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Kids love Backwards Day or a Backwards Party because it sparks their imagination. They’ve probably tried being backwards for awhile on their own just for the fun of it!
Here are some ideas for kids of all different ages with different interests and talents so they can all go home enjoying life in a backwards world for a few hours.
Kids Backwards Party Costumes
There’s nothing like costumes to pump up the fun factor. Putting a costume together in the days ahead builds the anticipation of the party which is half the fun!
The first kids backwards party idea that comes to mind is: you have to begin with them wearing their clothes backwards!
Wear a shirt backwards, put a necklace or neck tie hanging down their back, put sunglasses on the back of their head.
Girls can get hair clips that look like little flip flops – it doesn’t get more backwards than shoes on you head.
It’s always a good idea to pick up some really cheap sunglasses to have on hand for the kids who show up without a costume.
Encourage them to wear their shirt backwards & give them a pair of sunglasses for the back of their head and they’re a part of all the fun. No one gets left out.
Backwards Party Icebreaker Ideas
When left to their own devices, kids run around and get totally out of control before the party even starts – especially if they’re all dressed backwards and excited before they get there.
It is important for you as hostess to greet the arrivals and speak with their parents, so the icebreaker activity should be self-directed, or have someone volunteer to keep the kids organized for you.
Here are a few ideas – choose the one that fits the age group and interests of your guests.
Have a Backwards Fashion Show
I love to have something in the front yard to greet guests as they arrive to put everyone in an excited, good mood (and for parents to know for sure which house has the party.)
Now that everyone is dressed up, why not have a Backwards Fashion Show?
It can be as easy as rolling out some red wrapping paper for a runway with chairs down each side. Add a box of props like feather boas, hats, glasses and jewelry and have a fashion show with all the kids walking backwards down the runway as they arrive everyone can oooh-and-awww over each outfit and make them feel great.
Parents can linger, sit in the chairs and take photos of their kid on the runway and exclaim over all the other kids as they arrive. It will take a little pressure off of you.
Don’t forget to take photos! It’s fun to post the photos on Facebook or Instagram for family and friends to see, but make sure you have the parents’ permission first. If parents are there taking photos, make them understand that they need permission before they can post photos of the other kids, too.
TPing the Party Room
What could be more backwards than TPing (toilet papering) the party room instead of pretty crepe paper garland?
If you’re doing the Front-yard Fashion Show, handing them a roll of bathroom tissue to TP a room is a great way to get them to say goodbye to their parents & go inside!
If you can’t be outdoors, when each child arrives give them a roll of bathroom tissue and let them go at it.
TPing is an unforgettable experience – and usually ends up being the favorite party of the party.
We removed all the chairs. We ran a cord across the room along each side of the table to give the kids something extra to catch the paper on and create a little cave under the table with all the falling strips.
Since it’s backwards day the kids eat under the table.
We put large pillows underneath for them to sit on.
We hung some red fairy lights and white icicle lights to give a glowing, festive atmosphere in their special party cave.
Don’t worry if there isn’t enough room for all the children at once. You know how it is – either they won’t all sit under there at once, or they all want to cuddle up to the birthday child and squeeze in no problem.
A bubble machine can entertain kids for as long as you need them to!
Place the machine up high so the bubbles fall down to make it look backwards to the usual fun of blowing bubbles up into the sky.
Want to pump up the fun? Set up a video camera and TV so the kids can watch themselves dressed backwards trying to catch bubbles.
Challenge them to use their TV image to try and catch bubbles behind their backs, which will look forwards if they are wearing their clothes backwards.
Make Backwards Cookies
Get a voluteer who knows how to use a camera to take their picture for you while you greet guests. You can send the photo to them later in a thank you card, or get the kids to decorate picture frames and print the photo off now to send home as a party favor.
Have the Party Backwards & Start with the Favor Bags
Kids Backward Party Games
The kids are excited and ready to go! Start the party off with a bang by playing a couple games.
Have a Backwards Treasure Hunt:
- write all the clues backwards (keep it simple by using the backwards writer at Bored.com)
- give the kids access to a mirror so they can read easily read the clue
- surprise them by leading back to the starting point to find the hidden treasure
- make sure they walk backwards when going from clue to clue!
Play Simon Says but do the opposite of what the leader is saying, such as lift your left leg when they want you to lift your right leg. It’s difficult!
Play Opposite Hide and Seek (also known as sardines) where one person hides and as each person finds the leader they hide with them. The last person to find the group is the next leader who hides.
Play Replace the Flag which is the opposite to Capture the Flag. Divide group into two teams and divide your playing area into halves, one for each team. The best play area has places to hide with a large area to run – such as outdoors. Tie a colored ribbon on their arm to represent their team with a different color for each team. Their goal is to put the team’s flag (same color as their armband) on the flag pole hidden by the opposing team in their own territory within a time limit. Tagged people must go to jail in the opposing team’s area but can be rescued when teammates tag them.
Hold Backwards Races. Do all the usual party races, only perform them running backwards: egg and spoon race, crab race, sack race – a relay race is absolutely hilarious backwards.
Time for Kids to Get Creative
Time to slow things down before eating. Continue the Backwards Party fun with pen and pencil games.
Get the kids to write a story about a day in a backwards town:
- which is the name of their town or city spelled backwards
- the main character is their name spelled backwards
- details everything they did yesterday but in backwards order or is about someone as silly as Backwards Bill
Backwards Bill is a fun poem by Shel Silverstein made even “funner” when read by him. (See the whole poem at Amazon.)
