"Company MARCH!!! Right, Left, Right, Left… Company HALTTT!!"
The Army theme party is an excellent choice and always very popular!
There's no need to browse around forever trying to find the best deal on Army party supplies. Just compare between these supplies which cover pretty much all the Army / Special Forces / Patriotic party items you've ever imagined:
A nice theme party idea to think about, is trying to call (atleast a month in advance before the party) a nearby army recruit office, tell them about the party and ask if they have anything they could donate that they don't need. A few parents I know who have done this received shirts, posters, hats, flashlights, mugs, pens, notebooks, duffle bags and more. It's great to use authentic army supplies at your party!
You can also try and find out if there is a way to bring a real soldier to the party (maybe a friend you know, or a friend of a friend who can hop by), the kids would be thrilled!! Even if he/she came in uniform for half an hour and answered kid's questions and showed them a few army drills, it will be an experience the kids will never forget!
Here's another special theme party idea: There are kids who are willing to contribute to a special cause instead of receiving gifts. If you're kid is one of them, how about being part of Operation 'Adopt A Soldier' - a project that sends care packages to soldiers overseas. First you'll need to be in touch with them, here's the Operation Adopt A Soldier website. Their website has a whole page of "Items Needed", you can make a list of these items and send the invitations along with a letter to the parents explaining that your child decided to have the children bring items to donate to the troops in place of receiving birthday presents. Then as one of your activities at the party, let the kids make packages and write letters to the soldiers.
Army Theme Party Invitations
Your Special Forces theme party invitations can be "Draft Notices" addressed to "Sergeant (name)" or "Private (name)" and can read something like:
"Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to report for basic training. Private First Class (birthday kid) requests the honor of your presence at his/her (*th) Birthday Party on (the date) 1500 hours to 1700 hours (3 to 5 p.m. civilian-time) at the (your last name) Family Military Base (your address and phone). Chow and birthday rations will be served in the Mess Hall. Please be prepared to run basic training drills testing accuracy, survival, agility, endurance, strength and balance skills. Dress Code: Uniforms are not required (but would be very proper if worn); however, recruits will be performing drills outside, so please dress appropriately. For RSVP contact Base Commander (phone #)".
These 'Draft Notices' could mailed in yellow, green, or brown envelopes with "Confidential" or "Top Secret" on them. Here are printable Top Secret signs and a high res U.S. Army seal (taken from the U.S. army website), you can print and glue to invitation and/or envelope:
You can put a small plastic army figure and/or dog tag inside with their rank and serial number on it (or make dog tags out of pieces of cardboard covered with aluminum foil and attached to string). The serial numbers will be used to divide into odd and even teams for the tug-of-war later.
Here's a list full of army phrases and jargon you can use when writing your army theme party invitations:
- You've been deployed to bootcamp
- You are hereby requested to report for duty!
- Official orders for Private (name of guest)
- Attention Troops! You are hereby summoned to a top-secret birthday mission
- Battle-Rattle (slang for combat gear)
- Report for Basic training in camo fatigues
- Your mission, should you choose to accept it...
- Memorandum for Distribution (you can write this before the invitation text)
Check out these free and original printable Army theme party invitations you can download and print:
See All Printable Army Invitations
If you really want to go the extra mile with your theme party, have a family member (or even the birthday kid) dress up as a soldier - the whole uniform, helmet, face paint, etc., and go door to door to all the guests homes... once the door opens the soldier recites the invitation in a strict army tone and hands the guest the invitation. To make sure the guests will be home, call first to see what hour of the day is the best time to come.
If you have the time, patience, and adventure in you... a really cool idea is to create DVD's with the army invitation. Have someone dress-up as a lieutenant or captain in complete uniform (possibly with a flag behind them). They can be really serious and talk in army jargon, telling their mission to them. Add army-themed music. You can click here to download the full version U.S. Army song, the A Cappella Army song version, and the instrumental Army song version (as seen and heard on the U.S. Army website). Just right-click on the song you want and choose "Save Link as" or "Save Audio as", then save in a known place on your computer.
If you would rather not film a video, you can also create a CD. Take a famous army-theme song and record yourself talking with the music (talk loud enough so that whoever is listening understands what you're saying). The very best is to hand-deliver these invitations.
Another idea is to use the camouflage-look for your party invitations. You can probably find camouflage wrapping paper at party or craft stores, cut out squares or rectangles, glue onto cardstock and write all the party information on the other side. And yet another idea is to take a photo of your child pointing at the viewer, then in a picture-editing software (like photoshop), paste your child's face to Uncle Sam and write "[Child's name] wants YOU to have fun at his/her party!".
