Party Themes for 8 Year Old Boys

Thanks for all the ideas!

Suggestions included: soccer, dinosaur museum, Lego, movies, model trains, construction,  rock climbing and a science party.

You can email us at

January 9, 2015 at 11:05 PM Leave a comment

What themes have worked for your parties?

Someone is looking for a great theme for a party for an 8 year old boy.

Any suggestions?

January 6, 2015 at 3:03 PM Leave a comment

Bunko, fun for all ages!


A Game of Chance!  Try our version of the rules.  

Let us know if you have a favorite way to play.


Goal:  To reach a combined team score of 21 points. Once 21 points are accumulated by a team they call or yell or shout out “Bunko!”



Libby and Penny rules.  One game is six rounds. Number of players: 4 at each table, partners sit across from each other.  Each person takes a turn rolling 5 dice. During round one the objective is to count the number of 1’s rolled. Designate one person to tell everyone to begin. Each person rolls the dice until they do not roll any 1’s, then they pass the dice to the person to their right.  Each team continues adding to their partners score while keeping their own score.

Round one ends when a Bunko (21 points) is made by any team.

 Switching tables:  At the end of each round, team with highest number will move to next table and switch partners.  Lowest number stays and pairs up with the newest team that joins them.  The switching happens after each round. Switching creates new teams for the next round.  

If 4 are playing simply switching places at the table and create new teams. If 8 or 12 are playing the winning team can switch with the losing team at the other table for the next round.

Scoring:  Total all the points you have made throughout the rounds.  Rolling all 5 dice with the number that is being playing is a special Bunko, the player can be awarded a prize or extra points. Example: if it is round 4 and all the dice rolled are 4’s then you rolled a Bunko.

Play as many games as you have time.

Mini history: Bunko, was once linked with 1920’s gambling.  The police squads that raided the parlors, or a speakeasy,  were known as the Bunko Squad.









July 15, 2014 at 6:10 AM Leave a comment

eBook conversion in progress

We are working on converting, Planning Children’s Birthday Parties Libby and Penny’s Survival Guide, into an eBook!.

We welcome your ideas and input!

Libby and Penny truly appreciate your great ideas. Please send your suggestions:  comment on Facebook or on our blog.

kids going to a party

There will be full color images, web links, additional photos, more ideas, and surprises!

June 1, 2014 at 5:02 AM Leave a comment

How to make crepe paper surprise balls

We have added photo directions to making Crepe Paper Surprise Balls to our website.

Click here to go to more photos and directions for this project

May 28, 2014 at 7:05 PM 2 comments

Planning a party for a pre-school child -guest list

The guest list for a pre-school party may swell beyond what you expect.  When considering who will be invited to the party keep in mind young children are often accompanied by their parents who anticipate and expect to stay. Parents of young children want to participate and observe their child enjoying themselves. Plan to have parents enjoy the opportunity of interacting with their child.  For every child invited expect one or two parents to attend. Also consider if siblings will be invited.

Number of guests at a pre-school party

Number of guests at a pre-school party

Plan activities ranging from high energy group games to low energy activities the parents can do with their child.  Have multiple areas set up so one or two children along with their parents can do an activity and move on to another. All the items needed for each activity should be  organized and ready to use: blocks, crayons and paper, cars and trucks, hair bows and crowns, balls and hoops, clay, etc.   Anticipate the short attention span of young children: have 5 or more activity areas available. When parents are interacting with their child the party will move along smoothly.


January 6, 2014 at 2:28 AM Leave a comment

Raising Arizona Kids

Raising Arizona Kids

Thanks for the book review!

A survival guide to children’s birthday parties

By Daniel Friedman | April 8, 2013

children's birthday party planningParents planing their child’s birthday party know there are hundreds of details to remember and possible choices to make. With busy work schedules and daily household duties, there isn’t a lot of extra time to put together a party that will delight their birthday boy/girl.

Looking through Planning Children’s Birthday Parties: Libby and Penney’s Survival Guide (2012) it’s evident that Valley authors Libby Worsley Crouch and Penny Barlow Liston considered the practical aspects of birthday party planning

They give advice on how to avoid the chaos of a disorganized party, so I’m guessing they’ve been to a few parties that devolved due to lack of planning. Perhaps volume two will dish some dirt on party disasters they’ve witnessed, but in this book they are all business, The book is no-nonsense, with lists, tips, bullet points, suggestions and detail — lots of detail.

Chapter groupings include Important Details, Detailed Theme Parties, Checklists and Suggestions. No extravagant tales of a 1-year-old’s party for 100 guests but they do offer ideas for a few themed parties such as Backward Party, Game of Chance Party and Be a Chef Cooking Party.

Chapter 9 is “Moment by Moment Party Plan Timeline.” Spend the first 10 minutes in welcoming activities, then 10-15 minutes setting the theme. Children are introduced to the parents giving the party and to each other, then informed of behavioral expectations. Then 30-45 minutes of activities, games and crafts. And then snack time, gift opening, clean-up etc. Each section has an explanation and suggestions.

Curious, I flipped to the back cover and read the author bios. They were teachers! Veterans of wrangling hordes of youngsters, maintaining order and making sure everyone’s experience is a positive one. It explains the tone and attention to, well, detail.

If you haven’t thrown a birthday party for your child, or want to do better on your next one, this book will provide you with more than you’ll need. But as every teacher knows, it’s better to over-plan rather than be overwhelmed.

At first glance it may seem too rigid and controlling, but only if you’ve never had a gaggle of kids at your home either not having a good time or running amok without a thought to your decorated cake and meticulously glue-gunned pirate party theme decorations. Because they are teachers, the authors know that outcomes are better when children know what is going to happen and what is expected of them.

The book is useful and thorough. It includes details on sending out invitations, tracking RSVPs (do people still RSVP?) planning and preparing food, planning games, maintaining order, sending out thank you notes, charging camera batteries, and on and on. One excellent rule of thumb they suggest is keeping the number of guests equal to the age of the birthday boy/girl. Extravagant party planners ignore this rule but remember, the book is a survival guide.

Birthday parties aren’t rocket science, mainly because there are no immutable laws of physics governing their trajectory. Things can go awry anytime a bunch of children get cranky or don’t know what to do. This book isn’t for veterans with years of experience, but for the first- or second-timer who will use this as a basis for a well orchestrated party that will leave the celebrants happy and the parents willing to do it again next year.

The book is available at several local retail sites, including The Doll House and Toy Store in Scottsdale and Perreniels Boutique in Phoenix.

The only thing Libby and Penny left out of the book is their website:

More party planning resources

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November 16, 2013 at 2:41 AM 1 comment

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