Birthday Theme Parties: Kids Space Party

Looking for exciting themes for your child's next party? Blast off with an outer space B-day bash! Information on decorations and games.

INVITATIONS

Print out a telegram-looking paper with the letters NASA in the corner. Write something such as, "Astronaut first class (guest's name) ordered to report to launch site (party address) for an out of this world space party. Shuttle to festivities will be blasting off on (date). Report to Captain (birthday child's name) at (time)."

DECORATIONS

Get a large appliance box, such as for a refrigerator or stove. Spray paint it silver, inside and out. Let it dry. Cut windows. Glue bottle caps and odds and ends on the inside to represent levers and knobs. Place it on a dolly outdoors. When your guests arrive at the curb, let kids climb into the "shuttle" and push them to the front door. The ride will bring instant smiles, and make for great photo opportunities.

Drape your walls with discount fabric that is dark blue or black to represent space. Make lights dim and use a black bulb in one lamp for an unusual glow. Get some glow-in-the-dark paint. Cut a large sponge into a star shape, and another into moon shapes. Stamp them on the fabric. If you like, cut out cardboard stars and get styrofoam craft spheres in assorted sizes. Paint them and hang them from the ceiling with thread and thumb tacks. Think about getting an inexpensive fog machine to make a misty planet surface. Cover furniture with white sheets to look like the bumpy moon surface.

Set up a "space station" for kids to play with. Drape a table with silvery fabric. Pile all kinds of old or broken computer parts and electronic gadgets. They don't have to be plugged in, it's just for fun. Kids will enjoy pounding on buttons, switching levers and let their imaginations lead them to the outskirts of the universe.

FOOD AND DRINK

Think of tube foods that astronauts use. Yogurt tubes, ices in plastic tubes, any freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, and juices in foil bags will all suffice. Did you know you can buy astronaut ice cream? Available at museums and science shops in single-serving packages, this is the actual freeze dried ice cream astronauts take into space. It doesn't even need to be refrigerated. Kids will really enjoy the authentic treat.

Make cup cakes with gray, cratered frosting for "moon rocks." Make "alien guts" by making green gelatin jigglers. Mix some green food dye with olive oil and brush it on pizzas so they can eat some of the moon's "green cheese."

ACTIVITIES

Put a spin on the old "pin the tail on the donkey" and play "pin the eye on the alien." Paint an alien shape onto a poster board (don't worry if you're not an artist; the stranger looking the better), and cut out eyes for the kids to try and pin (or tape) to it.

A great word game is, "I'm going to the moon." In this game, the first person says, "I'm going to the moon, and I'm taking..." then names and item starting with the letter A. The next person in turn repeats what the first person says and is taking, then adds something that begins with the letter B. Go around in a circle alphabetically, each child repeating all of the items that have been said and adding another. It gets harder and harder, as the list gets longer and longer.

Pass the moon rock is a fun game that is like musical chairs. All the kids sit in a circle. Have a rock that you painted with the glow-in-the-dark paint. Play music as the kids pass around the rock. Whoever is holding it when the music stops is out. The last child standing who avoids holding the rock is the winner. Make alien masks out of large paper bags. Cut eye holes and provide the kids with markers, pipe cleaners, fabric material, glue, and other craft items to make their own alien masks.

GOODY BAGS

Fill some party bags with space-like candies (pop rocks, Milky Way and mars bars, star bursts), glow-in-the-dark star stickers, little alien toys and key chains.

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