Decorate the whole theme party area with black, brown, tan and green balloons and streamers to get that Special Forces color effect. Camouflage netting also gives an Army / Special Forces-like feel. The colors you choose will give the feel to the party. You can go with more tans, light yellows and browns for desert soldiers, or blue, gray, and olive green for more of a jet/pilot theme. For a more patriotic theme, you can use colors of your countries' flag, for example red, white and blue for an American or Australian flag, or red and white for a Canadian flag, etc.
Check out these free printable decorations, you can let the kids color in and hang around the party area - American flags, Army star decoration, grenades, three kinds of Army targets and binoculars:
See All Printable Army Decorations
If you have any tents or a gazebo, put them up. Even if the theme party takes place indoors - designate one or two rooms as the 'base', even putting up tents inside the house. If you"ll be having the party outdoors you can make your own tents!! This can also be a really fun ice-breaking activity. This is simply done by taking two poles (or broomsticks) and sticking them firmly into the ground (about 4 feet apart - even a bit more). Then attach a tough string from one pole to the other. After this, take a green or Special Forces-like blanket and hang the middle on the string. Attach both edges to the ground with stakes. The kids can eat or play in or around them.
Also print out these pennant flags on army-colored papers (green, brown, tan, etc.), cut them out, and attach each flag to a stick and decorate:
See All Printable Army Flags and Pennants
The smaller army flags are ones you put on a long string, they are called flag pennants (just like a string of flags you see a lot at car dealerships).
Cut out each small flag, attach to a long string (roll the upper tip around the string, a stapler would probably be the easiest way to fasten it), and keep on attaching flags to the long string until the whole long string has flags on it. Then use this string of flags to decorate the party area.
You can easily decorate with leftover July 4th decorations, American flags and all kinds of American patriotic decorations.
For the theme party food area, assign a table to be the 'Mess Hall' (a military dining room), also create a sign for the table. If you decide to put up tents, have the Mess Hall be in one of the tents for that authentic feel. Cover tables with camo fabric, tarp, canvas, and/or netting. Here are placecards and napkin holders you can decorate your tables with:
For the napkin holders, cut around each one and fold in a circle around a napkin, then secure with tape when both ends meet. On each printable placecard page there are 4 placecards, print, cut each out, and fold each in half. On each placecard you can write "Private", "Sergeant", etc. followed by each child's name.
Two other areas you can assign are the 'Barracks' (military sleeping accommodation) and the 'Sick Bay' - a small tent set up for first-aid. The kids can play in these areas during game-time. It's also nice to decorate with glow sticks hanging in a few places. Glow sticks are so cool! You can take only the green ones and decorate your table with them. You can also hang them from the ceiling or on door knobs. Open them about half an hour before the party so that during the party they keep their glow.
Add army theme party signs all around the party area, signs that say "(Your last name) Army Base", "Air Raid Shelter", "Ammunition Bunker", "(Your last name) Boot Camp", "Barracks", "Checkpoint", "Training Field", "Mess Hall", "Restricted Area", "Military Base", "(Your last name) Air Force", "Welcome, Recruits!", "Company March!", "Top Secret", etc. You can use any of the decoration printables above.
Another great poster decoration you can print out yourself, are the following famous Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter poster printables.
You can check with a nearby army recruiting office and see if you can loan or take any army-related items, camo nets, cardboard soldiers, targets, etc. Hang army and mosquito nets all over the party area. Hang black-painted styrofoam balls (as little bombs). It would also be cool to decorate the theme party area with maps. Check out these maps you can print out (as seen on David Rumsey's site):
A good theme party idea is to check out some surplus or goodwill stores to find old ammo boxes, netting and more interesting Special Forces accessories. You can also take huge brown refridgerator boxes, spray paint them with green and black spray paint (to give them that camo look), then add them to your party area - the kids can crawl through them, play in them, and hide behind them during the water balloon war.
Music can really add to your Army theme party atmosphere. Consider creating a CD filled with army-theme music to play during the party.
Homemade Army-Themed Costumes
Once each kid arrives they can be checked in and issued their Special Forces gear, for instance a Special Forces helmet, a green bandana or strips of camo fabric around their head, army tattoo, camo face paint, etc. (you can get lots of great stuff at the surplus stores...). Have a few adults or older kids help get all the kids in uniform, convince them to act as serious army captains, drill instructors, etc. - that way the kids get into the vibe of the party.
