For elementary school-age kids, birthday parties are a big deal. Friends are very important and any activity or theme that brings them together is sure to be a big hit. Planning for entertainment is a breeze, as most common party games, from pin the tail on the donkey to charades, were designed for this age group. Still young enough to think that their parents are cool but old enough to help out with most details, your child will show you that it’s a party to plan!
If you ask a child to pick a theme for his or her birthday party, you’ll likely end up with a current box-office winner. And it isn’t easy to throw a festive Titanic party.
Your best bet is to avoid all commercialism. Instead, celebrate your youngster’s birthday with the Ultimate Pizza Party. Invite friends, provide ingredients, and then sit back and observe your guests preparing the party food (although it might not be edible).
From activities to party favors, everyone loves pizza. There’s no limit to creativity. You can even prepare a pizza-party cake using some frosting and orange food coloring!
Throwing a pizza party can be as easy as pie. Start by creating a clever, mouth-watering, pizza-shaped invitation. State the details — not only where and when, but also what ingredients will be provided — and encourage all guests to come bearing imaginative toppings. (Remember to keep the party small because you will need enough space in your kitchen for all the chefs.) Request that all attendees RSVP so you can determine how much food will be needed. Print out the invitations, and then recruit the kids to trace circles onto the backs, using a small mixing bowl. Cut out the circles and then paste on other “ingredients” created from construction paper. Be sure to mail out invitations at least two weeks before the party, so your guests have time to prepare.
Have some fabulous contests. Ideas might include:
The Most Creative Pizza and the Best Tasting Pizza
Pin the Pepperoni on the Pizza. Yes, just like the donkey! Hang a Boboli on a wall outside. The winner is the blindfolded child who lands a
pepperoni nearest to the center of the pizza.
Write MUSHROOM PIZZA on a large piece of paper, set the timer, and see who can come up with the most words of three or more letters using
the letters in “mushroom pizza.”
Take the Ultimate Pizza Facts Quiz. The child with the most correct answers wins a gift certificate for a medium size pizza at a local pizza parlor!
(Answers appear at the bottom.)
Ultimate Pizza Facts Quiz
How was pizza invented in the United States?
A 95-year-old great-grandfather from New York named Peter Pizzaduci invented it in 1916.
woman carrying French bread tripped and fell on a man eating spaghetti. The sauce and bread combo was so great that they went into
During World War II, American soldiers observed Italians mopping up leftover sauce with their dinner rolls. They took the concept back to New
York, where it evolved into modern pizza.
If you visited Italy in the 1940s, what would NOT be on their pizza?
How many Domino pizza stores are there in Taiwan?
What is the most popular pizza in Taiwan?
Pineapple with fried anchovies
Seafood pizza with squid, shrimp, crab, and peas
Plain old cheese pizza
What is the biggest pizza-eating night in the U.S.?
How much total pizza will the average person eat in one year?
Answers: 1) C 2) A 3) C 4) B 5) B 6) A
Food and Favors
Elementary-age children love favors such as pizza magnets, which can be found at cooking supply stores. Or, offer gift certificates for one free piece of pizza at your local pizzeria! Inexpensive chef’s hats can also be purchased at cooking supply stores and make a humorous prize for contests.
Inherently, the theme of the party provides the food. Here are some tips and ideas to help with the initial planning:
For simplicity, use pre-made crusts. Buy the smallest size so that each child can create his or her own masterpiece.
Offer numerous toppings, from sausage to pineapple, to encourage creative pizza making, but provide one standard sauce that everyone must
Eat outside and use disposable dishes. Your house may end up very messy if you aren’t careful.
Leftovers go home with the guests. Trust me, you won’t want them.
Elementary-age children enjoy building and creating. Activities that incorporate strength or newfound skills are particularly intriguing for this age group. Here are some great ideas for your birthday child:
Fort/house: As children develop social skills, friends become very important. Build a fort/house and your child can have both his or her privacy and
a safe place to interact with friends.
Hobbies and collections: Older children often become interested in hobbies. From stamps to butterflies, collecting is a wonderful pastime. Also,
gifts that encourage a child’s interest in building, such as dollhouse or model ship kits, are great ideas.
Books on secret codes: Children of this age often love making up secret codes or learning languages that aren’t understood by most adults.
Purchase a book on code making, or give a sign language dictionary.