10 top tips for running an Arty Birthday Party!

After running many arty parties I thought I’d share my top 10 party tips with you, for an arty party.

10 party tips for an arty party


Before the party

1. Pick a theme!

A theme helps a party flow, it helps with planning decorations, food, art activities and most traditional games can be tailored to your theme. e.g. For a Frozen party you could run these games:
  • Pin the nose on Olaf the Snowman
  • A snowball race instead of an egg and spoon race
  • Musical snowflakes. Cut out card snowflakes for people to sit on. As the snowflakes ‘melt’ they get taken away, making the game harder

2. Prepare the parents

If children might get messy it’s best to pre-warn the parents, so that the children wear suitable clothes. You could suggest that they wear a large old T-shirt if you or they don’t have aprons. Or you could have a supply of old T-shirts available for anyone who turns up in their favourite outfit!

3. Setup activity stations

To manage a large number of children you can use activity stations. This allows children to move around activities at their own speed spending more time on the activities which interest them the most. By spreading the activities out in the space you have it also stops children from running around. You’ll find that they just settle down at an activity and get engrossed in creating.

4. Reduce mess with these party tips

One of the party tips that I learnt from running lots of kids arty parties and workshops is that you need to manage the availability of paint! Children love to squeeze paint out of bottles! This is no bad thing, it uses motor skills and can teach lessons in colour mixing, but it can cause a lot of mess, especially when there are a lot of children! You can use paper plates as paint palettes, or squeeze paint into smaller bottles, or paint pots/jam jars.

It can be fun to create pictures by rolling things through paint. You can contain the mess by using boxes e.g. Squeezing paint into a plastic box, adding some balls and tipping the box backwards and forwards to paint a paper shape that fits with your theme. Or creating a ramp covered in paper and racing trains or cars through the paint and down the ramp.
Have washing up bowls and towels ready around the room, near to the activities, to avoid children walking around with messy hands!

Some of the Squidgydoodle Party Boxes are paint free, so if you don’t want paint at your party you don’t need to worry.

5. Have a spare creation table

Have an empty table setup for children to put their creations on to keep them safe. Make sure they write their names on them to avoid any arguments at the end of the party!

6. Provide invitations to play and create

Set out different textures and materials for children to explore and create with in a way that they choose, to encourage creativity and imagination. I’m a great fan of process art, where the focus is on discovering, exploring and enjoying the process of creating, rather than on the final product. E.g. playdough with dried pasta, buttons, pipe-cleaners, googly eyes, lego bricks, pom poms, straws

4 different art and sensory activities are included in Squidgydoodle Party Boxes. There is no right or wrong way to create and plenty of materials for each activity. So if your child wants to create a pirate with 3 eyes they can do! It’s all about having fun!

At the party

7. Have an activity for children to do as people arrive

People often arrive gradually and if there’s a large space, such as a community hall, children will start to run around to entertain themselves. One of my top party tips is to have something that they can do without any/too much supervision whilst you greet the guests. Sensory bins are a simple, but effective solution. E.g. Discover sunken treasure for a pirate party – Partly fill a plastic box with water and add some sand, hide plastic coins, gems, or necklaces in the sand for children to search for.

Each Squidgydoodle Party Box contains a sensory activity. These are perfect to setup as a welcome activity. Or you could print out some colouring pages for children to do.

8. Give out name stickers

Managing a large number of excitable children is tricky when you don’t know their names. Especially if they’re in fancy dress, so you don’t recognise them!

9. Mix calm activities with a chance to run around

Have a range of activities to ensure that you manage the energy in the room. Calm art activities where children create their own art work can be mixed with more active group painting activities, or art challenges.

For example, children could individually create tiaras for a princess party, then work together to paint a life-sized princess, or dragon. To let off some steam they could do a relay race, getting dressed in fancy dress props for a princess ball e.g. Wigs, Hats, Jewellery and Shoes

Squidgydoodle Party Boxes include a mix of individual and group art and sensory activities. They also include themed party game ideas.

10. Have back-up activities planned


Never underestimate how quickly children can eat party food! It’s best to have a list of games as a back-up, so that you keep control of the party. These don’t need to involve lots of preparation e.g. If you have music you can have dancing competitions, or do musical statues. If you have balloons you can play pass the balloon between the knees, or have a race where the children to walk the length of the hall with the balloon between their knees, or play balloon tennis with some fly swats.

Themed party game ideas are included in Squidgydoodle Party Boxes and you can find more party game ideas on my Pinterest party boards.

Squidgydoodle Party Boxes

Squidgydoodle Party Boxes include 4 themed art and sensory activities, all the equipment you need, themed party game ideas, thank you notelets, table/floor coverings and more party tips. It really is as easy as opening up the box, setting up the activities and watching the children have fun! Buy one now in my shop.

Hassle free – You just open up the pre-prepared activities and off they go! Stress free kids party in a box!

If you’re interested , but not ready to buy yet, you can find out more about how a Squidgydoodle Party Box works, or feel free to call me, to chat it through.

Do you have any top party tips for an arty party? If so I would love to hear them, so please comment below.

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