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Kids’ Party Ideas

Regardless of the type of kids’ party you’re planning, these innovative ideas are sure to have the neighborhood children talking about them for weeks (even years!) to come. These parties are as much fun for the grown-up chaperones as they are for the smaller set!

Little Chefs Pizza Party

Kids love hands-on experiences no matter what age they are. This mini-cooking class party teaches simple and fun pizza-making skills to budding chefs. And the best part? They get to eat their lessons for lunch!

  • Ideas for Invitations: An easy way to make a party invitation is to cut a large circle out of heavy paper then cut it into six pizza-shaped wedges. Use felt-tipped markers, colored papers, or scrapbooking stickers to decorate the paper wedges to resemble pizza slices using cut-outs of things like mushrooms, olive rings, tomato slices and pepperoni. Write the party details on the reverse side.
  • Decorations & Party Favors: Use a classic red-and-white checked tablecloth to decorate the table where the kids will sit and eat. As kids arrive, give each of them a paper chef’s hat and an apron. Using waterproof colored markers, have the kids write “Chef____ (their first name)” on their hats and aprons. (Or you could do this yourself before the party so each child gets their personalized cooking “outfit” upon arrival.) Once all the chefs are attired, gather them in the kitchen for hand-washing and their step-by-step pizza making class.
  • Pizza Making Set-Up: Ideally you have enough kitchen space for each child to work on his or her own pizza (assess your space before making the guest list so you can be sure you’ll have enough room for all the kids to work). If necessary, set up kid’s tables or card tables to accommodate all the guests. To protect the floor and speed clean-up, tape down sheets of butcher paper or old newspapers under the tables, but don’t get too hung up on keeping the kitchen spotless—these are kids, after all!

 

Once the kids have settled in, hand out individual-sized foil pizza pans (write the kids’ names on the bottom of the pans with a permanent marker for easy identification after baking), a small ball of prepared pizza dough (store-bought or made by you), and have ready trays of toppings, sauces, and shredded cheese. Also make sure each child has a towel.

For the cooking class, show them how to pat the dough into their pans or roll it out with a rolling pin and spread sauce over it (Prego® sauces are perfect for kids’ pizzas), then let them go to town with the toppings! After their pies are assembled and in the oven (make sure a grown-up is in charge of the oven), get the kids together to make one large pizza for dessert: Provide a big brownie that’s been baked in a large pizza pan, then supply frosting, chocolate sauce (or other flavors), chocolate chips, marshmallows, candies, etc., and let the kids create their party’s grand finale.

  • Take-Home Gifts: Purchase small pizza boxes from your local pizza parlor to give to the kids for taking home any leftover pizza or dessert.
Inside-Out Party

This is a party where it’s okay to break the rules! It celebrates doing everything upside-down, inside-out or backwards, and is hysterical for both kids and adults!

  • Ideas for Invitations: Following the theme of the party, write the invitation details backwards (with a line or two of instructions, not written backwards, telling the recipient to hold it up to a mirror to read). A computer and printer will help make this task easy.
  • Decorations & Party Favors: Provide a box with all sorts of kid’s clothing in big patterns or bright colors: wild socks, hats, t-shirts (scour thrift stores for inexpensive options). Each party goer picks something to wear from it (they’ll keep it, too): the only rule is that it has to be worn inside-out, upside-down or backwards: hats go on feet or pants are put on inside-out and backwards. Kids should have fun with this “ice breaker” to the party—give them plenty of time to make their choices from the box and help them customize their outfitting to work with the theme. Have them write their names backwards (that is, last letter first so “Ben” becomes “Neb”) on name tag stickers; this is their name for the day and everyone is to call each other by their “backwards” names.
  • Party Rules: The ordinary is forbidden at this party. Walking backwards is okay! Whisper instead of talk at a normal volume, and perform as many activities as possible with the new rules: say “hello” for “goodbye,” and “yes” for “no.” Ordinary games can be played as long as the rules are backwards. For board-type games, everyone starts at the end. “Run” relay races by walking backwards (make sure the race course is safe and obstacle-free so tripping is minimized). Or play pin the donkey on the tail instead of the other way around!
  • Food: Serve food with the kids seated under the table instead of at it (with a large paper table cover on the floor). And of course, dessert is first! Serve a pineapple upside-down cake or “reverse” sundaes (syrup and toppings on the bottom of the bowl, with ice cream on top). Follow this with inside-out sandwiches made from sliced ham, turkey or bologna and sliced cheese wrapped around Pepperidge Farm® Very Thin sliced bread and a pickle spear. Accompany withCampbell’s® Healthy Kids Soup served from a plastic cup with a fork instead of a spoon (or a
    straw if the soup is smooth).
Perfect Kids’ Party Foods

No matter what kind of party you’re thinking about throwing for your child, food will play a key role. Here are some ideas to help you make the menu planning easy.

  • Think Small: Kids love foods they can hold in their hands so anything in miniature or “pick-upable” is sure to appeal them. Cheesy nachos or quesadillas are always popular. For dessert: cupcakes of course! Or for something a little different, how about a sweet version of nachos?
  • Make a Sandwich Sensation: With kids, it’s always a good idea to have familiar foods available in case of not-so-adventuresome appetites, and sandwiches are a perfect option. However, that doesn’t mean that the sandwiches have to be ordinary. Assemble them with Pepperidge Farm® breads (Deli Flats® are great for small sandwiches) and use a fancy cookie cutter to stamp out shapes in the slices. Fill with different meats and cheeses (don’t put too much inside since the bread slices will be fairly small), and be sure to include a couple of peanut butter and jelly choices as well. For something a little less fancy, assemble the sandwiches, then slice off the crusts and cut into small triangles or rectangular “fingers.” Or make sandwich checkerboards using white and wheat breads.
  • Wrap it Up: Like sandwiches, wraps are another food perfectly suited to kids. Practically anything you put between two slices of bread can go inside a wrap, but again, keep the fillings simple for optimum kid appeal. You could even plan the party so that the kids assemble their own wraps from a variety of fillings, then cut them into smaller pieces and share them with each other.
  • Don’t Forget Dips! Dipping is a favorite kid activity (and a great way to get them to eat a few fruits and vegetables!) and perfect for a kids party. Try dipping vegetables, chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks into warm marinara sauce or chunks of pineapple and whole strawberries into low-fat vanilla-flavored yogurt. Garlic bread or toasted pita triangles taste great with a pizza-inspired dip, and chocolate fondue is always a hit—with kids and adults alike!
  • Rise & Shine Delights: Hosting a slumber party? Before sending them home in the morning, make them a delicious breakfast complete with baked French toast, crispy bacon or sausage and a smoothie bar! Stock the bar with different flavors of V8 Splash® Juices and Smoothies, fresh fruit (bananas, pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries or peaches) and vanilla low-fat yogurt, then let the kids choose ingredients for their smoothie. Buzz in a blender (be sure a grown-up is in charge of this), then serve the smoothies in reusable plastic cups with lids and straws that the kids can take home as favors.