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10 Kids' Party Themes Inspired by Classic Children's Books

I haven’t had a birthday party in awhile, mostly because I’ve found them I prefer to plan them, rather than host them! I was reflecting on some of my favorite kids’ books from my childhood, and that inspired these party themes.      

  • Madeline 1 of 10
    Madeline
    Food ideas: You can serve a variety of Madeline-themed treats like Pepito's Perfect Punch (i.e. fruit juice), Madeline-shaped gingerbread cookies, Miss Clavel's Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and French Flag Fruit Salad (made with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and apples without the skin).

    Games and party activities: The possibilities are endless, from "painting in the Louvre" and pin-the-tail-on-Genevieve to learning how to sing "Happy Birthday" in French and watching the movie Madeline.

    Decorations: Decorate the room with pictures of Madeline and the gang, along with simple French sayings, such as Bonjour! (Hello!), Bon Amies! (Good Friends!), and Bienvenue a Paris! (Welcome to Paris!).
  • Nancy Drew 2 of 10
    Nancy Drew
    Host a Nancy Drew-themed mystery dinner party!

    Who: 9-15 year olds. Tweens will love being "grown-up" enough to have a dinner party, and teenagers will love being able to play "detective" for the evening.

    Games and activities: For a possible "mystery" theme, how about a classic case of missing jewels, murder, and "who dunnit?!" games. You can create original clues or buy a "mystery party planning kit" online. Once the mystery is solved, wind down the evening by showing the Nancy Drew movie.

    Food ideas:How about whipping up Notorious Nancy's Noodles, Best Buddy Bess' Beefballs, George's Great Garlic Bread, or Ned's Neapolitan Ice Cream Sundaes.
  • Angelina Ballerina 3 of 10
    Angelina Ballerina
    Who: Children aged 4 8 years old.

    Games and activities: Play musical chairs or pass the parcel set to famous ballet music like "The Nutcracker," "Swan Lake," and "Coppelia." The prizes for the winner can be either mice- or ballet-related objects, such as mice puppets or ballerina keychains. And for the grand prize, give-away a copy of Angelina Ballerina! It also would be great to have a ballet shoe-shaped piñata!

    Food ideas: How about whipping up Miss Lily's Mini Mac ‘n' Cheese, Angelina's Awesome Apple Slices, Henry's Heavenly Mini Hamburgers, or Mrs. Mouseling's Muffins

    Check out the Angelina Ballerina party supplies at Amazon for $26.99!
  • Alice in Wonderland 4 of 10
    Alice in Wonderland
    Who: Tweens or Alice-fanatic teenagers

    Party decorations: Hold a lunch party in your garden or backyard. Decorate the area with Alice in Wonderland props such as playing cards, mismatched teapots and tea cups, and mismatched furniture.

    Party theme: Have a Mad Hatter's high tea theme and serve the food on different colored plates, cups, and cutlery. Serve tea in a brightly colored teapot (or hot cocoa for the tween/ teen that is not so fond of tea).

    Food ideas: Offer high tea-themed treats, like ham-and-cheese finger sandwiches, different flavors of scones (like raspberry and white chocolate or strawberry and pumpkin), chocolate-dipped strawberries, or cupcakes!

    Also, be sure to check out the Alice in Wonderland party favors at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_25?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alice+in+wonderland+party+decorations&sprefix=alice+in+wonderland+party%2Caps%2C347 " target="_blank"Amazon!
  • Cat in the Hat 5 of 10
    Cat in the Hat
    Age: For kids ages 4 7 years old.

    Costume theme: Guest should wear red and white — or a cat suit, if they'd prefer.

    Games and activities: Guests can play pin-the-hat-on-the-cat or you can host a relay race where the kids are split into three teams: Thing 1, Thing 2, and The Cat. And then of course you should end the party by watching The Cat in the Hat movie.

    Food ideas: How about whipping up Cat in the Hat-themed cake pops, blue/red and white-striped cupcakes, green eggs and ham sandwiches (i.e. mini fried eggs dyed green, with ham (or bacon) on bread), or maybe green eggs and ham JELL-O (i.e. green JELL-O with a dollop of white cream or custard on top). You can also make a Cat in the Hat-themed fruit salad featuring strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and apples (minus the skin).

    Check out the Cat in the Hat party decorations at Amazon!
  • Eloise 6 of 10
    Eloise
    Age: For kids aged 4 8 years old.

    Costume theme: Have guests wear pink, white, and black. Anything and everything pink goes here!

    Games and activities: Watch the Eloise at the Plaza movie and play Eloise's Shopping Spree Scavenger Hunt. First provide the kids with a list of objects such as feather boas, hair ribbons, oversized sunglasses, and lip glosses. Then, send them on a scavenger hunt to find these objects and have a mini-photo shoot of the kids all dressed up "fancy-like" in these objects!

    Food ideas: How about whipping up black and white cookies, pink lemonade, pink Rice Krispy treats, pink rock candy, blackberries and cream, or mini ham and cheese sandwiches.
  • Peter Rabbit 7 of 10
    Peter Rabbit
    Who: Even I have to admit that any child who can talk won't want a Peter Rabbit-themed party. That's what makes it so perfect to have for your child's first birthday party… they can't complain about the adorable theme.

    Party decorations: Decorate the room in pastel greens and blues, and dress the birthday child in a bunny suit or a blue onesie with a cotton ball sewn on the bottom for a tail.

    Food ideas: Serve cupcakes with mini lettuces, carrots, radishes, and peas made out of hard icing on the top, as well as fresh berries and bunny-shaped cookies.

    And be sure to check out the awesome Peter Rabbit-themed party supplies on Amazon!
  • The Secret Garden 8 of 10
    The Secret Garden
    Host a Secret Garden-themed tea party!

    Who: For The Secret Garden aficionado.

    Party decorations: Decorate the garden in pastel colors, paper flowers, and paper pom-poms.

    Games and activities: Send the kids off on a scavenger hunt around the garden before serving the food! As a souvenir, give each child a cheap pot and some seeds and soil so they can create their own "secret garden" at home!

    Food ideas: If possible, put a picnic down in the garden along with colorful cushions and serve the food picnic-style. Ideas for food include: Mary's Marvelous Melon Balls, Colin's Carrot Cake, Dickon's Delicious Dirt ‘n' Worms, and Susan's Superb Soda.
  • Where the Wild Things Are 9 of 10
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Wild is the theme here!

    Costume theme: Invite all the children to come dressed as monsters.

    Games and activities: Start the party off with Musical chairs: Monster style! Then, play pin-the-tail-on-the-monster and help the kinds relax and wind-down by watching the movie, Where the While Things Are. You can also give the children art supplies, such as paddle pop sticks, glue, pens, paper, yarn, and string to have them make their own monster.
  • The Rainbow Fish 10 of 10
    The Rainbow Fish
    Rainbow time!

    Costume theme: All the children invited should come dressed as colorfully as possible.

    Party decorations: Decorate the party room with fish made out of crepe paper, brightly colored dots, streamers, and balloons.

    Games and activities: For one of the party games, split the children into teams and provide each group with a box of colorful dress-up clothes. Then, give each team 60 seconds to dress up each team member in as many different items of clothing of different colors as possible! After that, have the kids take a whack at a rainbow- or fish-shaped pinata.

    Food ideas: How about whipping up fish food (i.e. trail mix); red, yellow, and green JELL-O; M&M cookies; fruit salad; or rainbow ice cream.

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