Nine-year-old boys are by nature exuberant, so the idea of hosting a birthday party for a nine-year-old in a small house may be daunting. But you can create a fun-filled birthday party that does not require a large amount of space, especially if the guest list is capped at four or five guests. The key is to restrict the activity to one area of the house, using that space to provide the party's theme.
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Nine-year-olds love to build things. Hold a workshop party, with a project built around the party theme. For example, the main activity can be assembling small wooden or plastic models such as aeroplanes, which are available in kits at craft and home supply stores. Provide enough glue, paint and any other supplies for everyone, and give them plenty of time to complete the project. Make sure you have wipes or a sink and soap nearby for dirty or sticky hands, before bringing out the cupcakes, which are less time-consuming to serve and eat. The models they've made also serve as party favours, although they might have to be delivered to the guests after the paint has thoroughly dried.
Keep the birthday guests--and the mess--corralled in the kitchen with a party theme focused around cooking or baking. Both nine-year-old boys and girls like creating, and eating, easy-to-make recipes. You might consider no-bake treats, such as rice cereal squares, candy that requires no cooking, or pretzel rods dipped first in melted chocolate and then into sprinkles or chopped nuts. In lieu of birthday cake, give each kid a cupcake and decorate it with frosting and sprinkles or candy. Be sure to provide boxes for guests to take home one or two of each item they created.
Turn the basement into a "dungeon." Give each guest a flashlight and an easy-to-read ghost story to tell to the rest of the group. Hide "bones," cut from florescent yellow poster board, around the basement and challenge kids to find them using their flashlights; award a prize to the guest finding the most bones. Play a listening game, where kids guess what sound effects they hear in the dark, such as glass breaking or a shoe dropping. For a birthday cake, make a chocolate sheet cake with black liquorice "bars" on top to represent the dungeon..
For a movie party in the TV room, instead of one entire film, choose a selection of five to ten-minute cuts. You can do this inexpensively by borrowing DVDs from the library or looking for clips at YouTube.com. Find the scenes nine-year-olds would enjoy. For example, you might show a car chase from an adventure movie, a sword fight from a pirate movie and a slapstick scene from a comedy. Put pillows on the floor for comfy seating and dim the lights. Provide lots of popcorn and flavoured toppings, small candy bars, and juice or soft drinks. The birthday cake, decorated like a movie ticket, could be served at "intermission."
Gather birthday party guests around the dining room table for an afternoon of board games. If you don't have a large selection, borrow games from friends and relatives, or ask on the party invitations for guests to bring a favourite game. Pile the games in a corner and let each child have a turn at choosing a game, explaining that the idea is game sampling, so each game will have a 15 to 20 minute time-limit. When time's up, they go on to the next game. At least one adult at the party should become familiar with the rules of each game. A rectangular birthday cake can be decorated to look like a checkerboard, with candy-coated chocolates or coloured cookies for the draughts.
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