Ideas for At-home 6 Year Old Birthday Party

Updated on January 08, 2010
B.C. asks from Minneapolis, MN
18 answers

Hi Moms,

My oldest daughter will be turning 6 at the end of January. She really wants to have a "destination" birthday party but we have decided against it due to schedules, cost, possible weather problems, etc. Any ideas for a home birthday theme or specific activities we could do? She does like crafts so if anyone has a great age appropriate craft idea that would be very helpful. I am sort of craft challenged however :) so nothing too complex please. We did Perler beads last year. I have thought about having a theme like going to the beach or something warm and summery just to liven up the monotony of the frigid winter but I don't want to get in over my head...

Thanks in advance for any ideas, little or big!

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So What Happened?

Wow! I am so grateful for all of the wonderful and creative responses to my question! Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me out with ideas. I've read so many great ones I don't know where to begin! I mentioned the beach theme to my daughter during dinner and she was sold after I mentioned little umbrellas in fruity drinks. :) She's also really interested in camping so we might combine the two themes somehow. And there are just so many great ideas you've given me that I'll have to reread and write down the ones that I want to look into more. I'll give a mini report when it's all done. Thanks again - I now feel more excited and less overwhelmed!

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answers from Minneapolis on

For my daughters 6th birthday party, we had a garden party theme. For food we had flower shaped sandwiches, lemonade with a flower in the straw, and a "garden" themed cake I ordered from Kowalski's. I also made "flowers" for each girls place setting with a large pretzel stick covered in green almond bark and a flower shaped cookie added at the top (adhered with frosting). Each girl got "garden party hair." This was a dual effort of me and my mom's friend. We put all kinds of little pony tails in the girls hair, wound them with pipe cleaners and stuck silk flowers in everywhere. This was a HUGE hit with the girls. For a craft, we bought pre-made flower shaped sugar cookies and got all kinds of different frosting and sprinkles and let the girls decorate them. Another cute thing we did is that we served ice cream in small terra cotta pots. We put a hershey kiss in the bottom so the ice cream wouldn't leak out, covered the top with sprinkles and put a silk flower on top. It was the best birthday party ever.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My friend had a movie theme for her daughters birthday. All the food was "movie theater" type snacks, she made the invitation look like tickets and was going to have the kids decorate their "cars" (carboard boxes) to make it a drive in.

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answers from Minneapolis on


I am all for "at home" birthday parties. I have 4 kids age 2-8 and it's all we do. My son just turned 7 and for a craft, I gave them a bag of colored pipe cleaners and told them to make something. I was amazed that they were totally entertained for about 10-15 minutes. They made superheroes, battleships, you name it. I think girls would do just as well making what they like. 6 year old girls will also like glitter, puffy pom poms from the craft store, scented or glitter markers, etc. (Look for 40% off coupons from Michaels or Joanne's Craft stores.) We as parents try to come up with these crafts that the kids have to do a certain way and then the kids need so much help that the parents end up doing it for them. I am all for giving them supplies and tell them to do what they want.

A game we play that goes over really well is called "Don't eat my ___" (Insert theme appropriate answer. Maybe "Don't eat my surfer" or "Don't eat my beach bum" if that's your theme.) Print 9 small pictures related to your theme and glue them onto a piece of construction paper or cardstock. Put a piece of small candy or popcorn onto each piece. Have one child leave the room for a moment. Point to one of the theme related pictures so everyone except for the person who's "it" sees it. The "it" person comes back and picks candy off each picture and eats it until she picks off the picture you pointed to. Everyone yells "Don't eat my _____" (again insert theme name) and she stops. Start with a new person as "it." It seems like a simple game, but I have seen kids play it 15-20 minutes, then ask their parents to make a gameboard when they get home from the party.

For several parties, I have gone to the local library to get CDs so I have music to go with my theme. Freeze dance or musical chairs are fun. If you are worried about hurt feelings over losing, I only keep out one chair and whoever loses gets to work the CD player on the next round. I also pick up a ton of children's books that match my theme. They can look at them when children first arrive and we are waiting to start or when children are waiting to be picked up. It mostly stops them from running around like wild banshees, but frees you up to greet / thank guests. I also have one picture book story I read during the party. Birthday parties can quickly get too rowdy and having a story read midstream brings a quiet moment to the chaos.

I always do gift opening right after cake and ice cream. Kids finish eating at different times and you need the activity right after that to be accommodating. Putting a craft right after doesn't work because your table isn't free and doing a game right after doesn't work if you need all the kids there.

I would limit the party to about 90 minutes or 2 hours tops. Their attention span is short and you will need to have something new planned for every 10-15 minutes. I wouldn't advise playing with the new birthday gifts to be on that list. Too easy for a new gift to break, parts get lost, jealosy issues, etc.

