Ain’t no Pinterest board for this: WW1 (8th) birthday party

My sweet little Valentine turns 8 next week. And because it’s every little girls dream is to have a birthday party that means something special to them, she has chosen a World War 1 themed party.

Of course.

Daisy invite


This kid is obsessed with History and everything it has to offer (with many thanks to a Horrible History obsession) and I bet she wishes she was Guinevere (with thanks to a healthy Merlin obsession) and has a love of all things gory (thanks to Operation Ouch). Thank you for raising my child ABC3.

SO now we have a WW1 party on our hands. And there ain’t no Pinterest board for that shit let me tell you! It’s Rob turn to make the cake (it has to be a trench cake, of course) with mini barbed wire, good luck with that Rob but we have games and a few hours to keep 15 kids entertained and educated.

Water grenades/bombs? Pin the tail on the German? Trench warfare games? Which helmet is which? Who can get trench foot first? The above image was used on the invitation with a “Daisy needs YOU to come to her party!” but, well…

Um, help.

Got any suggestions on where to go to from here?

Time to get our my Modern History notes from year 12 to trawl through my source studies for inspiration…but until then….help!
Tasty WW1 party food snacks? Β Tinned goods?
Safe to say this kids party is NOT going to make any Pinterest boards anytime soon…and thank GOODNESS for that!


  1. Aahh – it warms my heart to hear of little people developing an early love of history. My husband is a modern history teacher and therefore after 21 years of marriage, I am now a modern history guru. Maybe you could start a Pinterest board yourself and you never know it might become a thing and grow. Needless to say, Horrible Histories is the absolute fave show in our household. Right next to Prank Patrol, but that’s only because my son got to be on it. That’s a whole other story there. xx

  2. Not many of my own but someone has actually had one for their 9yo!

    Anzac biscuits is about all I could think of apart from pin the assassins bullet on archduke whatsisname?? One of games in the link above is some kind of warfare game with fake blood and then nurses with bandages… A wwi quiz with daisy as quizmistress? Actually how about battleship?? You’d have to have a few rounds to get a clear winner but kids could rep different countries and then help each other out on the appropriate allied or axis(?) side?

    Good luck with it! Will be interested to hear the results. My 7yo son’s obsessed with horrible science and I’m sure there’s a few tricky party themes coming my way soon. : )

  3. Crawling on their bellies for sure! I think I would do some sort of war perhaps with water bomb grenades. Get those old fashioned sherbets with the licorice sticks and turn them into dynamite. Now having written that I actually feel conflicted about celebrating war. Look where it’s got us? I struggle with my kids wanting to play shooting games…..trying to find the balance in it all

  4. I had a army party for my war history obsessed 9yr. Look up army party on pintrest

  5. Capture the flag?
    You could give them ration cards for them to exchange for party food. Bread and jam and cocoa are probably fairly authentic and may not offend party guests as much as bully beef.
    By the way, this book by David Metzenthuen is great, either to read at the party or give your daughter:

  6. Maybe just lots of running and jumping down behind sandbags (pillows perhaps). Bandaging and making stretchers ??? Mmmm – hard one. May be “pin the tail on Simpson’s donkey” and making poppies from red crepe paper!

    Good luck with a barbed-wire cake!

  7. Adorable! What an awesome kid you have!!
    My husband and I are both massive history nerds (he actually works at the War Memorial!) so our kids have no chance!!
    Maybe Anzac biscuits, cupcakes decorated as grenades, cookies decorated with poppies, lichorice bullets…
    And for games maybe a dress up station with some little nurse and soldier outfits, water balloons as grenades, decorating cut outs of poppies or soldiers.

    • Bullets! Of course! Thanks Lauren πŸ™‚

      • World War descendant says

        I’ve got a great entertainment suggestions for you. My grandfather would happily attend and explain to your guests what it was like to grow up next to a Nazi headquarters. What it was like to see your mother rounded up with other women in the town. What it was like never to see your mother Fyi they were most likely all roped together on the side of a cliff and one was shot pulling the others down. Think about that when bullets’ for your party.
        stand up and tell your daughter why this isn’t an appropriate theme.

  8. See recently I’ve been stopping my 6 nearly 7yo from watching Horrible Histories and Operation Ouch – her two FAVOURITE shows – because I thought she wasn’t old enough, maybe I’m underestimating her! What a legend your girl is. Good luck and have fun!

    • Definitely ration pack party bags, maybe get some green crepe paper and hang it off a net for camouflage and make an obstacle course race or make tanks out of cardboard boxes and the driver has to climb in and run around collecting each of his soldiers who have to climb in and run with the driver to the finish line. My son is army and war history mad. Wish I had thought of this theme for him. Good luck. You’ll do great.

    • Thanks Em πŸ™‚

  9. For food you could do a twist on the popular cute little picnic boxes and make ration packs! Not exactly sure what you would put in them though!

  10. Thank god indeed for ABC3, how funny is Horrible Histories…. I may well have actually enjoyed history if this was around when I was a kid. And operation ouch – yes I am pretty sure my 10 year old is going to be a Doctor, ha ha ha – I can’t stand seeing all the gory operations…. now – good luck with the WW1 party, sounds like fun. No suggestions here though sorry. Good luck.

