Once upon a time children's parties were a traditional arrangement of egg sandwiches and jelly, with plenty of games like pin the tail on the donkey, musical statues and pass the parcel. These days it seems that you can't organise a children's party without having a theme. There are now so many amazing party themes for children that almost any children's TV programme of book has its own children's party theme.
From Pirates of the Caribbean to Spongebob Squarepants, and from FiFi and the Flowertots to Fireman Sam, children's party themes come in all styles.
But for some people the problem is that theming a party can become expensive. Certainly when you compare an ordinary, unthemed party to one which takes a hugely popular TV show as its theme there often is a price difference. On its own this difference in price may not be huge, but when you multiply the costs by thirty children, and then throw in all the costs of food and hiring a village hall, it can become a concern.
But it doesn't have to. It is possible to theme a children's party to their favourite cartoon character, TV show or book without having to spend a fortune. Here are a few thoughts on how to do this.
Let's start with an example. One of the most popular children's themes at the moment is Spongebob Squarepants. This bizarre little cartoon character lives under the sea, in a place called Bikini Bottom. There are plenty of Spongebob Squarepants party products available, but rather than buying the complete set, if that's a little too expensive you could reduce the cost by replacing a few of the themed products with ones which still look themed. For example, rather than buying a Spongebob Squarepants tablecover you could use a plain yellow tablecover. With one or two Spongebob things on it nobody will even notice that the tablecover isn't actually an officially themed one.
You could do a similar thing with the party cups. Buying thirty plain yellow party cups will cost quite a bit less than thirty Spongebob themed ones. You could always just buy the Spongebob tablecover and then use plain yellow party plates, cups and napkins. Almost certainly everyone will still see it as a Spongebob themed party, despite there being only one or two things on the table which are official party products. Taking a Pirates of the Caribbean theme as another idea you could use plain black party products in combination with just one or two officially themed bits and pieces. But of course it isn't just the food table which can be themed, and there are other opportunities to theme the party. For example, many traditional party games can be themed easily, and because you only need one thing to theme a party, rather than thirty things for the table, the total cost is usually much less. For example, if you were to theme a traditional game of pin the tail on the donkey to a Spongebob theme you could simply print out a picture of the quirky little yellow character, then print out a copy of his teeth, or spatula, and then have the children blindfolded while they try to attach it in the correct place. Instead of musical chairs you could print out A4 pictures of 'sand', or even a pineapple (Spongebob lives in a pineapple under the sea, naturally). Place these around the floor, and then start the music. When the music stops the children have to leap onto one of the islands, or homes. Then each time you remove one more. Children love party themes, but there's no reason to break the bank in the process, and with a little careful planning you can still give them a great party they and their friends will really enjoy, without your credit card having to be cooled down in the fridge for a few weeks afterwards.