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Coolest Birthday Party Theme Ideas a Backwards Theme Party

The Backwards birthday party theme is one of our favorites because it lets you and your guests go completely wacky and silly.

You’ll be in for a ton of laughs and giggles at this birthday party!

Backwards Invitations

For this birthday party theme there are lots of creative invitation ideas. First off, you can send “thank you notes” saying “thanks for coming to my backwards birthday party, January 5th at 11:00, we had a really good time!” and putting all the birthday party info on it…

You can tell everyone to dress backwards (if it’s inside-out, turned around, etc.). Tell them to get ready for backward walking, talking, playing, eating etc. as well as opening presents first (give them a hint that they can wrap the gifts with the gift-wrapping design on the inside or gift bags turned inside-out), eating desserts before the meals, eating under tables, and so on.

The invitation can open backwards, the information being on the outside and it can all be in backwards writing (remember to add a small ‘right-way’ hint to the bottom of the invitation to tell each guest that they will need to put the invitation in front of a mirror to read the backwards information, it can say something like “If you can’t read me, hold me up to a mirror”).

You can easily flip text backwards either in a photo editing software (like Photoshop, by clicking on ‘Flip Horizontal’), or write all the information regularly and then when you go and print, select ‘Printing Preferences’, then go to the ‘Basics’ tab, and under the ‘Orientation’ section click on “Mirror Image”.

Check out these free printable backwards birthday party theme invitations that we’ve created especially for this theme.

Here are ideas for writing your backwards birthday party theme invitations:

  • !ytraP sdrawkcaB nwoD edispU yzarC a ot detivnI er’uoY (You’re Invited to a Crazy Upside Down Backwards Party!)
  • Wear your clothes upside down or backwards and when you come say ‘Good-bye’, when you leave say ‘Hello’!
  • We’re eating under tables (cake before the meal)… we open presents first, a really funny deal! Hope you can make it to Robin’s Backwards birthday party!

Once you put the invitations inside an envelope, write the guests name backwards and upside-down, if you add stamps and stickers or plan on drawing something, make sure it’s upside-down! (this is only if you are hand-delivering the invitations… if you are sending via the Post Office you should either ask the postman how ‘backwards’ you could make the letters or just write regularly so that the Post Office won’t have a hard time decoding the message).

Backwards Decorations

You can start by making your house into a backwards house. Pictures can be turned around or upside down along with all kinds of items in the house as well. You can put streamers on the floor and hang balloons upside down from the ceiling (they definitely don’t need helium), as well as turn them inside-out before blowing air into them (best if the balloons have text on them, that way the text comes out backwards). Here are a few backwards decorations you can use to decorate the birthday party theme area:

For this birthday party theme, you can have an “EXIT” sign on the front door, and an “ENTRANCE” sign inside on the back door (written backwards if you’d like), as well as an “Attic” sign where the basement is and vice-versa. Print out banners that are written in backwards language (!emocleW and !yadhtriB yppaH) or in another way “Birthday Happy” and “Party Jenny’s to Welcome!”.

We’ve created printable backwards english alphabet letters and numbers all in one pdf file, just click on the link below, save and download to your computer and print the letters you need to create your very own backwards birthday party theme banner (you’ll need the free Acrobat Reader software to open the pdf files):

You can have your guests enter through the back door or have them enter backwards through the front door. When they come say “Goodbye, it was nice having you, I’m glad you could come!!” and “Hang up your shoes and throw your coat on the floor”. At the end of the party, when everyone leaves say “Hello, welcome to my party”. Everything should be backwards: “yes” is “no” and “no” is “yes” etc.

You can start the backwards birthday party theme by opening presents (allowing each child to open the gift they brought!). If the birthday child will be opening presents, he/she can open the present first and then the card. Then eat cake and desert, then the real food, and last the games and activities.

You can then have the chairs facing out at the table, and can put the tablecloth on the floor under the table putting down the silverware first (upside-down), then the napkins and the plate (upside-down) over both, and also the cups (upside down as well). To eat, the kids have to sit on the floor (under the table!). If you have small tables, turn them upside-down (with 4 legs pointing up), put a tablecloth on the bottom and let the kids sit on the floor and eat from the upside-down table :-).

Check out these backwards birthday party theme placecards and napkin holders to decorate your backwards table with:

You can take backward pictures where everyone has their backs to the camera and put these up as pictures on your wall for the party. If you have a digital camera, you can take backward pictures during the party as well and print these out with a color printer to give as the kids leave. Another type of backward pictures is to take pictures of each kid standing on their heads (they can put their head on a pillow and lean against a wall).

Music always helps with creating atmosphere for your party, have backward playing music in the background. If you have some music stored in your computer, just open a simple program called “Sound Recorder” which is on most computers, or use any type of sound or video editing software, then import the songs, reverse them, then either play the backwards songs from your computer or burn on a cd and play from a cd player.


