Fun activities that double as party favors are two-in-ones that make for party planning perfection. They give the kids something to do at the big bash, plus, it’s also a take-home treat. Now, that’s a parenting hack we can get behind. From darling paper dolls to super slime, scroll down to see our favorites.
Every Jedi-in-training needs a lightsaber. We love that these pool noodle lightsabers are lightweight and affordable. Keep the fun going with a challenge: can they use the Force (and their lightsabers) to keep a balloon from touching the ground? Fly over to Muddy Boots to find out how to make lightsabers.
These DIY unicorn bracelets from Buy Some Love will make your kiddo's birthday party extra magical. Each kit is stocked with enough beads for ten bracelets plus silver unicorn charms and beading string. Plus, Buy Some Love lets you request beads in your unicorn superfan's favorite colors, or go with classic rainbow-colored beads.
Available at Etsy seller Buy Some Love, $25
It's slime time! We love that I Heart Naptime's Fluffy Slime recipe takes just three ingredients, so it'll be easy for your party animals to make it in a few different colors. Pick up a pack of containers like these and pack them full of your party guests a personal batch of slime.
For budding artists, nothing could be better than a painting party. Order up a bulk pack of canvases, cover your table with newspaper and paints, and wait for inspiration to strike. Then, each mini Michelangelo guest can bring home their own masterpiece.
Beep Beep! We love this four pack of wooden trucks and wheels that lets little drivers build their own vehicles. After they're done assembling, extend the fun by setting out paints so kids can give their trucks custom paint jobs before they hit the road.
Available at Etsy seller EndeavorToys, $20 for four.
Mer Mag's sweet, retro craft will have the guests at a dance-themed birthday party cheering bravo. With the help of a printable template, you can prep chains of paper dolls, and each kiddo can then decorate her own troupe of tiny dancers. Leap over to Mer Mag to download the paper doll template and find out how to set up this activity.
Name Letters to Paint
And A is for awesome! We love the idea of giving each guest a letter to decorate. Since your VIPs will probably want to do their own name, you’ll have to be sure the RSVP list is set a few days before the big bash. See how Puerta Bella Design principal Susan Crabtree set up her kiddo’s party by clicking here.
This simple craft is so sweet. Let your party people design their very own stick dolls in any theme: mermaids, pirates, animals, and more! Craftmaster Jackie Currie suggests using a low-heat glue gun (so the kiddos can handle it) and explains the rest of the how-to over at Happy Hooligans.
A Bottle of Pixie Dust
Set up a pixie dust making station and let your little guests mix up their own bottles to take home after the magical affair. Click here to find out what you’ll need.
Sweet Salt Dough
With a little advance prep, you can easily make a batch of salt dough in all sorts of shapes: dinosaur fossils, leaf prints, stars and more. Bring out the batch during the party and let kids paint to their heart's content. We are especially head over heels for the bright and cheerful salt dough leaves from Hello Wonderful.
Take-Home LEGO Creation
We all know kids can easily spend an afternoon building with LEGO. This time, let them take home their creation after the party is over. You can choose to buy a small set for each guest or—if your kids are cool with it—select bricks from your own overflowing stash.
Crowns to Go
Fairies-in-training will love making these DIY Flower Crowns, and you'll love that everything you need for this party activity comes in one kit. If your birthday kid's crown style leans more towards kings and queens than flower halos, then order a pack of cardboard crowns. Set them out with stick-on jewels and markers, and you'll soon have a house full of tiny royals.
available at Etsy seller Celebrated Parties, $15 for three.
Whether you’re entertaining pirates, mermaids or even Indiana Jones-style adventurers, your party guests will totally dig designing their own treasure chest. Your local craft supply store—like these from Michael’s—should have plenty on hand. Add paint, jewels, stickers, and that’s it!
For a quick and easy solution that doesn’t require any prep, consider these adorable DIY microphones from Pretty Mini. There are 14 different colors to choose from and the mics arrive with everything your superstars need to shine. Click here to order a set or two.
A personalized flower pot is a gift that keeps on giving. Giving your guests some seeds or a small flower to plant is a nice touch, but it’s the paint that’ll keep them occupied during party time.
Make Mug Art
The classic holiday gift just got a party makeover. This is an easy and fun project for kids of all ages (supervision of super-littles is recommended) and takes just 30 minutes in the oven to set the ink. Hop over to Handmade Charlotte to see the entire tutorial.
Aprons to Decorate
Perfect for a Sugar Rush-worthy bake-off or just a chance to show off cupcake decorating skills, outfit your party guests with their own aprons. Pick up a bundle of aprons in bright colors or simple white, and pass out fabric markers or puffy paints so that your guests can add a little flair. It's a perfectly delicious activity for your chefs.
Available at amazon.com, $2.88.
— Oz Spies
Featured image: Lidya Nada via Unsplash