Kids and themed birthday parties go together like…well, kids and their favourite characters. Whether it’s Frozen or Mincraft, you know what we’re talking about. You’ve got the DVDs, read the books, played the games, bought the toys and coloured in the colouring books. What’s next but to host a birthday party themed around their favourite show, movie or game?
A superhero themed birthday party, Paw Patrol themed party or other party themed around a kids tv or film character can sometimes give parents mixed feelings. The thought of your kid’s face on the big day? Totally priceless. The thought of cheap invitations, paper plates and decorations covered with the same pictures of the same characters? Less inspiring.
Thankfully, themed birthday invitations have come a long way from those tear-off notepads from the $2 shop. Children’s birthday invitations can be works of art. The magic of the internet and the creativity of artists everywhere means you can now have on-theme invites that are stunning, well made, and will thrill the children who receive them.
Sometimes finding beautiful themed birthday invites means stepping outside the box a little. One of the best approaches is to find an illustrator or artist creating work based on your character of choice. You can then either ask them to work the piece into an invitation, or buy their work and pop the party details on the back to turn it into an invitation yourself. There are heaps of artists online selling their work as digital downloads that you can print at home.
With all that said, here’s a collection of 12 popular kids birthday party themes, and some of the best invitations and artwork to match.
Superhero birthday invitations
The superhero birthday party is one of the classics that never falls out of favour with kids. You can theme your party around one specific superhero, one particular movie (like these Batman V Superman invitations), or have a general superhero theme that pulls in bits and pieces from various superhero movies. The most popular superheroes for kids parties include:
- The Incredibles
- Iron Man
- Captain America
- Wonder Woman
- The Flash
Minecraft birthday invitations
Minecraft has been a phenomenal success, with kids and adults alike flocking to the game. It’s lego for the digital generation, letting players fiddle around building things in a virtual world: a game as simple or as complicated as they want it to be. It’s no wonder it has been grabbing kids’ imaginations. Thankfully, Minecraft’s 8-bit graphics make it easy to throw a Minecraft birthday party: just make everything into cubes like pixels, and use lots of green. We love this grass pixel illustration for something uniquely Minecraft but still beautiful (and a break from the intense pixelation that can drive sleek design-loving parents a little crazy!).
Pokemon birthday invitations
Even though Pokemon has been around for 22 years, it remains as popular as ever with kids, thanks in part to the ongoing release of cool new games and films. Pokemon Go, in particular, got a whole new generation of young people hooked on the cute characters. Whether you theme your party around one character or around the franchise as a whole, there’s plenty of inspiration to choose from. This minimalist Pokemon character artwork is attractive and totally on-theme without being too busy for design-conscious parents.
Mickey Mouse birthday invitations
Mickey Mouse is basically the original character kids fell in love with en masse, launching in ‘Steamboat Willie’ almost 90 years ago (all the way back in 1928!). A Mickey Mouse birthday party is one of the most popular options for family birthdays because not only do kids love it, but it’s a great source of nostalgia and familiarity for all ages. One way of making the most of this generational nostalgia is to go for a vintage-look Mickey, like in these Mickey Mouse birthday invitations that come in black or blue colour schemes.
Frozen birthday invitations
If you’ve got a child under the age of twelve, you almost definitely know every word to Frozen and have put together at least one Elsa, Anna, Olaf or Kristoff Halloween costume. Even though Frozen has been out since 2013, it remains one of the most popular kids birthday themes. Don’t expect this trend to go anywhere, with other Disney princesses (Think Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Aurora, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas and Snow White) remaining popular for decades after the release of their films. For something a little different, we love the idea of text-based Frozen birthday invitations that use recognisable lyrics or lines from the film instead of just pictures of the characters. Keep to the wintry silver, white and blue colour palette and you can’t go wrong.
