Throw an awesome art birthday party for your creative kids! Check out these ideas for games, activities, decor, and more!
Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. This post contains affiliate links.
If you have spent any amount of time with my kids, you have probably seen them drawing. My oldest boys have filled up over a dozen sketchbooks each in the past few years with their endless doodles and illustrations. And now my daughter is following in their footsteps.
So it’s no surprise that we decided on an art party for my middle son’s fifth birthday this month.
I like to keep a balance between organized activities and free play for parties. And, when possible, I like to plan for simple meals that can feed a crowd. While I appreciate pictures of parties with perfectly themed and coordinated decor and food, I usually don’t have time for it.
My birthday party style is much more focused on fun things to do, good food, and a few balloons and streamers thrown in as I can.
Our Awesome Art Birthday Party
The Set Up
I planned for two main activities for the kids to do during the party— painting at the dining room table and modeling clay on our new buffet.
A couple weeks before the party I looked through Oriental Trading’s art supplies and fun party supplies. I made a list of supplies we would need, and put in the order.
I was impressed with the prices on the modeling clay (just $8 for 8 BIG pieces!), paint brushes, and other items. I was also really excited about the chalkboard washi tape that I found— perfect for writing names on easels and labeling food dishes and such!
The rest of the supplies were ordered from Amazon, picked up at the dollar store, or gathered from items I already had around the house. (You can find a full supplies list at the bottom of this post).
I decorated a couple days before which was really helpful. All I had to do the morning of was a little light cleaning in my house and setting out the art supplies.
In addition to the streamers and balloons, I hung up colored tablecloths from the dollar store in front of our bookshelves (original idea).
They added a great focal point to the room, and provided a great place for the kids to hang up their paintings to dry after they finished.
One of my favorite decorations was so simple– I pulled out pieces of art that I had saved over the years and hung them on colored rope in the dining room. Super easy and a great way to showcase my birthday boy’s art.
Whenever possible, I LOVE to be able to give our friends “party favors” that they can use and enjoy long after the party ends. In the past, I have made tool belts, dinosaur tails, personalized wall art, dart pouches and lightsabers, and tie-dyed bandanas.
This year my husband made tabletop easels for everyone to use. They were perfect for the party and everyone was able to take one home afterwards.
If making easels isn’t an option, you can find them on Oriental Trading and on Amazon. I also found an idea for DIY cardboard easels which would be fun too!
As our friends arrived, they were invited to play with the modeling clay or choose an easel and start painting at the table. Of course, just hanging out and talking, or playing with our big stash of magna-tiles was another option too.
Apparently snow was on the brain. There were several snowmen and winter scenes created.
After a generous amount of free play and then time to eat lunch, we played a couple creative games before we sliced the cake.
First, we divided into two teams (boys versus girls) and played pictionary. I found a list of easy pictionary words on Pinterest, cut them out, and put the words in a plastic cup. Everyone enjoyed the game and the adults even joined in.
After pictionary, we played a game of “musical canvases”. Each child started at an easel and had 30 seconds to start his/her painting. We started some (very) lively music and whenever the music stopped (every 30 seconds), everyone had to move to add onto the next painting. It was hilarious and a little frenetic thanks to my husband’s music selection.
The birthday boy requested nachos, which happens to be one of favorite things to serve at a party. Easy, frugal, and delicious.
I made a huge batch of our favorite salsa the day before, and then cooked a couple batches of black beans in my Instant Pot the morning of. During the party I made several batches of sheet pan nachos and then everyone topped then how they liked.
After TWO failed birthday cake attempts, my husband came through at the last minute with a cake from Costco. My son picked out a chocolate cake. (Costco cakes NEVER disappoint).
The party went REALLY well! Everyone had a lot of fun. And (because I’m sure you’re wondering) clean-up wasn’t very difficult either. Kids took some of the modeling clay home in gift bags and returned the rest to the tray before leaving.
The table was pretty easy to clean up too. The easels went home with people, and my drop cloth generally saved the day because there was no paint to clean up, except for washing the brushes. (I really recommend keeping a reusable drop cloth on hand. Mine is only $5 and I pull it out often for messier activities).
Oriental Trading ::
- 24 piece paintbrush set
- paint pots
- modeling clay (2)
- plastic gift bags
- mini low-temp glue guns (2)
- mini glue sticks (3)
- chalkboard washi tape
Dollar Store ::
- plastic tablecloths
- mini clothespins
- sponge paint rollers
- reusable drop cloth
- plastic activity trays
- painting paper pad
- plastic droppers
- tall easel/chalkboard
Check out these other party ideas!
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