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How to Plan a Theme Party

They come in carrying boxes each filled with a variety of personal stuff. Individually, it looks as though someone decided to have a rummage sale south of the border. Together, the items can turn your clubroom or living room into a fiesta!

Everyone loves a theme when it comes to planning a party. Trouble is, not everyone can come up with new themes all the time, and you still have to figure out how to decorate, keep it cheap, and make it fun for all your friends.

If you are having trouble keeping life in your parties, you may want to get together with your sponsors and other club members and think of ideas.

Here are some suggestions for a brainstorming session:

  1. Remember: there are NO dumb ideas. Every theme or title should be written down on a board or large piece of paper. The theme will be chosen based on how easy it will be to decorate for it. With those ground rules in place, even the shyest girl may be willing to offer an idea or two.
  2. Start the flow of ideas by suggesting seasonal or holiday themes. Are you planning for a Father's Day banquet? Work your theme around something usually linked to dads, such as fishing or sports. Are you planning a back-to-school celebration? Think about a school bus or school supplies.
  3. Play with titles to match your themes, such as "Making Memories With Mom," or "I'm Mad About Dad."
  4. Play off of current events or hot topics. If there is a space mission in the news, consider using rocket ships or sun, moon, and stars for your decorations. Your theme could be anything from "Have a Blast With Dad" to "Dad Puts the Stars in My Eyes" to "Heavenly Fathers and Daughters."
  5. Play off well-known sayings. "You keep me in stitches" becomes a sewing theme—"In Stitches With Mom" as the theme. "Catch of the Day" moves off the menu and onto your theme list as "Father's Day Catch," especially if you have fishermen among your crowd.
  6. Think about what you have at home that could help decorate. Our Girls Clubs used "Spice it Up With Mom," and the sponsors cleaned out their spice cabinets to provide centerpieces. They worked both scattered along the tables and built into a tower, and were not only free of cost but also reusable! For "Fiesta de Madre" (Moms' Party) we looked around for our Mexican souvenirs from church missions trips and vacations, adding maracas, hats, puppets, and bongos to the mix.
  7. If you are planning a church party, think about decorating ideas at your church. Do you have a retired missionary who might loan souvenirs from a foreign country? Do you have a doctor who might provide medical books or objects for a theme built around health or healthy families?

OK, you have your theme. The rest is easy! Make a checklist of things to do and check them off as each is assigned or completed. Here are some examples:

  • get volunteers for the decorations
  • assign teams for decorating, serving, and cleaning up (for large parties)
  • make a menu and food shopping list
  • choose a speaker, get the pastor's approval, and be sure she can be there
  • plan games and activities with prizes

Planning your party around a theme can actually make the work seem easier. Before long, you'll be thinking back about "the year we decorated with teddy bears" or "remember our fishing theme?" Those colorful images won't just be in your mind either—they'll be among the great memories you will have in Girls Clubs.

Creativity counts! Hey, there's a theme in there somewhere. Maybe you could decorate tables with big sheets of paper and give everyone a crayon, then give prizes for the most creative picture. Or maybe you could… well, you get the idea! Now all you have to do is give it a name.