Blast off for fun! Future astronauts will love you for launching this party. Here are plenty of activities to keep high spirits in orbit.
"One small step for Mikey, one giant bunch of fun for everyone!" Print a similar headline, and the party specifics on paper. Your home computer may have a space-age font and clip art for this. If not, photocopy the invitation onto stationary with a space theme, or embellish it with stars and other stickers. If your child can do it, show him how to fold each invitation into a streamlined paper space shuttle.
Let the little rocket scientists create their own intergalactic transports. Suggest using a disposable plate as a base to fuel a spinning spaceship with flying power, or using string to pull a vertical rocket - mechanically minded kids might even show you how to set up a string pulley system.
For my son's sixth birthday, we had a space theme, and the big hit turned out to be my moon-rock hunt. I took 50 rocks (about the size of lemons), sprayed them with silver-glitter paint, and hid them around the yard. The kids were delighted not only to find the rocks but also because they could bring them home. We had a space-shuttle cake, and the goodies included pencils decorated with planets, alien-themed notepads, star stickers, and Milky Way candy bars. --Denise
Use a darning needle to poke constellation-like holes in small black bags. Put a small flashlight, some space-age sweets (small candy bars with planetary names or packets of colorful fizzing candies), plus a small plastic robot, space-ball shooter, moon ball, or lunar crystals. Tell the kids to shine the flashlights inside the bags to see the portable night sky.
Bake a two-layer cake. Tint vanilla cream or cream cheese frosting a bright yellow-green and fill and cover the cake. Let the frosting harden for just a few minutes, then gently press the outside of a melon baller into the surface of the cake to create crater holes. Add a plastic figure of an astronaut or spaceship, and an American flag pick.
Adapted from The Parents Party Book: Fun and Fabulous Theme Birthday Parties for Children 2 to 8 Years Old by the Editors of Parents Magazine. Golden Books, New York.