6-year-olds are typically easy to please on their special day, so planning their birthday party can be as simple as you want it to be. Your child is likely beginning to make friends at school and will be thrilled with a themed birthday party at home, even if you can’t invite a lot of people. You may want to keep it family-only, invite a few school or neighborhood friends, or have a mix of both.
Choosing a theme is a great place to start and will inspire your invitations and decorations. While it’s not a necessity, planning an activity or two helps keep everybody entertained and busy, especially if you’re inviting a handful of kids. Remember, if you don’t want to serve lunch or dinner, plan to have the party in that afternoon sweet spot with snacks and cake.
Below are our favorite themes for celebrating your 6-year-old.
1. Sweet, six, and sassy
I know, I know, but I had to have at least one with some six-wordplay. There are plenty of really cute shirts and invitations with this phrase, so there’s a couple of items crossed off of your list. Decorate with bright pink, purple, or teal and have a colorful dessert table with donuts, candy, and sprinkle-covered cupcakes. You can decorate crowns for the girls to take home, have a dance party, or spa day.
2. Day at the firehouse
Did you know that most firehouses will let you rent out their fire station for a birthday party? While it’s not free, your payment is a tax-deductible donation used to fund the firehouse. Guests get a fire station tour, fire truck ride, gear demonstration, safety talk, fire hat, and a party space with tables and chairs. Bring your own snacks, drinks, and cake, and get ready for a day your 6-year-old will never forget.
3. Cake decorating party
If you’re throwing a birthday party on a budget, a cake decorating party is inexpensive, easy, and just a little messy. To get started, you can have the girls decorate their own aprons, and either bake the cakes ahead of time or have them help you mix up a box cake to stick in the oven while they play. Use piping bags or plastic baggies for the icing and then decorate with sprinkles, crushed cookies, or candy.
4. Bug party
You may not be the biggest fan of insects, but I can almost guarantee that your 6-year-old boy (or girl) can’t get enough of them. Check out this adorably creepy bug birthday party for inspiration. It’s a perfect theme to host outside, picnic-style, and you can purchase plastic bugs in various sizes to decorate with. Incorporate wood slices, logs, decorative grass, and splurge on insect-inspired cookies. Butterfly nets make the perfect party favor.
5. Make your own t-shirt party
This is another fairly inexpensive party idea, and kids will love creating and taking home their very own T-shirts. Buy a bunch of white T-shirts in various sizes (they’re cheap and can be found just about anywhere), and decorating supplies like fabric markers, fabric crayons, fabric paint, glitter glue, fabric glue, sequins, and pompoms. You can provide stencils or a few ideas to get them started, or just let the creativity flow. Cover your table, and don’t forget to put a piece of cardboard between the T-shirt layers.
6. Grinch party
If you have a November or December baby, they can really get the short end of the stick on the birthday front. You’re worn down from the holidays, and the last thing you want to do is make even more magic happen. A Grinch party is wacky, fun, and fairly simple to throw together. Grinch party supplies are easy to come by, and there are a ton of party ideas out there from people throwing Christmas Grinch parties. You can do it!
7. Tutu & tea party
In the next couple of years, your little girl will suddenly be too old for girly tutus and sweet little tea parties, so jump on this theme while you still have the chance. Have guests wear a tutu, or if you’re crafty, make a tutu for each child. Set the table with non-breakable teacups and plates and serve juice, tea sandwiches, and mini cupcakes. Decorate with light pink and simple flowers.
8. Day trip to the aquarium
If you want to have a special day but don’t have it in you to throw a party, try taking a family day trip instead. At this age, kids can really appreciate the marine life, a dolphin show, and interactive exhibits at the aquarium.
9. Pokémon GO party
I can’t pretend to know much about Pokémon GO, but hopefully, if your child has jumped on the Pokémon train, you know enough to make this theme happen. Divide the kids into Team Valor, Mystic, and Instinct, and let them all play Pokémon GO at a local park with an adult supervising each team. Pokémon Ball cake pops are sure to impress, and you can also go with an old-school Pokémon theme if you prefer.
10. Pajama party
This is about the age when my kids became obsessed with the idea of having their friends spend the night. If you’re like me and try to avoid this at all costs, their birthday is the perfect time to make their dreams come true. Invite over their closest friends for a pajama sleepover party, complete with pizza, games, popcorn, and a movie. I recommend keeping it to a small group of kids who you know well and whose moms you can call at midnight if necessary.
11. Charlotte’s Web party
While the farmyard theme is adorable for toddlers, you can upgrade it a bit by making it a Charlotte’s Web party. A lot of elementary school children read this in class in kindergarten or first grade, or they may have seen one of the movies. Decorate with hay bales or wooden crates, sunflowers in milking buckets, barn paper plates, and serve spider cookies in honor of Charlotte herself.
12. Slime party
Listen, I’m not saying I would throw a slime party, but I don’t know you. Maybe you’re the kind of person who lives life on the edge. Six years old is the age of peak slime fascination, so there’s no doubt that this would be a total success. Cover your table with a disposable tablecloth (or five) and have a slime-making station with all the supplies needed, including add-ins like food coloring, beads, glitter, or sand. Decorate with bright colors and serve a rainbow cake.
13. Paleontologist party
My older son is a full-blown dinosaur connoisseur, and it’s around this age that he went from not just loving dinos but wanting to be a paleontologist when he grew up. Throwing a paleontologist party takes things up a notch and can add in some fun activities and decorations. Hand out safari hats as party favors, and let a dinosaur excavation kit be the activity. Most will come with about 12 eggs that kids can chip away at to unearth a dinosaur. Decorate with fossils and dinosaur fact cards.
14. Cookout & backyard games
This is a perfectly low-key idea for a neighborhood or family party on a nice day. You can serve sandwiches and subs or grill hot dogs and hamburgers and have easy sides, watermelon, and popsicles. Focus on games that your 6-year-old will love, like Red Rover, freeze tag, Night at the Museum, or even spray paint Twister on your lawn. Throw some water balloons into the mix, and it’s sure to be a great time.
15. Pony party
If your child loves ponies, you have some party options. You can book a party at a farm that will provide pony rides and a party space, you can hire a company to bring the ponies to you, or you can go all out with pony decorations and cowboy hats and hope they don’t notice there aren’t any real ponies in attendance.