(BPT) - As a parent, it can be tough to come up with birthday ideas for your kids. While pool parties, trips to an amusement park or sleepovers are fun, they can be a bit predictable and common. If you want to throw a memorable birthday party, consider focusing on creative, hands-on activities that engage your child in a different way.
Playtime isn't just a way to keep children entertained. It also fosters creativity and independent thinking and boosts learning. According to The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news source dedicated to childhood education, studies show that play is critical to raising resilient and well-adjusted kids of all ages. While many schools are incorporating play as an educational tool, birthday parties are a prime opportunity to encourage creative activities and sensory opportunities for play outside the school environment.
If you want to throw a birthday party for your kids that centers on an engaging learning activity, check out these three creative party ideas.
1. Throw a tea party
If your child likes to play tea party with their dolls and stuffed animals, throw them a real-life tea party. Tea parties can be as fancy or casual as you want them to be and can be done indoors or in your backyard. What's important is that your children and their guests have fun and use their imagination while enjoying snacks and games.
Depending on your child's age, you can get them involved in the tea party preparation. To set the tables for a tea party, you'll need place cards, which you and your child can easily create on your computer. Just find a template online, print and place them on the tables. You can also print and cut out paper lace doilies and other decorations.
Of course, no tea party would be complete without drinks and snacks. Pick out some kid-friendly teas like chamomile, lavender, peppermint and other herbal teas with little to no caffeine. The night before or the morning of the party, you can prepare sandwiches, cookies and other finger foods that are easy for children to serve themselves and eat.
2. Organize a DIY project party
DIY projects aren't just for adults looking to renovate their homes. Children can have fun and learn new skills through a kid-friendly DIY project.
For parents, thinking of a project that is age appropriate and gathering all the materials for a DIY project birthday party can be a bit daunting. However, Lowe's — yes, your local home improvement store! — has built an immersive and turnkey birthday experience with DIY creativity at the center, bringing fun exploration to every core family memory with the least lift possible.
Each ‘Build a Birthday’ experience is led by a dedicated Lowe’s party captain so that parents can sit back and relax. The party packages support the growth and skill development of up to 20 birthday party attendees ages 4 and older and include a DIY project kit. You and your child can choose from a pirate ship, butterfly house, a customizable DIY wood project and more. Parents can also upgrade the party package with pizza, drinks and desserts from Domino's as well as Lowe's party favors like T-shirts, water bottles and backpacks.
The collaborative in-store DIY birthday party experience is available at 10 stores across the U.S. To learn more and book your child's party, visit Lowes.com/BuildABirthday.
3. Plan a mystery dinner party
Do you play mystery board games at home? Throw a mystery dinner party for your little detective. A mystery party is fun and is a great way for kids to use their deductive reasoning skills.
Planning a mystery dinner party does require some forethought and preparation. You can find sample stories or suggestions for mysteries online or base one off your child's favorite book, movie or TV show. When you send out invitations, include the name and a short bio of the character assigned to each guest. While not required, you can encourage birthday party guests to dress up for the occasion and get into character beforehand.
As guests arrive, they can eat snacks while getting to know each other's characters. They can also introduce themselves over a spaghetti dinner before the mystery begins. You and other adults can get in on the action by playing other characters to help them figure out the mystery. As the children work together to solve the mystery, they'll have fun and hone their detective skills.
Active play and activities not only help children's development but can be entertaining and memorable. Let these three party ideas inspire your child's next birthday party theme so they can create memories that will last a lifetime.