If your daughter has a favorite babysitter, invite her if you think she would like to help you host. If you have friends with a daughter who is almost babysitting age and wants practice tending kids, invite her to help you with the party. Or you could ask to hire their help if you feel that's more appropriate.

Good luck. I hope it's a great party!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sheboygan on

Do a Hawaiian/island themed birthday - bring the "destination" to your house. If you go to the Family Fun Magazine website they have instructions on making your own grass skirt. They also have a cute hula girl cake you can make (I did it for my daughter's birthday and it was pretty easy). You could send out invites in a plastic bottle, have a treasure hunt, make tropical foods and as for crafts Oriental Trading has a lot that are already pre cut for you and you just put it together. Hope this helps and good luck with your planning.



answers from Minneapolis on

You know, I strongly suggest having a theme. It really makes everything so much easier. Invitations, games, food, crafts, decorations. It sounds like more work but it actually simplifies things as if it doesn't go with the theme, you don't do it. Makes decision making easier.

I like the idea of a beach party or luau or something to kick the winter blues. You could get picture frames and shells really cheap at Michaels and have each guest decorate them a a craft. Do paper leis.

Alternatively, you could embrace winter and do a Winter Olympics theme. The Olympics will be in February so it will be all over the news. Have the kids dress in snowpants, etc. and do "Olympic" sports outside. Have a bonfire. Serve hotchocolate and smores, etc.

Have fun!



answers from Minneapolis on

This is off the beach party idea, but my daughter went to a 6th bday party last weekend and it was really cute. First off, the invite was homemade - a "popcorn bucket" on cardstock that was just glued at the edges with "It's a Party" on it. Then, you pulled out the popcorn and found the party details. It was a movie night party from like 4-7pm. All the girls wore jammies and they watched a movie - then had a hot dog, nachos, etc dinner. The favors included a frame that the parents made before hand with a bunch of "movie" themed stickers or scrappbooking stuff on it and a picture of all the kids watching a movie in the jammies. I love the idea because it's so simple and doesn't seem like that much work - and the kids seemed to have a really good time.



answers from Milwaukee on

How about doing a beach party. There are flip flops or beach hats you can decorate with them to wear. That can be their little treat to take home from the party. You can have tropical drinks for them or frozen drinks. Something with a little umbrella in it-could even be koolaid.



answers from Fargo on

One year my girls were both invited to a 6 yr old bday party, where they wore fancy hats and had poloroid pictures taken. I can't remember if the guests were asked to bring their own hat (???)

They also put neat stickers on the picture ("Cool" "Rock Star") They came home in a cheap magnetic frame and both of the photos are STILL on our fridge!

Have fun!



answers from Minneapolis on

Some of the fun birthday parties I have seen have been a pajama party - wear your jammies and bring your favorite blanket or stuffed animal. The other was a beauty parlor party. They all got their hair done (colored sparkle spray and all). They also had their fingernails painted and a couple of tatoos put on. Have some pizza, cake and presents and call it a day. They all had a great time with this - but you might need some extra helpers for the different stations.

Good Luck - it is always hard to find something fun and affordable to do in the winter months.



answers from Omaha on

Hi B.,
Here's some cheap (inexpensive ideas). Go to Oriental Trading Company website. They have some fabulous age appropriate crafts.
Instead of grab bags you can have a 3 stage party. Depending on the # of children and favorites, the first stage can be the princess porch - family room. Mardi Gras beads and Simple Tiara's (most girls like blush and lipstick) you select what you want to do. (a helper is great/ young girl preteen or neighbor)
Second stage - Making picture frames - Valentines day is coming - very simple. Go with the glue dots instead of the foam. (foam takes to long to dry)
If you have a digital camera you can take pictures. Send Dad to walgreens to print enough for everyone.
Stage 3 - Game time - Valentines Match game. Cut out hearts and put matching stickers in pairs. Match game. The winner gets another necklace (Mardi gras beads)
Another game - Take a color book and wrap it 8 times. Sit them in a circle, play a few of her favorite songs. When the music stops the person that is holding it unwraps one layer, but doesn't get to pass it again. So on until the last person unwraps the last layer. The one that's left gets the coloring book. (you can make it a candy bar if you like. Sing Happy Birthday, time for cake n ice cream. Dad can put the pictures in the frame. They are all dress up and send them home with a sugar high.
I had fun sharing this information. Smaller kids can be included in the circle game. Make sure your daughter is aware that she may not win the game but's she gets all the prizes anyway since it's her party.
I hope this helps. Enjoy.



answers from Madison on

My daughter turned 6 in November. She had a "princess" themed party. The girls watched a movie, had pizza, and decorated cupcakes. They had a lot of fun with the cupcakes, I would recommend this one. They also played pin the crown on the princess, which they loved!!!



answers from Madison on

I have a six year old daughter and here are some things that she would enjoy doing.

