Make your child’s 8th birthday an event to cherish with a singular theme, decorations, activities, food and entertainment. You can invite family, friends and neighbors for a major birthday bash or just have a couple of friends over for a slumber party or an outing to the amusement park. Include your child in the decision-making so that the birthday party reflects his unique interests.
Most 8-year-olds have a strong idea about a theme they want for their party. Animals, cartoons and movies or movie characters interest many children this age. For more adventurous themes, consider Harry Potter, aliens, backyard beach luau, international destinations, Hollywood, crafts, monsters, the rain forest or Lego toys.
You do not need a large budget to plan a grand birthday party. Make decorations such as paper chains, pinatas, painted backdrops and confetti. Supply basic ingredients for creative meals, such as a taco bar with beans, rice, lettuce, cheese, strawberry slices and gummy worms. Bake your own cupcakes for children to customize with frosting and candies, or create an ice-cream cake by layering ice cream and crushed cookies in a casserole dish, topping with whipped topping and freezing.
Your child’s birthday party should feature several types of activities. Try an icebreaker such as Fact or Fiction, in which a child tells three statements about himself, only two of which are true. Guests vote on which statement is fiction. For active games, consider volleyball, a water fight, relay races, capture the flag or a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Add a creative or dramatic game such as charades or freeze dance. Finish with a winding-down activity such as doing a craft, sculpting with clay, watching a movie or playing a board game.
An 8th birthday should make the guest of honor feel special. Print out images of him from birth to the present day, and use them to decorate banners, dishes, cups and party bags. Adorn the table with bowls of his favorite candy. Invite guests to doodle pictures and sign autographs on a scrapbook page for the party.
Judging the maturity level of 8-year-olds can prove challenging. They may say they’re ready for a large-scale slumber party, but tiredness will bring crankiness. Instead, host an almost slumber party, with a movie that goes into the night, and then have parents pick up their children.