22 answers

Almost 6 Year Old Wants a Surprise Birthday Party

Well, it's that time of year again! My youngest will be turning 6 in August. This year she says she wants a Surprise party! :) Question is this...I haven't had a party at home since she turned 2. Up to then, I had 5 parties at home between my 2 daughters and then chickened out afterwards. It just got to be too much. But now, we are thinking (with the economy and all) of doing it at home. We were thinking of having people at our house 1/2 hr before hand, perhaps, then she would come home from wherever, and we would surprise her. I'm just not sure what to do at home for a 6 year old and all her little friends! I'm probably stessing more than necessary but after having a few years of other people doing the parties for me, I'm not sure I'm up to it! We live on some acreage, don't have a pool. Probably could set up some sprinklers, etc. But does anybody else have any other ideas on how to entertain these kids? Food, I think I can do, no problem...it's just keeping everyone from getting bored. We have a small house so it would be best if they could be outside most of the time. We have some shade. There, tried to give as much information as I could. Thank you for any ideas!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, things beyond our control made us change our plans. We ended up having our party at the Y. It turned out great. Thanks for all your responses! Oh, and yes, it was a surprise party, and my girl was surprised! It was awesome!

Featured Answers

What about a slip & slide, or a scavenger hunt? You can have a themed scavenger hunt,(like princess or sponge bob or beach theme) and what they find goes straight into the goodie bag! For inexpensive at home b-day ideas, google "Birthday Party Ideas". I've gotten a lot of great ideas from sites like that over the past few years.
Or, if you can afford it, a bouncy house is always welcome!
Good Luck and Have Fun!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Found this idea online a while back, thought it sounded like so much fun: http://www.parents.com/fun/birthdays/themes/backyard-carn...
Because you say you've got a good-sized yard and want to keep the party outside, something like this might work. Good luck!

More Answers

What about a slip & slide, or a scavenger hunt? You can have a themed scavenger hunt,(like princess or sponge bob or beach theme) and what they find goes straight into the goodie bag! For inexpensive at home b-day ideas, google "Birthday Party Ideas". I've gotten a lot of great ideas from sites like that over the past few years.
Or, if you can afford it, a bouncy house is always welcome!
Good Luck and Have Fun!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Not sure what your daugther is into, but you could have a tye-dye party with a few of her friends and then the itens they tye-dye will serve also as party favors. T-shirts, shorts, tote bags, socks hats just about anything could be tye-dye. Then they could all wear them one day when they are back in school and recall the party. Food make it simple, hot dogs or burgers on the grill. We as parents sometime stress ourselves out trying to over due things when in the end kids will have fun just being around their friends.

Good luck and I hope you guys have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

If you are not sure what to do call Butterfly Dreams Theme Parties and she will give you a lot of ideas and she can also do what you want. Look at there website at
www.ButterflyDreamsParty.com and it will show you a lot of ideas with different packages to go with your budget or you can call her at ###-###-#### for any questions. She comes to your location and does everything. You can also look at on mamasource with very good reviews.
Good luck and have a fun party..

You really can't go wrong with a bouncy castle or other large inflatable. This is the perfect time of year for the giant waterslide inflatable. Another great one for kids is pony rides/petting zoo - especially since you have a large outdoor space.

If you have the space, you would be able to put some sort of inflatable. An inflatable water slide is a great way to keep the kids busy!!! A mom owned business on Mamasourse is www.bouncybiz.com. They have a GREAT Ocean Wave Slide that my kids love!!! Honestly, I love it too!!!! Ask for your mamasource discount - I think it is 10% off.

I would surprise her with just a handful of friends...
'they' say a child's party should be the same number as their age, so that would mean 6 friends.
if you cannot limit it, then just do family...
with a small group you can do a craft activity (go to michaels for ideas) or even a baking activity like baking cupcakes or even just decorating the cupcakes- or even just decorating COOKIES for fun you don't even have to make them from scratch just buy a roll to slice from. the fun is in the decorating. or make your own sundaes.
they could have a tea party.
watch a movie and eat pizza. decorate their own pizza (buy the dough from a local pizza place).
sounds like fun!
you're a great mother!

Good morning K.. I just had my twin daughter's 6th birthday party at our house. I did a spa party and EVERYTHING was outside in our backyard. It really was the BEST party we ever had!! It did not cost a lot either. I had small tables set up as different stations (hair,nails,tatoos,arts and crafts). We had our teenaged neighbors come over to help be assistants. Feel free to give me a call at ###-###-#### and I can tell you more about it and send you some pictures. We rented a sno-cone machine (which was a huge success) and at the end all the girls got to make their own ice cream sundays with all the toppings. I also do parties/decorations as a small business, so I can help you if you need. Either email me back or feel free to call. ____@____.com

Well, it's no surprise; but it is exciting that she can be a part of the planning...Dad takes her out for lunch, and then she comes home and everyone is there and they yell "surprise"
How simple is this? Have people come to the house. many will ask if they can bring something, and answer "yes":
appetizers, goodie bags, side dishes. Make it simple and FUN! That's what your angel is asking for.
Blessings, S.

