Throwing a Kid’s Tennis Themed Birthday Party
HOW TO TURN A DOZEN KIDS WITH TENNIS RACQUETS INTO A SMASHING BIRTHDAY PARTY!
Whether you are a tennis playing family or not, planning a birthday party for 7-10 year olds with a tennis theme is easy and comes with an extra bonus just for you; the kids, and the mess, will stay outside!
The kids won’t be the only ones having fun with this party theme. Making tennis racquet and tennis ball shaped foods and decorations will be a blast, and these simple tips will help you ace this year’s birthday bash with a grand slam victory! Sorry, just had to do it. Let’s get started………….
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
The most important aspect in a kid’s party is the food, right? Wrong; it’s the games that tire them out so they will sit and eat their food!
Simon Says: Remember playing Simon Says when you were a kid? How about giving Simon a little tennis spin? On a tennis court or driveway, line up all the kids in front of you in a horizontal line, each holding a tennis racquet and a ball – be brave! [Hint: look for used kid-sized tennis racquets online, at Goodwill, or at tennis specialty shops.]
You, being Simon, call out commands, such as, “Simon says bounce the ball on your tennis racquet”, or “Simon says stand on one foot and hit the ball to me”; in the middle of one of these actions, call out “Simon says freeze!” Change the commands according to the kids’ skill level; if they know the game of tennis, actions might be a serve, forehand or backhand. Same rules apply as a regular game of Simon Says.
Balloon Tennis offers two kinds of fun. First, the kids get to make their own tennis racquets; secondly, they get to play with them. Supplies: one paint stick for each kid [free at Wal-Mart], plain white paper plates, colored markers, strong packing tape, and balloons in assorted colors. Each kid gets a paper plate and a stick; have them use the markers to decorate their plate any way they would like, maybe writing their name on their ‘racquet’, then securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate; voila! A tennis racquet! Pair them up into doubles and have them hit the balloons back and forth with their homemade racquets. The winning team is the one whose balloon never hits the ground. Time the play, utilizing a board game minute timer.
Piñata: What kids party wouldn’t be complete without a piñata; a tennis ball piñata that is? Fill the piñata with assorted candies and let the kids whack it with old tennis racquets.
Tennis Lessons: For a ‘no holds barred’ tennis party, hire a tennis coach for an hour or so to teach the kids basic lessons at your local tennis courts. Who knows, you may spark some interest into the next Roger Federer!
There are two ways to go with decorations, the easy way and the hard way; you choose.
The easy way is to purchase a tennis themed table cloth, napkins, and matching paper plates. Everything looks very cute and you turned it out in no time flat. After all the planning, shopping, invitation sending, organizing, shopping, phone calling, shopping, and food prep, I’m thinking this is the way to go.
However! If you have lots of helpers and feel particularly crafty, grab the duct tape; here we go!
Cover a picnic, or rectangular table with dark green felt or a table cloth. A Ping-Pong table will also work. Using white duct tape, mimic the lines on a tennis court on top of the table covering. Assemble a Ping-Pong net down the center for authenticity, and you’re done! Easy-peasy! Bright yellow plates, cups and napkins will look festive on the green covering.
Balloons! Tie them to the back of chairs or around the yard, and be sure to mix in some Mylar tennis shaped balloons, too.
Given the age of your guests, the food for this party should not only tantalize their young taste buds, it has to be fun to eat too.
Meet your new BFF; tennis racquet and ball shaped cookie cutters! Use them to make tennis racquet shaped PB&J sandwiches. Use a small circle cookie cutter and cut ‘tennis balls’ out of melon slices, spear them onto Popsicle sticks, add a bag of chips and it’s tennis fun for lunch! Game. Set. Match.
Small hands love cupcakes, and a display of bright yellow tennis ball cupcakes will surely be a hit. Bake white cupcakes in dark green cupcake liners and frost them with white icing. To decorate, while the icing is wet, dip the cupcakes upside down into a bowl of yellow jimmies; this will give the cupcakes that fuzzy ball look. For the lines on the ball, use a white frosting pen. Use tall sparkler type birthday candles on the birthday boy or girl’s cupcake and put it on a special plate.
When the games have been played, the gourmet tennis lunch and cupcakes have been devoured, and a wall of mini-vans and SUV’s become the new view from your front window, you know it’s time for the kids to be packing up to go home and to hand out the party favors. Whew!
In keeping with the tennis theme for your party favors, think personalized sun visors, but hand them out when they arrive so they can wear them for the festivities. Cellophane bags tied with a big ribbon bows, filled with foil wrapped chocolate tennis balls, gummy tennis racquets, and temporary tennis tattoos will have them chatting up your party for days.
NOTES FOR MOMS
Please be sure to check with each kid’s parents for possible peanut allergies and skip the ‘P’ element on some of the sandwiches, if necessary. Let them know the party will be outdoors so they will arrive coated in sunscreen, and to bring their tennis racquet if they have one.
Don’t forget the tennis balls, and by all means have fun!!!
Published October 2012
Client: Do It Tennis