“Keep it short; keep it moving; keep it fun” should be your mantra when you are planning a party for an 8-year-old boy’s birthday. Rather than being surprised, a 7-year-old will enjoy helping to plan his own party, and parents can plan a flurry of activities that will last just about an hour, with a birthday cake and ice cream intermission.
Balls and Balloons
For a boy who can’t get enough throwing and catching, parents can plan a “ball party.” Mini rounds of soccer, basketball, baseball and football can be scheduled one after another, with ball-shaped mini-cakes for treats. As a variation, in her book, “Birthday Parties for Kids,” Penny Warner suggests a ” Balloon Blow-Out Party” where kids play all kinds of balloon games, engage in balloon races and relays and throw water balloons. For a fun activity during refreshments, kids can even draw funny cartoon faces and write balloon captions.
Using their two-wheelers as a starting point, various parties can feature boys on their bikes. Parents transport kids to a biking trail where the party consists of following a map to find a treasure (the birthday party refreshments). A bike parade party, suggested by Family Fun, starts with bike decorating. The hosts can provide all sorts of materials for creating each bike entry in the parade.
For parties that must be held indoors, the living room or basement can become a “magic shop.” One party possibility is to invite a magician (maybe even a magic-proficient teenager) to teach kids several tricks. Materials for the tricks would serve as party favors. Another possibility is to divide the kids into teams, provide each team with materials and directions for several magic tricks and allow time for preparing tricks to present to the other team.
Old-Fashioned Games Party
Teaching kids games they’ve never played before falls into the “everything old is new again” category. All that matters is that the kids think the games are fun. For an old-fashioned outdoors party, choose from all kinds of relays, including three-legged races, Red Rover, ring toss, and if after-dark, flashlight tag. For an old-fashioned party held inside the house, games can include checkers, marbles, Chinese checkers and pick-up sticks.
Kids stay occupied at a party that has them creating something to take home. For a model airplane party, kids put together and decorate simple balsa wood airplane kits. They can also use the planes in impromptu flying contests. Building and flying kites is another party idea that will provide boys with something to take home.