A hockey-themed birthday party for any child--or adult--who loves the game is bound to be as enjoyable as any of the gifts he receives on his special day. Center the entire party around the sport, or a specific hockey team, for a party the birthday celebrant is likely to always remember. Insert the hockey theme into every aspect of the party to score big with the guest-of-honor.
Glue a real hockey puck to cardstock or cut a card into a circle to represent a puck. Detail the party information on the puck. A picture of the birthday celebrant dressed in all of his hockey gear or favorite team jersey is one way to jazz up the front of the invitation. On the back, provide birthday party details so it resembles a player trading card. Miniature novelty hockey sticks with party details written on them offer a playful alternative to paper invitations.
Use colorful balloons and streamers that coordinate with a specific team's colors or red, white and blue. Hang posters of hockey players or team pennants on the walls if the party is indoors. A goal set up indoors or outside serves as a place to stash presents before they are opened and can be used during games and activities. Decorate with hockey sticks and skates around the room if the party is inside.
Go to a professional hockey game if the party is during the right season and it's in the budget, or rent out a skating or ice rink to play a hockey game. Street hockey games can be set up in driveways, empty courts or quiet residential streets--with adult supervision. Ask guests to bring their skates and hockey sticks if they have them. Make jerseys for everyone before the party. Use two different team colors, such as red and blue, and put guests' names on the back of their jersey using permanent marker or iron-on letters. Designate some guests as referees or cheerleaders or ask parents to stay and cheer for both teams as they play a friendly game of ice or street hockey. Have everyone autograph each other's jersey during halftime, before or after the game as a take-home keepsake. Set up contests or relays for the kids to play, such as who can score the most or control their puck around an obstacle course. Split the kids into pairs and have them pass the puck back and forth over a specific distance. Play hockey bingo by using professional hockey team logos instead of the typical numbers.
Make a concession stand for guests to come and get their food, as they would at a hockey game. Serve hot dogs in foil, hamburgers, nachos, chili, pizza, popcorn or other food you'd typically find at a game concession stand. Serve hot chocolate or sports drinks in bottles labeled with guest's names.
Cupcakes and Puck Cakes
Themed cupcakes are bound to be a hit at the party. Make cupcakes and decorate them to look like pucks, or team logos or flags. Order or bake a layered round cake to look like a puck or decorate any cake with the birthday celebrant's favorite team logo. The cake could also have crossed hockey sticks or look like a rink with the birthday boy's age on the scoreboard.
Give each guest a small bag or personalized duffel bag filled with goodies, such as street hockey balls or pucks, hockey player trading cards, gummy mouth guards, sweet treats such as cookies that look like pucks, stickers, pencils, medals or trophies to keep with the hockey theme. If you made jerseys or shirts, let the kids take those home as well.
Thank You Cards
Take pictures of each guest in their jersey before the game, as well as group pictures. If you want, take another group picture after the game with everyone's hair messed up and "black out" some teeth or smudge black face paint on some of the kids. Include a picture in the thank-you card, or use the individual picture to make a player trading card. Hand-write a thank-you message on the other side of the picture.
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