Gumball Birthday Party Ideas

by Cristel Wood

A birthday party with a gumball theme allows for versatility; gumballs are colorful and the simple spherical shape makes numerous decorations, crafts and treats fitting. Gumball-themed birthdays are appropriate for children as young as kindergarten and adults of any age who are young at heart. Whether you embrace the gumball theme with actual gumballs or gumball decorations, your birthday party is sure to be a hit with both guests and the birthday celebrant.

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Invitations

Print out pictures of gumball machines and paste them to card or invitation templates. Decorate the gumball machines with construction paper, colored pom-poms, puff-paint or glitter glue, all of which can be found at a craft store. Alternatively, leave the pictures uncolored and challenge invitees to color the gumball machines themselves, then collect the invitations as guests arrive and hold an art competition.

Decorations

Use traditional gumball colors to decorate for the gumball party. Glue colored pom-poms to banners and streamers. Set plastic gumball machines up around the party area. Decorate with gumball-colored balloons. Set out bowls of boldly colored bouncing balls, making sure that guests understand which gumballs are for eating and which gumballs are for playing. Set out large, gumball-colored play balls in play areas. Use your imagination; round shapes and bright colors add a festive touch to any gumball party.

Party Favors

Purchase miniature gumball machines from a novelty shop or party supply store; you can usually find miniature gumball machines for less than three dollars apiece and they make great party favors that guests can take home. Bags of gumballs and clusters of gumball-colored balloons also make fun party favors. Another option is to create gumball crafts or treats during the party that can guests can take home to enjoy later.

Crafts

While gumball crafts can be taken home with guests, they can also be enjoyed during the party. Create gumball flowers by arranging six small gumballs around one large gumball atop a balloon straw. Gumballs can be secured in place with a little frosting. Allow guests a variety of colors of gumballs to choose from when creating their flowers. Alternatively, create gumball caterpillars by connecting gumballs together with toothpick halves and tying lengths of licorice string around the toothpicks, between segments, to represent legs.

Treats

Create cakes and cookies in the shape of gumball machines. These can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional, depending on how ambitious you feel. For larger treats, such as cakes, use real gumballs; for smaller treats, such as cookies, consider using decorative cake sprinkles or jellybeans to represent gumballs. Alternatively, create cupcakes and decorate them with gumballs or candies to represent gumballs. Serve bubblegum ice cream or, for a healthier snack, create fruit balls out of melons, strawberries and other colorful fruits and serve them in a glass bowl.

Games

Take your gumball theme to an additional level by playing gumball games. Fill a jar will gumballs and challenge guests to guess how many gumballs there are; the closest guess wins a prize. Use gumballs as marbles and play a game of marbles or have gumball races. You can also play a game of "pin the gumball on the machine," where each guest is blindfolded, spun in a circle, and challenged to attach a gumball to a paper gumball machine; the person who attaches the most gumballs to the bowl of the paper machine wins the prize.

About the Author

Cristel Wood is a writer specializing in food, photography, gardening and video games. She holds an Associate of Arts from South Puget Sound Community College and has worked for her local Parks & Recreation department, Mt. Baker ski area, Vista Village Retirement Community and has taught ESL in Peru.

Photo Credits

  • Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images