Boys birthday party ideas: football party

Ideas for planning a football themed birthday party, including suggestions for making invitations, food, decorations, activities, games and instructions on how to make a football cake.

Children's birthday parties provide so many different opportunities to be creative. The themes are endless, but who among us could ever possibly think of boys and NOT get an image of football? They go together like...well, cake and ice cream! So what better idea for a boys birthday party, than a football theme? Though fairly simple to create, this party will have children talking about it for weeks afterward!

First there are the invitations. Consider making your own by cutting out football shapes, at least four by six inches. You can either use brown paper, or for an authentic effect, use white paper and cut the same shape out of brown vinyl. Attach it to one side with adhesive. Glue white shoelaces, or white scrapbook sticker strips on to make the football laces. You could also use a four by six card and use turf-like scrapbooking paper, or even Astroturf glued on for a football field invitation. For the words try to think of something that relates to the game. For example, if it is the boy's eighth birthday, "First and Eight, with three days to the party!" or "Join us for a Big 8 Tailgate!" would set the tone for the festivities. Then continue to list out the details below. You could also use the invitation to encourage guests to come dressed in their favorite team wear.

Now it's time to decorate. If your son has a favorite team, you can use that for a color scheme, especially if he has some items in his room already. You can hang jerseys, helmets, kneepads, shoulder pads, and cleats around the room. Put down Astroturf on the floor, if you don't have any it is fairly inexpensive to purchase. Use wrapping paper tubes painted yellow to make uprights. Decorate your kitchen or food serving area as a concession stand. Serve football type food like hot dogs or sloppy joes, popcorn in lunch sacks, large pretzels, and nachos. You can serve chips in football helmets.

Boys have a great deal of energy, so be prepared with a lot of activities. The more prepared you are, the smoother things will move along. There are a number of football related games that will be perfect.

The football toss: Line them up and have them take turns throwing the ball through a tire hung from a tree or a hole cut out of a piece of plywood. If indoors, use a Nerf ball. You could also have a distance throwing or kicking contest.

Flag Football: Divide the party into two teams for a flag football game, or if the group consists of younger children, have a "game" with one team.

Kick the Field Goal: For this version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, take a large sheet of paper and draw a football field on it, putting an upright where an end zone would be. Each child gets a paper football with tape on the back, either double sided or wrapped in a loop so that the ball will stick. The goal is to stick the ball between the uprights.

Calisthenics Obstacle Race: For older children, design an obstacle course that includes what you might see in football practice - running through tires, tackling a dummy (or pillow), jumping jacks, etc. For younger children, do simple exercises with them, jumping jacks, "push ups", run with a ball...

To make a football cake, either purchase a box mix or your favorite cake recipe and mix according to directions. Bake half in an eight inch round pan, and half in an eight-inch square pan. When the two cakes are cooled, cut the circular cake in half. Each half will go on opposite ends of the square cake. Taper these ends to a point to make a football shape. Frost with chocolate frosting. Use white frosting with a decorating tool to create the laces on the football. If you aren't sure how they should look, use a real football for inspiration.

If this seems a little complicated, make a simple rectangular football field. Depending on the boys' tastes, you can achieve the effect of grass with coconut dyed green on top of green frosting, then add white icing yard lines.

Boys and football, a timeless combination destined to result in fun! A football theme will be as fun for the guests as for the guest of honor, especially if you send them home with party favors consisting of mini helmets filled with treats, stickers, football cards and whistles. The only thing you have left to figure out is how many days 'til kick-off?

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