When you're a kid, receiving an invitation to a birthday party is about as thrilling as getting a letter from the President of the United States. Moreover, a cool invitation for a child's birthday party can be as important to the shindig's success as the cake. By putting a little extra thought and creativity into the calling cards, kids will beg their parents to let them attend.
Enlisting the birthday kid to help make invitations is another fun way to get him or her involved in the party-planning process and energized for the special celebration. To start, tailor the invite to the party theme. Once you've got that nailed down, one of these five suggestions for the perfect invitation design will have young guests marking off the days until the birthday throwdown.
As a prelude to cake and party snacks, why not send out invitations that kids can eat? Specifically, boxes of animal crackers or Cracker Jacks can make for cute invitation templates.
Simply cut out card stock large enough to cover one side of the snack box. Then, print the party details on the stock and glue it onto the boxes. It may be a wise idea to hand these out in person. You won't want to run the risk of the snacks getting broken in the mail, nor will you relish paying a hefty amount of postage to mail the invitations. But as always, remind your child to be discreet when distributing invitations at school.
Complementary Party Themes: zoo, safari, jungle, baseball, camping.
Tickets to Fun
Designing an invitation in the form of an event ticket or gift certificate can add a cute twist to many birthday party themes. For instance, if a guitar-loving boy wants to have a rock 'n' roll themed birthday party, the invitation could take a cue from a concert ticket. Your home address can be highlighted as the concert venue, and you can create a tear-away section on the side of the invitation for a free piece of cake or goodie bag.
You can also incorporate the smaller "admit one" tickets into larger invitations. Perhaps fold up a side of the invite to form a pocket, and tuck a ticket inside of it for guests to show upon arrival.
Complementary Party Themes: movie magic, rock 'n' roll, Hollywood glamour, carnival, circus.
Ye Olde Birthday Party
Hear ye, hear ye! Birthday invitations with old world charm are a great option for birthday kids who want to be swept back in time. If the guest of honor has a knack for drawing as well, maybe have him or her draw out a treasure map with the party location as the destination. Pick up some parchment paper at an office supply store, singe the edges with a match (parents only!) and crumple it up to form some time-induced wrinkles in the paper.
Bonus points for using Old English fonts and applying a gold seal to envelopes before handing out the invitations!
Complementary Party Themes: pirates, shipwreck, princess, knights.
I Spy an Invitation
Spy-themed birthday parties are a popular idea, particularly for young boys. Amp up partygoers' anticipation for the top-secret fiesta by sending out spy-worthy invitations. If the invite list isn't too long, the guest of honor could cut out ransom note styled lettering from old magazines and paste them in the invitations.
For a little more fun, mix up some invisible ink or squeeze a bowl full of lemon juice. Have the birthday boy or girl carefully dip a fine paintbrush into the juice and write an invisible invite message. Since it would probably take too much time to write out all of the party details in the invisible ink, just scrawl a phone number, e-mail address or Web site URL that guests can use to get more details about the party.
And don't forget to include instructions on the envelope on how to read the secret message: Simply hold the paper up to a heat source.
Complementary Party Themes: spy, scavenger hunt, mystery.
Party Favor Invites
If a kid's birthday party is going to be activity-oriented, a party favor can double as an invitation. For instance, if you have an adolescent Picasso who's hosting a painting party, send invitees a paint brush with their names written along the handle. Then, write the party details on a small piece of card stock (preferably shaped like a paint palette), punch a hole in it and attach it to the brush with string or ribbon.
You can do something similar with inexpensive magnifying glasses for a spy or science-themed party, tiaras for a princess party and sunglasses for a beach party.
Complementary Party Themes: painting, spy, science, adventure, beach or swimming pool, princess.