Paw Patrol birthday invitations
Paw Patrol birthday parties have rapidly gained popularity. The show first aired in 2013 and in four short years has spread all over the world and into books, toys and a whole world of other merchandise. If you’re a parent you’re likely intimately familiar with this merch (in that it’s all over your floor). Since all the Paw Patrol rescue dogs represent a profession, parties based on the show often turn out like a new twist on the old favourite, ‘occupation’ birthday parties, with dress ups and games centred around the world of firefighters, policemen, builders and other jobs. These prints (there are other characters to choose from, too) work as great Paw Patrol birthday invitations while setting up an easy colour scheme to carry throughout the party.
Star Wars birthday invitations
Star Wars has been captivating kids since 1977, and recent films like The Force Awakens and Rogue One are keeping new generations entertained at the cinema. Thanks to its huge fandom, there are tonnes of Star Wars birthday invitations, birthday decorations and other bits and pieces available online for all different styles and price points. For your invites you might choose ‘a long time ago’ wording, include a lightsaber or a droid, or base the invite on your child’s favourite character or characters (it’s so hard to pick just one!). We love these cute cartoon invitations that are just perfect for a kids party.
Dinosaur birthday invitations
Kids love dinosaurs almost as much as they love cake and red cordial. Something about the idea of gigantic animals that ruled the Earth captures their imaginations like nothing else. Dinosaur birthday parties are easy to plan and don’t have to be tied to any particular franchise, which is a win for parents who are looking for a party that feels more handmade and creative. The party can be based around realistic representations of dinosaurs, with diagrams, fossils and artists’ impressions, or it can be based on cartoon renditions. This also gives you full control over the colour scheme, since cartoon dinosaurs can be any colour you like. These dinosaur invites are perfect for any kids dinosaur birthday party.
Minnie mouse birthday invitations
Minnie Mouse has been around just as long as Mickey Mouse, both appearing in ‘Steamboat Willie’ in 1928. She is cute, feminine and playful, and far more than just a love interest for Mickey. Because of her sweet personality and her pretty dresses, bows and heels, little girls love her. Along with Mickey, she has always been a popular choice for kids birthday parties, either alone or as part of a Disney themed birthday party. Minnie seems to be a popular theme for first birthday parties in particular. Minnie Mouse 1st birthday invitations are everywhere online: something about a tiny mouse makes parents think of their baby. These nostalgic vintage-look Minnie Mouse birthday invitations in pink or blue are perfect for any age group.
Minion birthday invitations
Minions have been absolutely everywhere since the 2010 film ‘Despicable Me’ and its sequels, with their popularity culminating in their own film – ‘Minions’ – in 2015. A sequel is scheduled for July 2020, so minions won’t be going away anytime soon! Kids love the slapstick humour and fart jokes that are staples of the minions’ repertoire, and the minions are themselves modelled after children so kids are able to relate to them. Different minions have their own personalities, so kids are bound to have a favourite that they like the best. This watercolour minion art is a great break from the block colours that are fundamental to the characters, perfect for the birthday invites.
Trolls birthday invitations
Most parents know Troll dolls from their own childhoods: cute but ugly little creatures painted bright colours and with a shock of hair. Believe it or not, Troll dolls were created back in 1959 and were a major fad in the United States during the 1960s. That means many grandparents were playing with Trolls in their own childhoods! Seeing Trolls around again can make you do a double take. Thanks to the 2016 Dreamworks film ‘Trolls’, kids everywhere are obsessed with Trolls again, and it’s not going away anytime soon: a 2020 sequel to the film is already in the works. These cute, faceless prints are perfect for your next party invitation, whether for a little boy or a little girl.
Mermaid birthday invitations
Mermaids are a staple of childhood imagination and storytelling. A whole world of magical creatures under the surface of the ocean? What’s not to love! Whether your child loves one particular brand of mermaids (The Little Mermaid, the mermaids from Peter Pan or the mermaids from her favourite story book) or just the idea of mermaids generally, it’s easy to plan a party around this theme. Mermaids are also great to weave into an ‘Under the Sea’ themed birthday party. We love these girly pastel mermaid birthday invitations to get the mood started before the party even begins.
The perfect kids birthday party captures their imagination, ties into their favourite things, and makes them squeal with joy. It should also be a great opportunity for you to put together some pretty, creative things for the event. With the right choice of themed birthday invitations, you can have both! These twelve are a great place to start for inspiration.