Choosing a theme for your daughter's birthday party can turn a special day into one she'll never forget. It's probably not a stretch to figure out what theme your birthday girl will love -- you probably already know if your little one is into princesses or Snow White and if your pre-teen is ready for a makeover party.
Let HowStuffWorks and TLC help by offering up five foolproof birthday ideas that are sure to be a hit for both the chicks and the chick-lets.
#5: Arts and Crafts Birthday
Creative ideas for arts and crafts themed parties run the gamut. Girls in many age groups can make collages, tool with jewelry and beading or create. Tweens and teens are old enough to enjoy a tie-dye party -- go green with organic cotton T-shirts and dyes made from eco-friendly sources such as beets.
Or, get out of the house by taking the party to a local paint-your-own-pottery shop or a craft workshop.
Stick with simple crafts for little kids. Homemade play dough and finger paint projects are easy for young ones to manage. The best part? Partygoers get to go home with their creation.
#4: Tea Party Birthday
Thrill your little girl and a few of her friends (and dolls!) with a fancy tea party theme. State in the invitations that participants come in their tea party best (read: fancy dress time!) or be sure to have dress-up clothes and fineries on hand. It's a sure-fire way to turn a group of little girls into a flock of little "ladies who lunch".
A tea party has potential for a variety of themes, from a garden party to a teddy bear picnic to Alice in Wonderland. Decorations are easy, with lots of flowers and tulle around the room or outdoor space. And don't forget the china; most toy and discount stores sell inexpensive tea sets.
Tip: Get even more bang for your buck by picking up pretty tea cups and a teapot at a local thrift store!
#3: Girls' Spa Birthday
How about booking a visit for your birthday girl -- and a few of her close friends -- for manicures and pedicures more at a local spa? After all, who doesn't like a little pampering, birthday or not?
Stay a little more budget friendly (especially if you plan to host a bigger group of girls) and transform your living room or kitchen into a spa for the day. Stock up on comfy pillows, candles and cucumber water. (Don't forget to save some cucumber slices for the eyes!) Use fashion and style magazines for makeover inspiration.
And another perk of an at-home spa party: Turning it into a sleepover.
#2: Decade Party
Throwing a decade-themed party is a fun way to get older kids and teens to have some costumed fun. It doesn't matter that your girl doesn't know Duran Duran, they can still take advance of one the most popular decade party themes: the 1980s. Moms: teach 'em how to pop their collars, peg their jeans and dance like Molly Ringwald did in "The Breakfast Club."
Or maybe they're feeling a bit hippie? Break out the lava lamps, beads and incense for a psychedelic, '60s-infused birthday bash. Or hang up a disco ball, put on some Bee Gees and break out the bellbottoms for some '70s themed fun.
Want to really time travel? Flash way back to the roaring '20s and invite guests to dress up as flappers and gangsters. Don't forget the boas!
Tip: Stock up on your decade's best movies and create a playlist for the iPod to complete the scene!
#1: Princess Party
Hear ye, hear ye. Your presence is requested at a princess party!
If it seems as though there is an overwhelming array of choices for a princess-themed birthday party, from Disney character to traditional fairytale and everything in between, it's because it's true. Little girls can't seem to get enough of a princess party, and who can blame them? Tiaras, pretty dresses and lots of glitter? A lot of us moms still love all those things too.
You could ask your birthday princess what kinds of decorations she'd prefer, but it's safe to stick with pinks, purples, ribbons, bubbles and sequins. And don't forget a special crown for the birthday girl. She is, after all, the birthday princess.