8 year old is a great age for throwing a birthday party, as kids can play without too much supervision and love the idea of entertaining their friends. The challenge for parents is not to allow parties to become so big that they are unmanageable to hold at home. This can be a great age to go all out and have the party at the local fun center, bowling alley or even a community hall that’s big enough to host boisterous kids. The big question for kids this age is whether they will want guests only of the same sex as them, or whether they want boys and girls. You will find that if you host both sexes, they do tend to segregate into groups and keeping it to one sex can keep the numbers down and make things more manageable for the host.
Your child’s favorite things can easily translate into a party idea. Incorporate an interest in fashion, sports, books or even the Food Network into a party theme. Since your child is now likely more influenced by peer pressure, make sure the idea will fly with his friends, too. Start from the invitation, on the invitations, state that the presents will not be for the birthday kid. Instead, the guests are to bring presents for the dogs and cats at the local animal shelter. Carry the animal theme throughout the party with the food (puppy chow snack), plates and napkins, and even games. A trip to the zoo would be a nice activity for this party. If you have girly girls on your hands, send them to the salon for some pampering. A pedicure and fancy up-do will send them into squeals of delight. If she’s still into princesses, you can’t go wrong with a princess party. Suggest that your guests wear their best princess finery–and remind them to bring their tiaras. Feather boa party favors and fancy finger sandwiches and cupcakes would be the icing on the proverbial cake. If your child has a collection, tell guests to bring a gift to fit that category. Most likely, your child would want to get some of these items anyway. It also helps their collection grow quickly. There is some surprise, but the birthday kid knows they will like every gift from the start. Kids in late elementary school get excited about helping others and sharing. Show your child that you are celebrating relationships and time spent doing good things. Kids can have fun whether there is a pile of presents or not.