Many schools have an “include all” birthday-party policy, in which the whole class is invited as you can guess the birthday child had a mountain of presents, out of which most of them were toys. If you reside in a small home or an apartment as you can imagine you don’t have room for those new toys and are dreading the clutter they presented.
What is more, your child may not like the toys that they get, which might prompt unnecessary drama.
We all know that books are the best things ever– and most of the kids seem to agree. So in case, you would like to ignore raiding the local toy shop and make books the center of your birthday celebration and, here are some fun suggestions.
Book Inspired Themes For Your Next Party
The No-Gifts Birthday
If you do not want to party guests to bring a gift at all, say on the invitation. There will be some people who don’t see the note and wish to ignore it, so be ready to thank some people who bring gifts and have a hidden stashing area.
To be honest, people seem to have an aversion to showing up at a function empty-handed.
If you would like to keep those guests comfortable and happy, try these concepts: Painting Party Ask each guest to bring three or two tubes of washable, non-toxic paint into the party. Give them paper and brushes (or allow them to use their hands!) and let them paint an image. Once dry, the image can be put in page protectors and organized into a book for your birthday child.
Book-Signing Swap Party
Rather than bringing a gift, ask each guest to bring their favorite book to the celebration. Pass around the books so that each and every guest can write or sign a message in each book. Finally, swap books so that everybody goes home with a different book than they come with.
Nature Walk Party
Find a book about insects or plants near to your area, like A Walk in the Woods Treasure Box, or My First Pocket Guide Wildflowers and Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Birds. Request party guests to bring the book, a bug-catching net and a magnifying glass to the party instead of a gift.
Get the kids on a nature walk and help them identify birds, plants, or insects from their book. Each child has their album as a memento of the experience and also the plants they collected.
Rather than bringing a gift, ask guests to bring a dish of book-inspired food to share and create a feast. This is a take on a Thanksgiving Feast. Consider green deviled eggs from Green Eggs and Ham, butterbeer from the Harry Potter series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Turkish delight, and chocolate chip cookies from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
A Google search for book-inspired food will provide you more than recipe tips. Let guests try to recognize from which book the food is inspired, then fill your plates and have a treat!
The No-Toy Birthday
Although you don’t have a problem with gifts but hate the possibility of a toy box, indicate one of those gift ideas.
- A book to build a home library for your child.
- A gift card to a bookstore.
- Tickets to an event (kid-friendly) or attraction or an event like a play, museum, or a film.
- Instruments like a harmonica, a recorder, or a tambourine.
- A gift card to Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart, or iTunes.
- New or kindly used books to donate to charity.
- Money for a college fund.
- Donations to something in which your child has an interest, such as animal shelter.
Bookish Party Activities
Whether you decide to go with or without gifts, birthday parties require some fun activities. These book-inspired games will make your child’s party a blast.
The Scavenger Hunt
Find or create things from your child’s favorite book. Hide them throughout your home or yard. Create a string of clues using passages from the book to direct party guests until they have collected all of them. Books like Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff, readily lend themselves to this activity.
The Time Capsule
Have each guest write a letter for the birthday child — in the future! Give stamps, markers, and stickers to them and invite them to produce the letter fun and personal. Gather all of the letters and put them in a suitable time capsule box and bury it in the backyard (or place it under the mattress). In your child’s next birthday celebration, dig up (or pull out) the time capsule and read the letters out loud.
Just like the time capsule idea, help the kids make a secret message book for your birthday child. You may keep these message books for your child to read or show them whenever they want.
The Bookish Olympics
Play book-inspired games at the party! Need ideas?
- Play a game of Quidditch.
- Play Capturing the Flag, Percy Jackson-style.
- Build a Maze Runner maze on your backyard or living room and list any loitering parents to act as the Grievers (who eat kids so you will find a good deal of happy participants).
The Photo Booth
Invite guests to come dressed up as their favorite book characters. Have a booth in the celebration and take photos of each guest. You can save printable birthday-themed photo posts, or ones inspired by the book. Use the photographs to make a memory book for your little one.