Your whole family can dress backwards and inside-out, with ponytails on their foreheads, zippers and buttons in the back, sun-shades or glasses on the back of the head, different pairs of shoes on, a watch around the ankle, underwear over clothes, the zaniest and silliest things are the best! You can also encourage kids to put their earrings in backwards, wear the left shoe on the right foot and right shoe on left foot, etc. Another variation is that all the boys need to dress up as girls and all the boys need to dress up as girls.

Here are some cool upside down costumes you can check out:

Take a look at all the coolest Upside Down Illusion costumes.

As each kid arrives (walking in backwards), you can tape their backward names on their back and call them by their backward name. Also give each kid their very own name tag, just make sure to write their name backwards! Then tell everyone they need to call eachother by their backwards name, for example David would be ‘Divad’, or ‘Jenny’ would be ‘Ynnej’, etc.

Here are two backwards birthday party theme cone hats you can use at the party:

All you have to do with the above printable hats, is print them out, cut around the half circle, roll each of them up, staple, and staple on flexible string to both sides of the cone so that guests can secure the hats around their chin (or for the backwards birthday party theme, they can put the cone hat on their chin instead of their heads).


Backwards Icebreaker Activities

When guests just arrive, you can say funny backward things like “Hang your shoes and throw your coat on the floor”, or “It was great to have you at the party!” (while you motion them to come into the house/party area).

Here are a few excellent icebreaker ideas for the backwards birthday party theme.

Inside out Pinatas

Have each kid blow a balloon up and tie it (you should have extra balloons to replace the popped ones). Then dump a huge bag of wrapped candy on the floor (or so that the kids won’t fight over the candy, give each kid a bag of candy). Then give the kids scotch tape and let them cover their balloons with candy (Voila!! An inside out pinata!). You can then hang these inside-out pinatas backwards from the ceiling (to be part of your decorations) and later give each kid a pinata balloon to pop and take home the candies…

Backwards Alphabet

For this activity you’ll need paper plates, alphabet cereal (or pasta pieces) and white glue. Give each kid a plate and let them glue on their own backward words and sentences using the glue and alphabet cereal/pasta pieces.

Backward Songs (and/or Videos)

Choose songs that you know the kids like and know. In your computer make the songs play backwards (using “Sound Recorder” or any other sound or video software). Then, at the party get all the kids together and play each reversed song one by one. The kids need to guess the song that is playing, the first one to guess a song gets a point. Whoever has the most points towards the end of the game, is the winner (you can also do this with teams). Another variation of this activity is to take a song the birthday kid loves the most, reverse it, and let the kids try and see if they can learn the reversed words and sing the song backwards!

You can also do this with videos, if you have video editing software just reverse videos you have (possibly of the birthday kid). The kids will love to see backwards-playing videos, it can get really hilarious!


A palindrome is a word that is spelled the same forward and backward, some common palindromes are ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. There are also all kinds of sentences that are palindromes, for example “Never odd or even”.

Another type of palindrome is one that becomes a palindrome when viewed upside down and backwards – “SWIMS” or the word “NOON” which is the same forwards, backwards and upside down.

Print out this free palindrome page for each kid, let them read the different kinds of palindrome words/phrases and help them with creating their own (they will get a kick out of the wacky palindrome phrases!).

Drawing Backwards

Set up a table with papers, markers and/or crayons. Give the kids simple pictures and tell them to try and copy the pictures but using the other hand (if they are righty’s tell them to use their left-hand and vice-versa). You can also ask them to look at the picture and try to draw it upside-down while they are looking at it right-side up!

Snowball Fight in August

[This great idea was submitted by Rachel and her mother Linda from Massachusetts (Thank You Rache and Lindal!)]

I’m 26 now, but when I turned 11 my mom planned a backwards birthday party theme for me. It just so happens that the winter before we had saved 3-4 bags of snow balls in an extra freezer. So we thought of using them for the backwards party, since my birthday was in August. It was such a hoot throwing snowballs around in the hot sun. So if you can plan way ahead, this was a great addition to my backwards party.

I’m the mom who did this for Rachel and it REALLY was fun! The kids had never experienced anything like that – especially in West Virginia (a “southern” state)….. and NO clean-up!! They just melted.


Homemade Backwards Cakes

Check out our sister site coolest-birthday-cakes.com, the Web’s largest gallery of homemade birthday cakes. You’ll find thousands of birthday party theme cakes submitted by visitors like yourself with photos and how-to tips. There are loads of ideas for all kinds of theme cakes, you can choose and create a cake you like and then write “Happy Birthday” backwards on it (“yadhtriB yppaH”).

You can print the words to the backwards happy birthday song so everyone can sing backwards (“you to birthday, happy!”).

Check out the following free printable that shows two different backwards happy birthday song versions (one with the letters reversed, and the other from the last word to the first word), each printable has 4 pages to print and cut out.

You can have an upside-down cake or cupcakes. Just take your cake or cupcakes, frost them as usual and put them upside-down on a see-through plate (you’ll be putting the candles in the bottom of the cake!). Write on it in backwards writing and make sure to put trick birthday candles on the cake! (they are really funny candles that even when you blow them out, they light themselves again and again… so you really can’t blow them out the usual way :-).

