My three children were all born within the same week...we call it birthday week. We throw a big birthday bash for the three of them each year! I always have them help me choose a theme...which helps me decide on the games and snacks and 'feel' of the party. I like it to be super 'down home,' waste free, in line with our values, but epic in its own right. I would start your planning with what your son loves. Our parties have had the following themes: superheroes, lego, carnival, spies, trains, olympic games. I have been surprised at what my children remember most from our parties. It seems that it is the dramatic ideas, tiny details and overall feel of the day that make it magic, so they are what will stick with a child.
Great, easy, no waste games include: potato sack (feed bag) races, egg and spoon races, relay races where you need to change clothes/accessories at the end of the row, how many socks can you put on challenge (adults can wear mittens to level the playing field), scavenger hunt, treasure hunt (following a set of sequenced clues to find a treat...everyone can win if you have different sets of clues for each team and the prize was enough for everyone), water relay (carry water in a small cup to fill a bucket, team with most water at the end wins), obstacle course, three-legged races, etc. Unless your child does not like competition, in which case this would be a terrible idea! I try to choose games I can adapt in some way to support my overall theme. For example, we did a variety of races at the superheroes party, where children earned a 'badge' at each stage for completion, so it wasn't a competition. I broke it up into different skills they would need to be a good superhero, and explained at each station what they were learning and how (ie - agility at an obstacle course). I love drama!
If you wanted to go with a nature theme, you could hang nature items around your home using twine, or if the party is outdoors, decorate the trees. Have guests bring some things from where they live to use to decorate your space together. We have made communal mobiles during solstice celebrations and hung them from tree branches. They are beautiful made of pine cones, feathers, leaves, evergreen boughs, etc.)
Can you tell that I LOVE planning parties??
A party becomes special because of the people who attend, the care that goes into planning and executing the details, the honouring of your son with presence and the memories made with the magic that is created when all of these things are combined!
Have a wonderful day with your son and family <3