If your kids are older, discuss Palindromes. Explain that a palindrome is a word, phrase or verse that is the same when read forwards or backwards. Here are a few examples, but you can see a whole list here.
– now I won
– nurses run
– my gym
– a santa at NASA
Then if you really want to blow their minds, here is a song by none other than Weird Al Yankovic using all Palindromes!
Backwards Day Decorations
Try one or all of these Backwards Day decorations to set the mood.
Of course you eat under the table on Backwards Day!
If you TP’d the party area as the icebreaker or a decoration, make the bathroom tissue hang down to the floor. If you didn’t, put a big table cloth, blanket or similar item on the table so it hangs down to create a little cave under the table.
We hung icicle lights and swags of red twinkle lights around the perimeter of the table to add to the party atmosphere. (We used painters tape to attach them on the underside of the table. Easy removal!)
We put pillows underneath for the kids to sit on, but you could also set placemats for each place setting, depending on the age of the kids at the party.
Backwards Balloons can litter the floor instead of hugging the ceiling – kids love this because they can crawl through them to get under the table and kick them around. Or, you can have upside down balloons by attaching the ribbons to the ceiling and letting air-filled balloons (as opposed to helium filled) hang down.
See all of our customizable Backwards Day invitations, party supplies & t-shirts.
Backwards Day Food Ideas
Surprise the kids with backwards food or eating the meal backwards with dessert first. Here are the recipes we used at our party. They were a big hit!
Just cook your usual meatloaf mixture in your muffin pan for 20 minutes. When it’s cooled top with Mashed Potatoes to look like icing and a dab of catsup or cherry tomato for a cherry on top.
This is the perfect beginning to a backwards meal because it makes it look like you’re having dessert first. Don’t say a word – just wait for their reaction when the figure it out for themselves!
(Here’s another little secret: my kids love, love, love meatloaf cupcakes all year round and I love them as a fast and easy meal.)
If you light the candles on this baby they’ll truly expect it to be cake!
This is oh-so-easy to make: just grill 2 hamburger patties, prepare either real or ready-to-use mashed potatoes, and cook some frozen mixed vegetables. Place first burger on a plate, top with veggies then place remaining burger over them. Now frost your layer “cake” with mashed potatoes.
Inside Out Sandwiches have the bread in the center! We used Tre Stelle cheddar cheese slices (real cheese as opposed to processed slices) on the outside to be firm enough to hold it all together – one on the top, one on the bottom.
Then we cut a slice of bologna in half and put each piece on a slice of cheese.
We cut the crust off a slice of bread to make it a rectangular shape and put it in the center of the two bologna/cheese pairings. We then sliced the sandwich diagonally to make munchable triangles.
To make the hot dog look inside out:
- Cut a frankfurter in half lengthwise.
- Then cut top sliced hot dog buns in half lengthwise.
- Spread both sides of a bun piece with Cheez Whiz.
- Place a half frankfurter on each side of the bun using the Cheez Whiz as the “glue” that holds it all together.
TV Dinner Cupcakes for Dessert
These cupcakes are so much fun for dessert and make the day extra memorable.
They are very easy to make but look like you’ve worked oh-so-hard. See our article with step by step instructions and ingredients list.
Upside Down Cupcake
Looking for something easy for dessert? The upside down cupcake is oh-so-easy and the kids LOVE them!
Take something ordinary, give it a twist and the kids love it.
Just take a regular cupcake, put it icing down on a plate, stick your cupcake topper and/or candles in the top and call it a backwards day cupcake.
(Those really tall, thin, twisty red candles look great but sadly I couldn’t find any.)
Backwards Party Invitations
Which of these invitations best suits your budget and energy & time resources?
Backwards Party Cards
Package of 10 cards
Package of 20 cards
See all of our customizable Backwards Party supplies.
Surprise Ball Invitations
A surprise ball is a ball of crepe paper containing little prizes that the recipient receives as they unwind the ball. Since it’s backwards day, receiving the “party favors” at the beginning instead of the end makes so much sense!
As the invitee unwinds the crepe paper little gifts fall out of the ball until at the end they see the invitation to a party . . . the time and date . . . and then the host’s name.
See our Surprise Ball Tutorial for step by step instructions on how to make this invitation.
Backwards Party Printables
These backwards party printables add to the festivity of your wild & wacky backwards day!
Backwards Party Printables Package
- Banner with letters to read: Happy Backwards Day or Happy Backwards Birthday or Happy Birthday
- Cupcake Toppers: 2 designs – I Love Backwards Day, Wild & Wacky Backwards Day Party
- Cupcake wrapper: red with white polka dots
- Welcome Sign
- It’s Backwards Day Walkway Signs: 3 designs – Goodbye, Are you walking backwards?, What’s your name spelled backwards?
- Popcorn Box: red with white polka dots
- Bottle Labels: 2 designs – I Love Backwards Day, Wild & Wacky Backwards Day Party
- Party Favor Bag Topper: Wild & Wacky Backwards Day Party Prize
- Fill-in Invitation
- Party Hat: red with white polka dots
For more information and photos of items see our printables page.
Customizable Backwards Party Supplies
We have personalized Backwards Party Day Invitations and party supplies in our shoppe: t-shirts for baby, toddler, kids, men & women, drinking glasses, serving trays, mylar balloon, tote bag, canvas party favor bag, customizable invitations, and much more.
I hope this inspires some ideas for your Backwards Kids Party!
Photo of boy wearing backwards clothing
Photo of bubbles in sunshine by Steve Jurvetson via Wikimedia Commons
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Subscribe today & don't miss a thing!
Once a week we'll tell you the upcoming daily celebrations & the articles you may have missed.