A nice upside-down dessert idea is to put an ice-cream ball on a plate and put an ice-cream cone on top – upside-down ice-cream!

Another cool and wacky idea is to bake cake batter inside ice-cream cones! You do this by first heating the oven to 325 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit (165 – 180 degrees Celsius), then make cake mix as instructed on box, then take flat-bottom ice cream cones and fill with cake batter (so that they are two-thirds full), and place each of the ice-cream cones upside-down (each on their own baking cupcake cup). Then bake for 15-20 minutes (or stick a toothpick in the cake and if it comes out clean then the cake is ready) and let cool for atleast 30 minutes. Finally, remove the baking cups and frost each ice-cream cake cone as desired.


Backwards Party Food and Drink

At this birthday party theme, you’ll serve the cake, ice cream and desserts before the main meal (most likely it will be the first time anyone has ever eaten their desserts first!! Kids love this and find it so wacky :-)). Also do zany things like serving spaghetti with a teaspoon, soup with a fork, etc. You can make little backwards signs for each of the dishes, for example for ‘Pizza’, write ‘Azzip’, or ‘Salad’ would be ‘Dalas’, etc. Also, ask right-handed guests to eat by holding the utensils in their left-hands and vice-versa. Anything will do for this birthday party theme, just make everything backwards and flipped over!

All of the guests can eat under the table :-D! And then you can tell them to put their trash in a strange place other than the trash can – like in the dish washer (you can have the dishwasher open with a trash bag lining it from the inside, and then people could put their trash in it. When the party ends you can throw away the trash bag).

Backwards Birthday Party Theme Food:

  • You can serve backward hot dogs where the bun is between a weenie sliced in half (use toothpicks to hold the hot-dog slices to the bun, just make sure you let everyone know about the toothpicks)
  • Serve pizzas in cups (tell the kids to start eating from the crust of the pizza!)
  • Make sandwiches but put the turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato on the outside of the bread.
  • Cut hamburgers to the shape of hot-dogs and eat them as if they were hot-dogs.
  • A nice dessert to eat first is to let the kids create their very own backwards ice-cream sundaes. Give each a cup and let them start by putting in a cherry, then the whipped cream, then ice cream, and last put the brownie on top (they can create any type of sundae they want, just make sure it’s created backwards ;-).

Backwards Birthday Party Theme Drinks:

For a drink you can have dnL!! (upside-down for 7up). Make it 7-down by turning the cans upside down and poking a hole at the bottom for the straw! You can do this with any canned soft drink (use a can opener to to create the hole for the straw).

Note: make sure NOT to shake the soda-pop, it may create an exploding fizz reaction because of the carbon dioxide gas in it. Once you turn each soda can upside-down, let it first settle a bit and cover it with a towel or wash-cloth before piercing the can.


Backwards Party Favors

We’ve created these printable and foldable backwards birthday party theme favor bags and favor boxes. They are not colored in 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 backwards birthday party theme.

We’ve created large favor bags, medium favor bags, and favor-boxes for you to print out:

For thank-yous it could be funny to send them out as invitations (just like when sending thank-yous as invitations), write down all what you would write in an invitation “You are invited to a Backwards birthday party theme”, add date and time, etc. Here are backwards birthday party theme thank-you printables:

Here’s a list of the zaniest things to put in the favor bags: Silly putty, silly string, backward pictures, pop rocks, silly straws, practically anything wacky and goofy will do. Another excellent option is to personalize items in backward language.

At the party tell all the kids to lie on their backs on the couch and hang their heads down, then with a bandanna, blanket or hat have them cover each of their noses, eyes and foreheads (so that you only see their upside-down chin and mouth).

Then with little sticker circles, lipstick, and/or eyeliner draw two circles on their chin as eyes (try and draw different eyes for each kid, as well as adding mustaches to some and eyelashes to others, etc.).

This is what it looks like after putting another blanket on top of the chin and neck area (so that the illusion will work and you won’t be able to see the rest of the body in the picture).

Take a group picture and/or a picture of each upside-down kid. These pictures are great to send with your thank-you notes!


Backwards Games and Activities

You can practically take any game and make it a backwards birthday party theme game… it’s great fun and can be hysterical! (Note: this kid birthday party theme is recommended for kids who are 7 years of age and older, when they know what ‘backwards’ really is…)

Here’s a whole page with the coolest Backwards party games, such as:

  • Backward Cake Eating
  • Backward Freeze Dance
  • Backward Fashion Show
  • Sardines
  • Guessing Game
  • and many more (including visitor-submitted game ideas)…

Pinatas are always fun at parties! For this peculiar birthday party theme you can take any pinata and hang it upside-down! Another cool backwards pinata idea is to make a hole in the pinata and let the kids try and toss candy into the hole.

If it’s a backwards sleepover party, all the kids need to wear their pajamas backwards and sleep with their pillow under their feet!

You should also read these VERY important tips to help you survive (and enjoy) game time!

Kid Birthday Parties › Kid Birthday Party Ideas › Backwards Birthday Party Theme