Perfect football party ideas for kids’ birthday parties

If your kids are footie mad, why not celebrate this passion on their next birthday by organising a football party? It’s actually really easy to plan a football themed party, as there are tons of ways to decorate your home very affordably or even for free by creating the decorations yourself.

Read on to discover our best football party ideas, and find out how you can host the perfect children’s football party and be the talk of the neighbourhood.

Football birthday cards

Every kid’s great football birthday party needs an equally epic football birthday card, right? Stay true to the football theme by choosing one of our top picks – carefully curated for your little football fanatic.

Football party decorations

We said it’s easy to sort out football party decorations, so we’d better put our money where our mouth is. Party shops, online retailers and even supermarkets are sure to have some great decorations available but here are some great football party ideas for taking a DIY approach. You could even get your kids involved in making them, as it’s a fun and creative activity that can be enjoyed as a family. Here are some football party decoration ideas:

  • Artificial grass table runner – Rather than using a tablecloth, a strip of fake grass along the length of the table will add an outdoor feel to your football party. Aside from looking great, it also means that the kids can have a mini game using foil-covered chocolate footballs.
  • Football paper plates – Similar to the lanterns, you can make your own football paper plates by cutting out pentagons out of black card, sticking six to each plate (five circling the edge and one in the centre), and then using a black marker to connect them all together.
  • Put up football posters – You know those footie posters your child has on their bedroom walls? It’s time for them to take a short holiday downstairs to brighten up the party.
  • Football paper lanterns – If your home has round paper lanterns over its ceiling lights or lamps, cut out some paper pentagons and attach them using sticky tape. You’ve instantly created some football lanterns, and once the party is over you simply remove the hexagons without any damage to the lightshades.
  • Don’t forget the banners – Birthday banners are a must-have decoration at a children’s birthday party. You can either buy some football-themed banners or make them yourself using card and images cut out of footie magazines such as Kick, Match and Strike-It!
  • Easy football party costumes – Children’s birthday parties are always more fun when everyone is dressed up. A football party could actually be the easiest one to organise the costumes for, as your child’s guests can simply come dressed in football shirts or their school football kits. Alternatively, you could invite everyone to be more creative and come dressed as their favourite football players, which can be great fun when it comes to hairstyles and fake facial hair.

Organising football party games

When sharing our best football party ideas, we absolutely have to suggest some fun games and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Mini football matches

The most obvious type of game for a football birthday party is… well… football. This can take any form you wish and fit the size of your home, such as keepie-uppie competitions and penalty shootouts in the garden or a Subbuteo match in the living room.

Get the parents involved too, as this is a great way to have fun whilst keeping everything safe and fair. (Make sure to tell Uncle Bob to refrain from giving everyone a red card.)

The crossbar challenge

The idea with the crossbar challenge is, you’ve guessed it, is to try and shoot the ball to hit the crossbar. The half-way line is a popular starting point, but given that even some adults might struggle starting from here, there’s probably not much hope for the kids!

So, you’d better make it a bit more achievable (for the kids only!) by bringing it a little closer. If the kids are having difficulties kicking the ball a long distance, throw the ball up so they can easily head or volley it in (not quite as easy as it sounds, we know!)

Giant inflatable football match

Kick up the excitement by throwing an inflatable football into the mix. Here’s the game plan: knock the giant inflatable football over the goal line to score a point— no goalkeepers allowed though! Expect lots of laughter and some seriously creative manoeuvres. The ball will be soaring in all directions as the kids show off their expertise with headers, chest passes, and footwork galore.

Pass the parcel

A true party game classic is Pass the Parcel, which can be given a football twist. All you have to do is make the prize a football-themed gift, although you can take it further by also wrapping it in multiple pages of those football magazines you have left over from making the decorations.

Football pinata

Never made a pinata before? It’s a great activity to share with your kids a few days before your football party. Here’s how to make one:

  1. Take a beach ball or any other large, soft ball that can be blown up and then easily burst (sorry, this does mean sacrificing a ball). Alternatively, use a large balloon, although the pinata may not end up being as round if you choose this approach.
  2. Tear a newspaper into long strips about two inches wide.
  3. Mix PVA glue, flour and water in a bowl (the measurements don’t really matter, it just needs to be thick and gloopy).
  4. Using paintbrushes, coat the strips of newspaper in the mixture and cover the entire ball except for a small area, as this is how the goodies will be placed inside later on.
  5. Leave this first layer to completely dry and harden.
  6. Repeat the process a few times until you have a hard ball. We recommend at least five layers – the more layers, the longer it will last, although making it too hard will mean it’s very hard to break.
  7. You or another adult then need to carefully pop the beach ball or balloon using a knife or scissors. You can then remove it from the pinata through the hole you left in its coating.
  8. Place all of the football-themed treats inside (chocolates, stickers, pens, erasers etc.)
  9. Cover the hole with two or three layers of your paper mache, allowing each layer to dry before the next one is applied.
  10. Paint the football pinata white with black pentagons.
  11. On the day of the party, rather than stringing up the pinata, the kids can kick it around until it bursts!

Pin the football on the player

No offence to donkeys, but they simply don’t belong at football birthday parties. Instead, you can either take a large poster of a football player or draw one yourself, then use a cardboard football instead of a tail.

Though we’ve used the word “pin”, these days the game is usually played using Blu Tack, as it’s much safer for the kids (and your walls).

Football cakes and party food

What would a birthday party be without birthday cake? Seeing how this is a football party, it would be silly for the cake not to follow the theme. This is easy enough because you can buy cakes decorated as footballs or make your own, which will look particularly striking if you followed our tip of covering your table in strips of artificial grass.

Now, what about the rest of the food? Well, this is an opportunity to be creative and have some fun. We recommend the following ideas:

  • Naming different sandwiches after football positions like The Striker, The Midfielder and The Goalie and giving them flags that outline their ingredients (this also makes it easy for veggies).
  • Football biscuits are always a good addition.
  • Portioning out crisps, popcorn and peanuts in paper cups to keep things fair and simple.
  • Half-time oranges (cut into segments) If you fancy going a bit old school and healthy at the same time.
  • Bottles of water to keep the little ones energised and hydrated during their fun and games.

Football party bags

This is an easy one too, as you can put all kinds of football-themed toys and goodies into your party bags. Just add whatever you think will go down a treat, such as balloons, bubbles and choccies (although maybe leave out the whistles, for the sake of the other parents). Need some more ideas? Check out our blog on what to put into party bags for kids.

Have you been invited to a children’s football party?

The football party ideas above have been designed for the parents organising the event. If you and your kids are attending a football-themed party, we have a wide range of football birthday cards that we know will prove a winner with the birthday boy or girl.

And if you’re looking for more helpful ideas for special occasions and creative how-to guides, just check out the thortful blog. Our post on how to host the perfect superhero party is another great blog for inspiring birthday party ideas.