For starters have it before her actual Birthday to make it a real surprise. If you have it on her Birthday she will expect it.
What I did for my girls was a craft party. I had purchased t-shirts and craft paint and let them all decorate them and then gave them a laundry marker for all to sign each others. They loved it and so did all the Mom's. After we did the t-shirts I had cupcakes ready for them to frost and decorate. I had several different decorations for them. While they were decorating the cupcakes I took pictures of them with a camera. At that time we did't have digital. I sent a friend down to the store and had them get them developed at the one hour photo shop. We then had a small cake to sing Happy Birthday. While waiting for the photos I had them all make picture frames. They all had a great time. As a matter of fact one of my daughters friends now 23 years old told me the other day she will never forget all the great fun times she had at our house.
One year we had a model show. I had each girl bring their favorite dress and one favorite outfit. I played music and the modeled their clothes. I took photos and they all made little photo albums for their Mom's. Another success. If you want a sleep over just invite three or four of her close friends. Have taco night. You cook the meat and let them make their tacos. Then let them play a few games. Then do movies and popcorn. And I encouraged them to have a pillow fight.
There are just so many fun things you can do. With the digital cameras it even makes it a lot easier.
One year for the girls birthdays they suggested we purchase gifts and take them to a nursing home. So we went and called the nursing home to see what they could bring. We purchased socks, cards, hankies, puzzle books, etc. and they took them and handed them out. Then after we were done we went to dinner and got cake to go home with. They had so much fun doing this that we did it two years in a row for Christmas.
Just use you imagination and have fun.

Found this idea online a while back, thought it sounded like so much fun: http://www.parents.com/fun/birthdays/themes/backyard-carn...
Because you say you've got a good-sized yard and want to keep the party outside, something like this might work. Good luck!

You could do sprinklers and slip n slides. I went to a party last year (My son is now 6)where the mom had rented a giant, inflatable slip n slide. It had two "channels' that the kids could go down, and they had a blast. I thought it was a great idea. Then she had one craft we did(decorating pre-made sugar cookies, but all the kids wanted to do was stay on the slide. It wasn't an elevated one that you slide down, it was more horizontal. She rented it from one of those "bounce house" places. You could also do a treasure hunt in your yard.

My daughter had a teddy bear picnic party at that age
(every one beings teddy bears, and I bought teddy grahams and made "tea/teddy bear sized sized" sandwiches and I made a teddy bear cake. We played pin the nose on the teddy (I drew the teddy face on poster board and cut oval noses). We had gift bags with teddy bear pencils, etc.

Since her bday was in October and it was cold, we had the picnic in the living room on a blanket. Rule of thumb for ease in the numbers for my kids was one guest per year of age. At six, she was allowed to invite six friends.
Parties were never longer than 90 minutes. I think renting the bouncy stuff and all the big hoopla is overrated. Kids are fun as they are and always have the ability to make fun with interested adult guides.

Take her out to buy a birthday bear (care bears used to have one) and let her know the party is a Xoclock...so when she walks in early and everyone yells SURPRISE, it really is!

I've seen other people do parties at home w/ a rented
blow-up water slide; that might be expensive but then you could possibly rent a cotton-candy maker(kids LOVE that) along w/ some real simplistic games like Pin-the-tail-on-the-Alligator or whatever. Some people I know have just brought drinks, refreshments and a cake to a local park w/ a playground or water-park. Sarasota has several and I think they are free for Sara.Cnty residences(the water-parks)Or a "Princess Party" where the kids come dressed as their favorite princess; Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping beauty, Fiona ect.... and everything is princess-themed w/ tea served and ect.
Carnival games are fairly cheap to rent or to make.
Good luck and I'm sure she will have a GREAT party!

just fill some little kid pools with water with umbrellas for shade..., throw in a few giant bubble stations and extra wands, a few water guns and let them goooo. you can even paint with bubbles.. put up a few large white sheets or butcher paper and put food coloring in the bubbles... they pop on the sheet and leave cool designs. and if they get on the kids.. its just food coloring...add in some pizza delivered, bottles of water or boxes of apple juice and a cake and your good!

For the past 3 yrs in a row we have gotton my daughter one of those bouncies for her b-day parties, the kids love them and it's great entertainment, even the adults get in there and jump around sometimes. They are a little pricey but worth it. The place that I go through will let you have it for quite a few hours. Here's there # if you want to give them a call. ###-###-####.

