This is a fun party for toddlers who are fascinated with bouncing, throwing and rolling balls.
Not all items mentioned in this article will be appropriate for very young children so only use under close adult supervision.
The idea of this party is to come up with as many ball related ideas as possible. They don't just need to be bouncy type balls.
You can incorporate sports balls, beach balls, playground balls, exercise balls etc. and other items that are in the shape of a ball.
These can be as simple as a sports themed invitation which shows balls on the front or you could cut out circles using a stencil (a pot lid etc. works well)
from colored paper or scrap-booking paper and write the party information on it. They can be decorated with smaller sizes of circles in contrasting colors/patterns and glued on
or just simply fold one larger circle in half to fit in an envelope which can also be decorated.
You can design an invitation on your computer or if you want to get even more creative, you can purchase small, inflatable beach balls and write the party information on them with
a permanent marker and mail them deflated. When inflated, the guests will find the party details.
Spray paint different sizes of styrofoam balls in bright colors and string several (or just one if using a very large one) into a length of fishing line. You'll have to make a knot beneath each ball as you go to prevent them from sliding down. Hand several of these from the ceiling or you can purchase a variety of round Chinese lanterns and hang those instead.
Tables can be covered in tablecloths with a polka-dot print (Oriental Trading Company sells them) or a sports ball print. You could also just cover the table with a brightly colored plastic tablecloth and scatter round-cut confetti over the top.
Set small jars of the candies mentioned below on the tables
Using clear jars, fill them with goody bag stuffers such as small bouncy which can stand in as decorations until the end of the party.
Fill small glass (or clear plastic) jars each with a different round food item such as Whoppers, Yo-Gos fruit snacks, Skittles, Foil wrapped round chocolates, jaw breakers and other round, hard candies and gum-balls in a variety of sizes.
Serve a kid-friendly punch or juice which you can keep cool with round ice cubes (yes, they do make spherical ice cube trays!).
Rice-Krispy treats shaped into balls (you can use food coloring to tint the marshmallows when melted
Round cheese ball snacks (like cheese curls snacks but in the shape of balls)
Round cookie balls
Bake the birthday cake in a spherical cake pan for a really fun 3-D cake or simply bake in traditional cake/cupcake pans and decorate with the above mentioned round candies or flat, round candies such as Necco wafers etc.
Inexpensive, inflatable ball pit. These are best suited to younger toddlers or preschool aged children unless you'd like to rent professional pit from a party supply rental company.
Using bouncy balls, have them try to bounce balls into the buckets.
Ball toss between partners
"Hot potato" using a ball
If the party is outdoors, put out soccer balls,playground balls, whiffle balls and chunky bats for toddlers
Using balls from the pit, have a ball toss. See how many balls the kids can throw into a bucket. I like to use the colorful plastic round buckets with handles. They're also great for storing new toys in after the party!
Balls can also be thrown through a sturdy sheet of foam board with different sized holes cut out. This would be better to use to entertain older siblings and friends who are at the party.
If you have a kid sized basketball hoop, let them practice making baskets.
Older guests can guess how many Skittles, jaw breakers etc. are in the jars when they arrive. Have them write their name and guess on a sheet of paper when they arrive and announce the winner during game time.
Smaller round balloons can be inflated and ties to older kid's ankles for a balloon stomp. The kid with the last remaining, inflated balloon wins.
Goody Bag Ideas
koosh type balls
bean bag balls
small Nerf type balls
ball shaped candy etc. that is age appropriate
Homemade play dough rolled into balls and put into Ziplock bags or wrapped in plastic wrap. Edible play dough is always an option as well. You can purchase edible play dough but if you prefer to make your own, here are a few recipes:
Kool-Aid Play Dough
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
3 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 package Kool-Aid Mix (any flavor of unsweetened)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Mix dry ingredients together in a large saucepan. Slowly add water mixed with oil and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens to dough. Turn out onto a heatproof bread board or counter top and knead until cool enough for children to handle. Dough will be the color of the Kool-Aid mix and will smell like the Kool-Aid mix. (Can be stored in a tightly covered container for up to six months)
Jell-O Play Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 (3-1/2 oz.) package "unsweetened" Jell-O
Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until consistency of mashed potatoes. Let cool and knead with floured hands until dry.
Storage: This recipe needs to cool completely "before" storing it in an airtight container!
Note: The items made from this play dough recipe can be painted when they are dry.
Peanut Butter Play Dough
one 18-oz. jar creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup non-fat dry milk
Mix ingredients together, using varying amounts of dry milk for desired consistencies. Knead it with fingers, forming into desired shapes, adding other foods like M&M's or peanuts for eyes, mouths, etc. Great fun!
Storage: When not using, MUST be stored in an airtight container.
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