The kids can also earn their army-look... you can put up a poster of a soldier's creed, have each kid stand next to it and recite it with music playing in the background, and after reading they get to wear their uniform. Here are some great homemade army-themed costumes:
See All Homemade Army Costume Ideas
You can print and cut out these free printable patches and ranks to put either where the deltoid muscle is (the upper, outer side of the upper arm, where soldiers put their ranks), on hats, on shoulders, on the left-hand side of their chest-area, or anywhere on their uniforms (it's best to pin them on with safety pins):
Then, you can paint their faces with green, black and brown face paints so that they look and feel like real soldiers. You can also put some Army tattoos on them. Another nice addition is putting band-aids on their face, hands, legs, etc. (the Curad brand has really cool camouflage band-aids), and also creating little scars with face paint.
With your phone or a digital camera take a picture of each camouflaged soldier saluting and either print them to hand out at the end of the party or send them the pictures with the thank you cards.
At the end of the party you can create "Completion Certificates" to award the kids for successfully completing all the top secret birthday missions put before them.
Here are a few kinds of printable army cone party hats you can print out:
Army Icebreaker Activities
While you are waiting for everyone to arrive, the kids can create their own army tags. Before the party cut out lots of rectangles out of cardboard, then put them all on a table and beside them add little pieces of aluminum foil. Show the kids how to wrap each rectangle with a little piece of aluminum foil, and with the end of a paperclip they can carve their name, ID number, and birth date on the smooth side of the aluminum foil (it's also cool to write in a nickname for each child, for example: Bazooka, Shotgun, Viper, Tank, Grenade, Fast Fire, Sniper, Bomber, Ammo, etc.). If you don't want the kids using any sharp instruments, they can also write in all the information with a permanent marker.
Water Balloon Making
You might be planning to have a fun water balloon fight during game-time!! Get the kids hyped up about it by letting them make lots of water balloons while waiting for everyone to come. You might need a few big buckets to hold all the water balloons.
Depending on the country you are from, the kids can create little flags. For example, the American flag - you'll need red, white, and blue construction paper, scissors, glue, and star stickers. Before the party, cut strips out of white and red construction paper and border out a square on the left-hand side of every blue piece of construction paper (that will be where the kids will put star stickers). At the party, the kids take a blue piece of construction paper and start gluing on red and white stripes onto the blue construction paper. They then take the star stickers and put them in the blue-assigned square on the left-hand side. Later, the kids can put their flags in their goody bags.
This is a really fun and simple theme party game. Have lots of black balloons blown up, and in 30 seconds time all of the kids try and detonate as many bombs (balloons) as they could by squashing them in a seat.
Air Force Academy
Kids love folding paper into airplanes and flying them (so do adults!). Have the kids make paper airplanes and see whose plane flies the farthest by marking where each plane lands. Here is a cool airplane paper folding website that shows many different ways to fold paper airplanes. At the party assign a table with color pencils, crayons, markers, etc. where kids can color paper and fold into paper airplanes. An adult can also help show how to fold different kinds of paper airplanes. A nice thing to do is call it an “Army Jet Mission” and have one of the adults be a “Captain” who gives a small speech about how important this army jet mission is... He/she should then explain the “mission” and procedure for creating the airplanes (it could be nice to have a blackboard so that the Captain can sketch on… if the Captain takes it seriously, the kids will too).
If your kid's theme party inclines towards an 'Air Force Jet' theme, the kids can create their own “Pilot ID’s”. For this you will need small pieces of card stock (you can create these the size of Driver License’s, which fit in a wallet). You can either photograph each child with a Polaroid or digital camera (or ask each child to bring a passport picture). If your child has a pilot suit, you can let each child wear it in turns and photograph them in the pilot suit. An even easier idea is to let them wear a pilot’s hat, add some camouflage paint to their cheeks and just photograph their face wearing the hat. Glue the picture on the card and let the kids fill in the needed information: Name, Date-of-Birth, Female/Male, etc. On the top of the card write a title like “PILOT ID”, “CAPTAIN”, etc. To finish, laminate them (you can buy a laminator at most craft stores). You can also laminate by taking clear tape (the kind you use for packaging) - put a piece on the front of the card, then put another piece on the back of the card, and cut off the excess tape from all sides.
Homemade Army Birthday Cakes
Check out the cool army theme party cake ideas on coolest-birthday-cakes.com, the Web's largest gallery of homemade birthday cakes. You'll find thousands of cakes submitted by visitors like yourself with photos and how-to tips:
A very simple theme party cake to make is the camouflage cake. Just back a regular cake (any shape) and cover cake with camouflage frosting (greens, browns, blacks, tan-color, etc.). Then take a few green plastic soldiers, tanks, tents, trucks, etc., wash them well, and put on top of the cake. Then when you light the candles on the cake, add a few sparkles to add to the excitement. This can also be done with cupcakes, just frost them in army colors and put a plastic soldier on each one.
