The 6 Best Kids Party Themes to do in 2023

Here at Dough Animal we LOVE a party, we love attending them, we love celebrating them and most of all we love being a part of them. 

One of our favourite things to do in our HQ is create all the custom orders we get through for custom play dough party favours. They make the cutest and most unique favours to give your guests in their party bags or on a table on their way out that they can play with long after the party has ended. There are so many interesting themes, so many customer favourites, and we get a big insight into the latest trends our little ones are obsessing over., so we thought we’d share a few (although of course there are many Frozen, Barbie, Peppa Pig, Spiderman etc themes too) of our favourites.

1. Boho Rainbow

SO we do love a brightly coloured rainbow theme but the trend on the town is a muted boho rainbow with all the macrame frills, stretched rainbow arches and soft bohemian touches, think feathers, bean bags, super chilled and laid back.

The colours to include would be earthy reds, oranges and yellows with some pinks and purples to bring together the full look.

Some activities to do on the day:

– pin the star on the rainbow

– colouring in sheet and all the colours of the rainbow crayons

– play dough station to make play dough rainbows

– for older kids, make rainbow bracelet

2. Two The Moon (In Two Space)

This theme can totally be done for any age but we especially love the play on words for a second birthday so if you have a little two-year-old-to-be then make sure to save this one.

You can literally go to space with the planet decorations, from balloon planets, paper planets, cardboard cutouts and tinfoil wrapped balls, or create one massive centre piece that just steals the show.

Our favourites are moon cake snacks (dipped Oreos) and blue popcorn in a silver cupcake holder as space food!

Some activities to do on the day:

– bowls with some space themed balls

– space sand making with crystals, sprinkles, coloured sand (all edible of course)

– paper mache planets

– create your own space world with play dough (we actually do space themed play dough or you can order custom from us here). 

3. Ice Cream Parlour

We can literally eat this party up, it looks delicious and full of flavour. What little one could resist an ice cream party? Complete with a retro ice cream cake perhaps? Mind you I never had an ice cream cake and I need to make this happen before I turn 40!

You can go all out with this one, from a help-yourself toppings station, balloon and paper cone DIY ice cream decorations, Ice cream cupcakes and even a retro ice cream cart, the ideas are endless.

Summer babes are so lucky, aren’t they!

Activities to do on the day:

– toss a ball pond ball through the ice cream holes (cardboard cut out)

– toppings station to decorate your own ice creams

– we assume this party would be in the summer so some watersports like a slip and slide, crazy daisy sprinkler or water balloon fights would be great options

– cherry on a spoon race

4. Get Your Surf On (Under the Sea, Ocean, Beach)

The most flexible theme of the year is the ocean related theme which can be mermaids, surf shack, beach party, pool party, under the sea or which ever fun way you’d like. We love a mixture and our favourite elements from the images above would have to be the sand castle cake, the small details in the algae up the wall, the scalloped table cloth and the amazing floating sharks above the gazebo which give such a great effect of being under water.

Some activities to do on the day: 

– Build an under the sea world using play dough – we sell a cute under the sea play kit which also happens to be our best seller. You can pick them up here.

– surfs up – walk along a plant and make sure you can balance like you’re on a surf board.

– dance party – can you move your arms like an octopus, swim like a fish, spread out like a starfish…

– using paint and glitter, paint some sea shells

5. Dinosaur's in the Wild

Okay so there’s a dinosaur party and then there’s a pink dinosaur party and we’re here for both (although I love pink so I’m right in there with the pink dino tail!)

We love the small touches of an explorer hat customised with each child’s name, the gold spray painted dino toys as decor, the digging sand pit for little palaeontologists (this big word was taught to me by my 6 year old by the way) and dino footprints cut out of paper!

However our absolute favourite, and this works for any animal theme (puppy, kitty, safari etc) is the Adopt A Dino station where you can take a dino home!

Some activities to do on the day: 
– save the dinos from the ice (you can prepare this by freezing ice blocks half way, popping a dino in and filling with water and then refreezing or pop water and a small dino toy into a balloon and freeze.

– dino tail dance 

– excavation site with faux bones in a sand pit, dusting tools and magnifying glasses

– dino painting on canvas – name your dino, talk about what they eat, how they sound and show how they walk

6. Daisies

Flowers? As a theme? Why not!

We love picking them, looking at them, smelling them and wearing theme, so why not make a day all about them, plus they make the cutest decorations, thinking daisy balloons, daisy paper plates and maybe even some real daisies? The best part is, this is the easiest DIY so get your craft on and make this gorgeous theme a reality!

Some activities to do on the day:

– flower crown making with real daisies

– flower garden potting with Dough Animal Flower Garden Play Kit’s these can be on a craft table or for each kid to take home. You can get them here.

– move on from craft gardens and plant some real daisy seeds in a pot to take home

– create an art piece using either real or paper petals


Looking for party favours?


Our play dough kits come in big and small sizes, perfect for your guests to enjoy long after the party is over.

We can also create a custom single dough pot with a label to match your theme that you can add to a party bag for your guests – get in touch.

How to have the perfect market stall

We have wanted to do a market in the UK for quite some time now, I mean it’s only been just over 3 whole years since we started Dough Animal and it has also been 3 years since the last Barnes Fair (due to COVID), the fair that sparked our thirst to have a market stall of our own.

We checked the Barnes Community Associations website every week for months at the start of this year, waiting to see if they’d be announcing the return of the fair this year, and we were delighted when we saw that they were, and that they were open to some new small businesses, given the scale of the fair grew to over 300 stalls this year.

It was go time, we spent every late night after our 9-5 creating stock, making dough, labelling, packaging and thinking about all the things we might need for our first fair.

We were a bit worried, would we have enough stock, will our decision to go cashless effect our sales, will our stall look on brand enough, will we attract customers…all the questions, worries and thought spiralled through our minds ahead of the fair – but we can tell you now, 2 whole days after the fair that it all went smoother than we could have imagined, there wasn’t a single hiccup, our store looked beautiful and we attracted every passer by.

Here’s what we packed:

  • Foldable trestle table (for storage after and easy to transport)
  • Pop up gazebo (for easy installation – min 2 people required)
  • Large sign to tie onto the back of the gazebo – this was the only signage we had and loved it – also reusable
  • Stand for our products 
  • Table Cloth
  • Bunting – this really made the whole stall stand out
  • Some storage bowls, boxes and stands from IKEA
  • Card reader as we were cashless – this was SO easy to install, setup and use – we really loved it and it changed the market experience, we also found that every single customer expected to pay by card so we made the right decision to go cashless.
  • Gift bags for purchases – people were quite surprised that we had gift bags – we also popped in a card into each bag with our details website and 10% off their next order.
  • Kids play table, chairs and some play dough – we’ll talk more about this.

Our best idea ever?

We added a kids play table and chairs to the side of our stand which had loads of play dough and play tools on it, we also made a rather large sign using our Cricut that said “PLAY AREA” and this really drew people in. The play table was busy the entire day from 9:30-5:30 with loads of kids playing play dough, parents relaxing on the bench and families meeting each other.

95% of the parents who’s kids played at the table, bought products, and some whose kids played for 20+ mins even came back to buy more dough as they never realised just how much their child would enjoy it.

It was so lovely to see so many little ones engrossed in play, learning through play and communicating with each other and their parents about their interesting builds. This is exactly what our brand is about, helping kids learn through play, how important play is, and for their parents to have time to sit down, breathe and relax, but also to take in their childs interactions and understand their processes.

Will we be doing a market again? Most definitely. We learnt so much, met such amazing people, and had a great day.