Whether it's fighting imaginary bad guys or saving people from disasters, soldiers have captured little boys' imaginations for centuries. Turn this love of all things military into a wonderful military themed birthday party. Put a spin on decorations, food and activities to give guests the feeling that they are engaging in training or actual combat.
Make the army surplus store your first stop. You can get camouflage netting, backpacks, flags and more for discount prices. Prepare signs that read "Boot Camp," "Combat Zone" or "Recruits Needed." Decorate the railing, porch or doorway with black, green and brown balloons. When kids enter, give each one a plastic combat helmet from a dollar store. In the party area, use a camo net for an indoor or outdoor canopy, and continue with the camo-colored balloons. A creative diorama using toy soldiers makes a stunning centerpiece.
Recreate a mess hall with sectional plastic trays. Serve up military themed party fare, such as "Big Guns" hot dogs, baked beans, "combat corn-on-the-cob" and more. Twist breadstick dough into military rank insignias and provide various dipping sauces. For drinks, serve guests out of military canteens, or decorate juice boxes with camo and soldier stickers. There are endless ideas for military birthday cakes (see Resources), so try to create a custom design for your little soldier.
If it's nice weather, hold water games, such as "Water Bomb," "Grenade Toss" and an all-out squirt gun battle. Play Steal the Flag, Kick the Bucket or Flag Football to emphasize teamwork and working together against the opposition. Hold basic training drills and organize obstacle courses, both individual and team. Set up a shooting range and let guests take down targets with soft foam ammunition from toy guns.