Backwards Party

Ages 5+

Invitations, Activities & Goodies

Get ready for finish-to-start giggles when kids turn their world inside out and upside down.


Write "Have Fun!" backwards in block letters on a 4"x 6 1/2" piece of colored construction paper. Cut out the letters using a craft knife. Glue the paper to a piece of patterned paper of the same size. Cut edges with scallop-edged scissors. Write party details on card-be sure to tell kids to wear shirts and pants backwards-and cover with contrasting flap attached with glue stick.

Fun & Games

  • As guests arrive, have them sit down and make backward ID necklaces and armbands with alphabet beads from a store-bought kit.
  • Once everyone has arrived, have a backward relay race. How to play: Divide the kids into two teams. Have them run backwards from one side of the room or garden to the other, tag a post, and run back.
  • Have them play "Simon Says," but reverse the rules. Here's how to do it: When Simon tells the kids to take one giant step forward-and he begins the command with "Simon says"-they have to take a step back.
  • Play "What's Missing"-backwards! Fill a tray with a variety of small objects. Let kids study the contents for a few minutes. Then take the tray away, have the kids close their eyes, and add an object. See if they can guess what's new.

Goody Bags

Fill colored lunch bags with candies, kazoos, and magnetic letters. Tie shut with a ribbon looped through a mirrored key chain. Write name backwards on a label and affix to the bag.

Backwards Birthday Cake


A simple layer cake becomes a backwards joke that will give kids the giggles. Short on time? Use a store-bought cake and put the letters on at home.

Prep and decorating time: 35 minutes

Bake time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

  • 1 box (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
  • 1 tube (4.25 oz.) yellow decorating icing, fitted with a star tip
  • 1/3 cup colored sprinkles
  • Candy letter decorations

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare batter and divide in two 80 round cake pans. Sprinkle batter with chocolate chips. Bake according to package directions. Transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes; invert and cool completely.
  2. Level cakes. Fill and frost cake layers with vanilla frosting. Make a decorative border around rim with yellow frosting. Press colored sprinkles onto sides of cake. Place letter decorations backwards on top of cake.

Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the May 2000 issue of Parents magazine.

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