Birthday party themes for boys

Oct 21, 2011 at 9:03 p.m. ET

Planning a birthday party for your son can be a blast, but trying to pick out a theme can be difficult. With kids changing their likes and dislikes as often as they change their clothes, how can you possibly pick a theme you know your son and his friends won’t grow out of by the time the party starts?

Pirate birthday party

Here are a few of the top birthday party themes for boys. Opt for one of these, and your son and his friends will be almost sure to love the party.

1Rock star

Every mom wants her son's birthday bash to rock, and what better way to ensure that happens than to host a rock star-themed party?

To set the stage for a music-inspired atmosphere, draw inspiration from The Celebration Shoppe's collection of rock star printables, which include cupcake wrappers, straw slips, candy labels, napkin rings and more. Kim Byers, owner of The Celebration Shoppe, says "I, of course, am a fan of decorating do-it-yourself style -- and not only with printables. Think about items you have around the house related to the theme you're decorating. For a rock star theme, grab some old records and hang them for an interesting backdrop to your dessert table or make one into a cake plate."

This party offers the perfect opportunity to break out a karaoke machine or games such as Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Another fun activity Byers recommends is to have a rock star photo op. "The kids have a blast and they're super-easy to coordinate. A few plastic guitars, maybe some temporary tattoos, a little hair gel and your mini guests are rocker-adorable," she explains.


Just as little girls imagine being princesses, little boys pretend to be pirates -- now more than ever, thanks to the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney, as well as the hit movies it inspired. Choose a pirate theme for your son's birthday bash and you're bound to have a celebration that's makes a splash.

There are all kinds of whimsical ways to decorate for a pirate-themed party. You can use fabric that features bold stripes in white, black and red for tablecloths, banners, place settings and more. Drape fishing nets across tables and chairs and hang banners depicting a skull and crossbones. Gold coins, rolled treasure maps, chests and glass bottles with messages inside them can also be strategically placed as part of the party's decor.

Treat your son and his guests to a treasure hunt during the party. Create treasure maps that feature a variety of clues leading to the "riches" that await the guests. The treasure could be anything: gold-wrapped chocolate "coins," party favors, a candy buffet — you name it!


If your son is fanatic about a particular sport, team or athlete -- and lots of little boys are -- build your theme around which one he loves most.

Decorating for this theme will be a cinch. If your son is into a particular team, incorporate its colors into your decor. You can also hang jerseys, pennants and banners throughout the area where kids will be socializing, snacking and playing games. To further accent the party's decor, use sports-themed items such as balls, helmets, orange plastic cones, lockers or chalkboards scores or game plays written on them.

During the party, kids can challenge one another to various games that tie into the theme. If the party theme centers around basketball, or a particular team or player in the NBA, have the children participate in shooting contests or dribbling relays. If it's a soccer-themed party, have the kids compete in a shootout. For a non-physical activity, have the kids play a game of sports-themed trivia.

4Planes, trains and automobiles

For generations, little boys have been fascinated with the world of transportation. If they're not playing with toy cars, trains and planes, they're building models of them. Because children are so interested in these modes of transportation, you can bet that a theme centered on them will be a huge hit with your son and his friends.

You can easily decorate this kind of party with transportation-themed memorabilia. As you shop for decor, look for items such as vintage signs, decorative gas pumps, and toy or model cars, trains and planes. You might also want to style the decor from a particular era.

This theme also lends itself to a variety of fun activities. Kids can race cars down a track, build their own models or take turns flying small airplanes. You might also want to host this party at a venue that offers go-cart racing. If the kids are old enough to drive these cars, they'll have a blast trying to beat each other around the track.

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