Another simple and cool Army theme party idea is to make a target cake. Just make a simple circular cake, then completely frost with white frosting, and with a gel pen or thin frosting tip make consecutive circles inside the white circle (black circles and in the middle a red circle).
If you have an oval or 3-D ball pan, you can create a cool grenade cake. Just frost cake in dark green, and then with black icing draw a crosshatch pattern on the grenade.
Army Theme Party Food and Drink
Here are some ideas for Special Forces theme party food (make sure to put little decorated signs in the form of flags on each dish describing what each army-dish is):
- Roasted hot-dogs on a stick
- Mashed Potatoes
- Miniature bombs (meatballs, falafel balls)
- Parachutes (Broccoli)
- Band-aid patches (ravioli with red sauce)
- Corn on the cob grenades
- Baked Beans
- BB-Q Chicken
- MRE's - you can give your soldiers REAL arm food (MRE - which stands for 'Meals Ready to Eat', can be found at army surplus stores).
Tip: You can serve the meals in square tin pans just like how soldiers eat when they're outside on duty.
Special Forces Theme Party Drinks:
- Green Special Forces punch (green soda pop), and super charge it with pop rocks that'll crackle, pop and split right before the kids' amazed eyes.
- Jet Fuel: this can be power drinks (like Gatorade) or punch.
- Swamp Water: add some green food coloring to lemonade and for fun make ice cubes with 'bugs' in them (little black raisins) - just put them inside the water of the ice-tray and in the freezer - the raisins will freeze inside.
Tip: You can put punch in water guns to squirt in the kids mouth when they are doing all sorts of activities.
Special Forces Theme Party Treats:
- Ammunition bites (peanuts, cashews and pistachios)
- Dynamite (cut each red licorice into 4 or 5 equal pieces)
- Cannon balls (grapes)
- Power Bars
- Vitamins (Skittles)
- Shrapnel (Chex Mix)
- Survival food worms (gummy worms)
- Bombs (Whoppers and/or M&M's)
Tip: You can put many of these treats in upside-down Special Forces helmets.
Army Party Favors
We've created these printable and foldable Army theme party favor bags and favor boxes. They are blank and so the kids can decorate and fold them themselves. You can also print them out on different-colored paper, possibly the color/s of your child's Army theme party.
We've created large favor bags, medium favor bags, and favor-boxes for you to print out:
See All Printable Army Favor Bags and Boxes
For favors you can also give print and give out these printable Army theme party certificates:
If you're interested in writing your own text on the theme party certificates, you can write something like: "The Army of the United States of America certificate of promotion. This is to certify that the General of the (your last name) military base has by congressional order on this day, appointed the following commissioned Army Officer to the permanent rank of, sergeant 1st class. Given under my hand on this (day) of (month, year)", and then have your kid sign "General (kid's name)".
Whether you're using our free printable favorbags/favorboxes or your own treat-bags, it would be really nice if you tied tags to your bags saying "I survived (your last name) Bootcamp":
We've created these tags for you, just print them out and tie to treat bags with ribbon or string (there are also blank ones just in case you want to write something different).
Printable Army Party Thank You Cards
For army thank-you notes check out our free printable army birthday cards designs:
See All Printable Army Thank You Cards
Army Games and Activities
Take a look at this complete page filled with the coolest Army theme party games, such as:
- Water Brigade
- Obstacle Course
- Grenade Targets
- and many more (including visitor-submitted game ideas)...
You should also read these VERY important tips to help you survive (and enjoy) game time!
Your Army Parties and Ideas
Some of our visitors have gone the extra mile and written up their complete Army party story with photos and everything they did. We call these stories "Party Tales" and they serve as a great inspiration! Take a peek at other people's Army theme Party Tales and you're sure to find lots more outstanding Army party ideas:
Lisa's Army Birthday - 4yr
April's Army Birthday - 5yr
Jenni's Army Birthday - 5yr
Tiffany's Army Birthday - 5yr
Joan's G.I Joe Army Birthday - 5yr
Christine's Army Birthday - 6yr
Jeffere's Army Birthday - 6yr
Kimberly's Army Birthday - 7yr
Debbie's Army Birthday - 8yr
If you'd like share your complete party with us, then once your party is over, send us your own PARTY TALE and we'll create your very own theme party page and photo gallery that's hosted on our site! (Family, friends and just about anybody will be able to find inspiration from your child's birthday party and comment on YOUR ideas!).