When my kids were in preschool they loved pouring over catalogs from companies like Birthday Express and declaring that their next party would be a "Bob the Builder Party" or a "Cowgirl Party." At the time it made me sad that they were taking all their party ideas from catalogs. That was before they became more creative and started developing their own themes. Themes for which there were no easy-to-buy decorations! It's more creative, more original and more fun to create a theme, or choose a theme for which there aren't commercial products available, but it's also more work. That's why we have tips on how to do it. As always with kids' parties the first step is to find out what your child means by a specific theme. Do they mean a certain color of plates or napkins? Activities? Invitations? Assuming the birthday girl wants decorations and activities, Pinterest is your friend. Even if your child has completely made up a theme (Princess Cowboys in Outer Space?) parts of it have been done by someone, somewhere. This year my kids wanted Wild Kratts and Little House on the Prairie. Both are popular with kids, but don't have official merchandise (something I'm generally glad about). I used Pinterest to help find ideas, and created the boards (linked above). Sometimes a theme may have some commercially available elements, but you want to be more creative (and save some money).

Check out our Dr. Seuss party board for ideas people have had creating different Dr. Seuss themes. As always, entertainment can really help bring a theme to life. Even if an entertainer doesn't seem like a perfect fit for your theme, talk to the entertainer about your ideas. A magician might be able to do tricks involving animals for an animal party, or baseballs for a sports party. A Balloon Twister can create almost anything to work with your theme either as a centerpiece or an activity/party favor and musicians know all sorts of songs! When you're done creating your original theme party, don't forget to make your own board on Pinterest and let us know about it, too!