raspberries, Gummi bears, ice cream, oatmeal cookies... whatever is on your kid's list of favorite foods, you can work several into the menu. We're not talking about a formal meal here -- more of a smorgasbord of bite-size treats. Keep the cups and plates small, as well, for easy portion control.

3Party favors

Everyone loves an unexpected treat or gift. Include some small gift for each of the guests. Place whatever is appropriate -- a bag of chocolate gold doubloons, a Matchbox car or a few small dinosaurs or action figures -- in a small bags or buckets with guests' names on them. Partygoers have something to take home and continue the fun they had at the party.

4Party games

If your child's favorite things include a game, think about how you can incorporate some of the other favorite things on the list into the game. For example, if you have small children and they love hide and seek as well as puppies, try hiding little stuffed puppies before the party guests arrive. If pirates are among your child's favorite things, make a treasure map and hide small treats or clues as well as a treasure. Brainstorm with your child to create a customized favorite-things game.

Check out these kid's party ideas

Six Minute Style host Susan Doherty presents a party table that will keep guests occupied and happy for hours.

More party ideas & tips

How to host a Harry Potter birthday party
Preventing birthday party meltdowns in kids
Party messes & successes

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