-Beach theme... serve tropical drinks, snacks. Have them make lei's or decorate sun visors.

-Dress up... Put out dress up stuff and let the kids dress up and dance to music. Each child could decorate a tiara for a craft project. Look at Michael's or Oriental Trading for craft kits.

-Have a daytime "sleepover"... Have the girls bring pj's and sleeping bags. Play some games like twister, bean bag toss. Show a movie and serve popcorn.

-Have an ice cream sundae bar... All the girls could make their own sundaes.

-Have a pizza bar... provide each child a pizza crust and they could make their own mini-pizza.



answers from Des Moines on

I have done parties before. a nonstructured craft with minamal instruction and super vision is great. like dicorating a tee shirt they can take home. I also found that having a game corner with free play works great too. one pary had 36 kids and i set up a bean bag toss game, also had mini fresbees they could use for the target, I thought I would get them involved with a game of rules, but they suprised me and started with their own rules. those that didn't play that danced to some age approprate music. The party was a success. And have a good friend there that is willing to step in when you are bussy. something will always happen when your back is daughter got mad because everyone was having fun and wasn't listening to me... it helped having a friend there while i dealt wiht that.



answers from St. Cloud on

Check out Oriental Trading Company. Website or request a catalog. They have all kinds of neat supples for themed parties. Most are quite affordable too!

Have your daughter decide on a theme that she wants. Beach, Princess, etc. And make up some sort of treasure hunt. (For beach, x marks the spot to "dig"...... For princess, have a treasure chest at the end with princessy stuff in it.) Just make up rhyming clues of where they should look for the next clue until they get to the TREASURE! (I did this for an Easter egg hunt one year with my daycare kids and they loved it!)

You can get unfrosted cupcakes from Sams Club and have the girls frost and decorate their own cupcakes if that is something your daughter is in to. Or just make your own. Use popscicle sticks to frost.

I would stick to some of the basics for games/entertainment. Clothespin drop, bean bag toss (like into a box/basket), limbo, party music with dancing, dress up (if you have lots of dress up costumes), girls could do "make-up" if ok with parents......, etc.

For goodie bags. Again, depending on theme. Beach: beach ball, sunglasses, lip gloss, ring, piece of candy. Princess: necklace, ring, lip gloss, crown, piece of candy.
Oriental trading has lots of these trinkets for very reasonable...... And if you look online or in a catalog, you will get plenty of ideas! (THESE GOODIE BAGS WOULD BE BEST PLACED IN THE TREASURE CHEST THAT THEY FIND.....)

Just sit down with your daughter and see what she wants and you agree on and go from there.



answers from Rochester on

You can get all kinds of ideas for decorating by going to a party store- like Factory Card Outlet (if you have one, it's got fairly decent prices). If you want to do a Hawaii or beach theme they (and other party stores) have a bunch of different stuff- hula skirts, grass table skirts, plastic
leis, Tiki torches, etc. Target or Walmart also carries that stuff sometimes, too. You could do the Limbo for a game, even. Making necklaces would be fun. Michaels and Walmart have crafts- usually bagged all together with instructions, and marked with ages. That might be a good place to get some ideas. There are tons of kids games, too, so you could do a board game, or one of the games for bigger groups. Have fun!


answers from Lynchburg on

I did a castle party for my eldest son's fifth or sixth bday...

I got appliance boxes...and cut the tops to look like turrets (sp?) and made a 'window' in each of the castle 'towers'. Before the party he and his sibs colored the towers to look like stones.

All of the kids made a 'coat of arms' and decorated that to reflect things about themselves (I divided the pre cut cardboard into sections for things like "what I am good at"..."about my family" etc.

They also made crowns...I went around with low temp glue gun to help with gluing in jewels etc...

we also played pin the tail on the dragon as I recollect...and made a "castle cake" using ice cream cones as the tower.

We took lots of all had fun...was cheap...and he still talks about it to this day! (he will be 21 in

have great fun!



answers from Philadelphia on

I like your idea of a "destination" themed party and I also like your beach idea too. Why not stretch the destination idea a little further and make it a "We're going to Hawaii" birthday party. You could have little umbrellas in the juice you serve and have fruit salad too for a healthy snack. As for crafts, you could have a "make a hula skirt" or "make your own lei". For the leis, you can have the kids make paper flowers and have cut up pieces of drinking straws about 2 inches apart to put in between the flowers. For the skirt, just have some green paper to cut up long leaves.

A couple of beach balls, a giant paper sun, a blow up palm tree and some coconuts could help complete the theme.

Hope this is helpful.



answers from Minneapolis on has tons of awesome ideas for easy parties, crafts, and even theme cakes.

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