Sounds like you have the surprise part all set. As for the keeping them occupied it shouldn't be too hard. When my daughter turned 6 we had a sleepeover and I wqas stressed about the same thing. I actually wrote up a mini schedule to keep with me so that we always had something to fill the time and it worked well. We swam (you could substitute sprinklers or a cool waterslide - walmart has lots of great options) - instead of one cake I made a little cake for each of the girls to decorate then bought some frosting, candy and other cake decorations and let them go at it. We also had a dancde party (just turned on the tunes and let them go) and did our nails / hair (grab some nail polish and hand cream and set up little manicure / pedicure stations (you can even do their makeup if you like. Add in some time to eat cake, open presetns and just be kids and your party will be a hit! In my case, the girls loved all the activities and I relaxed knowing they would be occupied. Relax - you can do this!!!

Hi K.!
I have had a few parties @ home for my 5 & 6 yr old sons. The best thing you can have @ an outdoor party is a bounce house. The kids will love it. Every party that I have had a bounce house @ has been a huge success! You could also rent a tent and have some tables & chairs set up underneath. It gives parents a nice spot, out of the sun, & close to the bounce house to watch the kids while they play! You can also set up food and gift tables under the tent as well.
I'm curious to know if you're planning the party during the summer or the school year. I think it would be impossible to keep a bunch of children that young from telling your daughter that they got an invitation for her "surprise party", so hopefully its happening before school starts back up!
Hope this helped and good luck w/ the party!

You should check out this month's issue of Family Fun magazine. There are some fun ideas in there to make a water park in your backyard. The ideas are pretty easy, just need fun noodles and some PVC to make most of it. There was also a cute idea about making crowns out of shells! They had a sandcastle cake about a year ago that was great!! It would go well with the shell activities. I made my daughter the cake last year for her 6th. She will be 7 on 9/6. She loved it! I wish I had known about the crowns then too. She brings home so many shells! I never know what to do with them all. Hope this was helpful!


There are plenty of ideas for a six year old party. I'm a children's entertainer and music teacher. I would love to give you some ideas and if you would like assistance or entertainment at your party, feel free to let me know.
Sometimes it's better to work with a theme. You can have a dance party, a luau and do the limbo, a girlie party with "makeovers", even a tea party is fun....with real tea or flavored milk and mini sandwhiches or petite finger foods. You can sing Karaoke or play Twister. Simple or glamorous....I'm sure you will all have fun.
Arts & crafts are fun too.

Hi K., My oldest of three just turned 6 and she had a "going green" birthday party (her idea). We made her invitations out of paper towel rolls and recycled paper. We did not purchase paper plates, plastic utensils or anything like that - we used what we had in the house. We made games - I saved 10 water bottles and made a bowling game. I saved a milk bottle and the kids droped clothes pins into it. We made two scoops out of milk jugs and used a ball for a game of catch. We had two craft projects the first we used coffee filters that we dipped into colored water (I used old marg container for the different colors) and after it dried, we put pipe cleaner around it to make it into a butterfly and then used old magnets for the back. The second, we used egg carton sections to make flowers by putting a pipe cleaner through the bottom and secured it with a bead. We then used a toilet paper roll for a vase. I let them cut up old wrapping paper or tissue paper to decorate. I boycotted goodie bags and instead used small gatorade bottles that I cut the top off of and bought packets of seeds and a plant marker to put into it. She and I also made soap and chocolate on a stick to go into it. This party was not only fun but very inexpensive for me since I did not have to buy invites, party supplies, games or much else. I think that I only bought pipe cleaner, seed packets and markers, soap mold, glycerin and a little food. We had breakfast - waffles, fruit salad, muffins and juice. Instead of cake, we had dirt (chocolate pudding, with crushed oreos and gummy worms all put into yogurt and fruit cups that I saved and washed out). The tent and water ideas sound great. As far as the surprise, I would geve her the choice of helping plan the party or having a surprise - even if she helps plan, she does not have to know the date of the party! Have fun!

Think of what you would find at a carnival - Now scale it down.

For examples: Bobbing for apples, floating ducks with #'s on the bottom that = gifts, you can rent cotton candy machines, popcorn machines, etc.

If you are like me and can't really afford to spend $500 on a birthday party you can scale it down even more.

You could make your own beanbags, get a board and cut holes into it - now you've got a beanbag toss game. Make a homemade pinata. etc. etc. etc.

You can do something that cracks me up everytime, where all the kids line up and the object is that they each have to eat 2 saltine crackers and sing Happy Birthday within 2 minutes - The funny part is the crackers of course are hard to completely swallow without a drink so as they sing it's 1 hard to understand and 2 they all have cracker coming out while singing. It's one of those gross, funny things.

The biggest thing you will need is PEOPLE - You will need adults willing to "man" each "station" for you. Most parents are more than happy to because they know how much fun the kids are going to have.

My daughter's 7th birthday party was a prince and princess theme. The children made their own crowns, played dress up - even the boys who made paper tube swords, and later defeated the dragon piñata! She is 14 now and when my son (turning 10) was trying to decide on a theme she told him how much fun it was. I would have never thought that the birthday that I was trying to do on the cheap turned out to be one of her most treasured memories!

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