If you are among the parents who love a good store-bought cupcake or treat for your kids’ school birthday, that’s great! But, if you are interested in stepping up your kid’s school party this year with something unique and inspired, try some of these school birthday party ideas for creating a buzz in your child’s classroom.
We’re sharing creative treats you can bring. And to help you plan we’ll start with steps to take before the big birthday day itself to make things go smoothly.
By the way, if you decide to celebrate outside of school, explore our selection of Orlando birthday party venues – organized by age group!
Planning a School Birthday Party
Create a Theme
Kids get so excited about a good theme. Whether it’s Paw Patrol, unicorns, or even a holiday themed party, they’re all about it. Gather matching supplies at your local dollar store and make sure to have themed napkins, plates, cups, and even a couple balloons to make the event festive.
Contact the School
You probably get about 25-30 minutes for your kids to shine like the bright birthday star that they are, so be sure to contact the school in advance to make sure your birthday plans are not impeding the day’s lesson plans.
You will also need to consider allergies and choking hazards. Also consider any other dietary needs or restrictions. You can easily find out about these things by contacting the teacher a couple of weeks out.
Some other considerations include researching your food plans, buying the theme items, and executing the birthday. For instance, can you be in attendance to help set up and pass out food? Is your treat something you have to send in that morning with your child? Will it spoil and need special refrigeration instructions?
Plan around all this when making decisions about your chosen birthday plans.
Prepare Take Home Fun
Kids love goody bags, and it is such an easy thing to provide alongside whatever sweet treat you send to school. The goody bag brings the fun home that night for parents and children to interact and discuss the fun birthday they had at school that day.
Goody bags should cost about $10 to put together for the whole class and include treat bags, stickers, stamps, candy, activity booklets, or whatever makes sense for the season.
For my 4 year old with an October birthday, we did Halloween themed bags. Inside they got colorful spider rings, pumpkin and bat stamps and tattoos, activity books with mazes and color pages, stacking pencils, and more. There was no candy in the bag, and they didn’t seem to care!
6 Unique Treats and School Birthday Parties Ideas
This is where you’ll shine as a parent. Your kids won’t come home saying, “we had cupcakes again”, they’ll be raving about the unique, fun, and interactive stuff they had for the birthday party. With a little extra planning, these are a slam-dunk.
Please keep allergies and other dietary needs in mind. Some kids are sensitive to artificial colors, for example. Places that emphasize wellness, like Whole Foods or Chamberlin’s, often have a variety of safe snacks.
1. Popcorn Bar
For an affordable no-bake, no-fuss option, try a popcorn bar! I did this with my girl’s pre-school class and it was a smashing success. Simply pop the corn at home in advance of the party (I use a popcorn machine, but bagged microwave popcorn is good too) and buy the ingredients to pour in.
Natural, butterless popcorn is a good bet, because there will be a lot of added flavors and you’re not over-saturating the kids with salt.
For your popcorn bar add-ons, buy two small six-count muffin tins from the dollar store to spread out across a long table for multiple kids to grab at candy and fillers at the same time. If you have a 12-count muffin pan that works too, but it may be tough for all the kids to reach in at once.
Lastly, grab a tablecloth and fill those tins when the party begins!
Fillings can include:
- Oreo minis (surprisingly dairy and egg free!)
- Candy corn (the kids’ favorite!)
- Gummy bears (the kids’ favorite!)
- Chocolate candies (try to go nut-free)
- Pretzel sticks
- Sprinkles (another favorite!)
- Fruity cereal
The kids all loved the colorful stuff when I did this recently, so keep the toppings fun and vibrant.
2. Dirt Cups
Another favorite as a kid, especially for lots of boys, is the dirt cup. Cut corners and use store-bought pudding cups or make your own and scoop it into small tumblers.
Use chocolate pudding to look like a dirt base and then cover with crumbled Oreos or chocolate cookies to look like topsoil.
Lastly, poke some gummy worms out the top for a perfect creepy, crawly treat! Go the extra mile and use natural color gummy worms to make everyone feel included.
3. Dunkaroo Dip or Cake Batter Dip
A thing for ‘90s youth, the Dunkaroo is making a comeback in grocery store shelves today. Basically a frosting dip with sprinkles in it, it is paired with vanilla cookies for a fun and satisfying interactive treat. These are available on Amazon or Publix, but you can also make your own.
Seek out recipes online for dunkaroo dip or cake batter dip. It’s essentially a box of cake mix with some secret ingredients to taste lot like frosting. The kids dip vanilla cookies or graham crackers for a fun frosting delivery system. Yum!
4. Donut Hole Snowmen
Great for winter birthdays or for the Olaf-obsessed, donut hole snowmen are a great way to step up the traditional white powdered donut holes. Grab blunt-ended toothpicks or lollipop sticks so the kids don’t poke their eyes out and stack each with three donuts.
If you are feeling crafty, there are plenty of candy eyeballs and icing for stick-em that you can use from the dollar store to make those snowmen sing!
5. Jello with Gummy Sharks or Fish
This one is SO fun. Get a couple packs of blue gelatin and make them in individual serving cups like the 10-pack tumblers you can get from the dollar store. As the molds harden, add gummy sharks and Swedish fish for a summer sea scene. The kids will be so entranced trying to pluck the fish from the sea!
Note that I have also seen gummy mermaids and other things that would work well for this treat. Think about the theme you are going for and I bet there’s a gummy for it. And if you’d like to be conscientious about artificial colors and high sugar, consider SmartSweets.
6. S’mores Trail Mix
The classic scouting treat can be brought to the classroom too. All you need is Golden Graham cereal, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips. In order to be inclusive, consider Enjoy Life chocolate chips – that are safe for all major food allergies.
Mix them in advance in baggies, or send in the ingredients for them to mix their own, similar to the popcorn bar.
With just a few options here, you can see there are plenty of ways to make your child’s birthday at school a little more special. Some kids don’t get the big birthday party with friends and only get the family birthday party, so this allows them to be part of something at school with their friends.
The dollar store is your friend, so get as much as you need from there! You’ll find that preparing a fun and festive treat for the kids in your class can be very rewarding for you as a parent, and it won’t break the bank or make a fuss in the kitchen.
And if you want to continue the celebration, check out these FREE things to do with kids in Orlando.