  11. We have recently graduated to ABC3 and 6 year old is quite obsessed with Operation Ouch which has followed on from an interest in science thanks to a Questacon DVD. I think it’s fantastic that your daughter is so interested in history. Given there is so much focus on the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, perhaps there have been some materials for schools that could be used. Like others, a bit conflicted by war games, but love the pin the tail on Sampson’s donkey and medical related ideas. What about games that were played during that era? Can’t wait to see some photos – and good luck with the cake Rob!

  12. How about the take home/ party favours are a “care package” sent from home…a treat, cute tissue packet/ lip balm etc… I’m also seeing some Red Cross action… Time how long it takes them to bandage something like an arm or a head…it’s so great she is curious about the world and not afraid to deviate from the norm…or even know what the norm is…what a neat kid you’ve got there…

  13. For the barbed wire on the cake you could try those crunchy noodles (changs ?) & cover them in chocolate like those chocolate spider things you can make but make it flat. Worth a try maybe ? Good luck with the party ideas, not an easy theme πŸ™‚

  14. Faarrkk… was my first thought… Home style red cross care package is good. Damper, golden syrup, anzac bikkies, sepia toned photos.. a picnic in a muddy quarry… Good Luck with that!

  15. As a fellow Horrible History fan family member I salute Daisy, whilst wearin’ me slouch hat. Which brings me the Lighthorse of course. Pin the tail on the Lighthorse or pin the boots on the Lighthorse (either side though that’s a bit sad because it means the rider is missing). Swords were used in WW1. Dancing competition with plastic swords perhaps? Slouch hats with feathers on one side would be cute. I will try and think of an economical way to achieve that.

  16. Love it!!! My little guy is obsessed with all things WW1 and WW2, Horrible Histories (did you know they have a mag too?!) , Merlin (thanks to his older female cousin) and of course the good old Operations Ouch (which is also a big fave or my 6yo daughter, but she also loves any fishing show, and of course River Monsters)
    I’ll just consult my WW obsessed 10yo….kick the Germans heiny (not politically correct, but hey), which apparently would be a “tip” like game, so the person who is “in” is the German.

    If he thinks of anything else…I’ll let you know.

    Good luck!
    ooh and happy birthday gorgeous, talented and intelligent Daisy!!

    xx Manda

  17. Susan McCarney says

    Aunty suggested Rob bake a circular cake with the entire insides dug out leaving just the walls of the cake….with soldiers sitting inside… quick as a flash when I told her the theme….maybe she should be sitting there as the 90 year old we love, and closest to the time!!! There’s some great ideas coming through BTW!!

  18. The previous postings about ANZAC biscuits have inspired me to suggest – making them together as a party activity? Or setting up a couple of stations and have them in teams making them – a biscuit cook-off? You could talk about how, as they contain no eggs, they stayed fresher for longer and could therefore be posted overseas.

    Otherwise, what about games from the era – this page has a few suggestions:–Miniature-games-for-a-Victorian-or-Edwardian-Dolls-House/_ch27_ft1772

  19. This is pretty cute – and topical! 100 years since Gallipoli. I’m just reading Anzac Girls at the moment. It’s great.
    I think you can definitely do a history themed party without it glorifying war. But I was, like your Daisy, a kid interested in war and history and all that stuff. It is fascinating!
    It’s about WW2 not WW1 but has Daisy read When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit? I think it’d be up her alley.

  20. Lisa Mckenzie says

    What an awesome daughter you have ,I’m sorry I don’t have any great ideas for a WW1 themed party,but there is some good ones above Beth!

  21. I think it is an awesome idea. Great to see a kid having a party that celebrates their real interests. Sounds like you are going to be having a re-enactment of the Gallipoli landing on your lawn.
    Does it have to be WWI or can her friends come dressed up as their favourite characters from history?

  22. Not sure if any of it is “birthday party” material, but there are a heap of resources and activities from the Australian War Memorial website:

  23. Food suggestion spam in a can

  24. (The rest of my comment disappeared ! )
    I saw on cake boss a camo paint ball cake ( I know not the same bear with ) and he made barbed wire out of liquorice strips tied together , the knot was the barb !
    You could make cardboard gas masks for each child which they need to keep on their person in case of an air raid! They could also decorate them if you like doing craft at a party .Lots of patriotic flag pins and I think jelly was popular back then in fantastic moulds.

  25. Oh my! This is hilarious, can we come?
    They could dig a bunker in the backyard.
    You could play statues and they have to stop when they hear the air raid siren :0
    See who can black out a window the best.
    You could go all United Nations like and see who can come up with the best idea for a Peace Treaty πŸ™‚
    Have a treasure hunt for food coupons then they have to queue for ages before you feed them
    πŸ˜‰ (you’ve got to make it a bit real…) Stale biscuits, mouldy bread…

  26. I love that Daisy want a WW1 party! Reading through the comments all I can add is “tug-o-war” in the backyard, toilet paper for the bandages game, and a variation of Limbo with a sword as the pole – it will get them down low, albeit backwards!
    Oh, and brown paper bags for any type of “rations”.
    All I find with kids parties is I try to keep it simple – a couple of planned activities and a lot of time for tearing about or dancing and it seems to fly by. The other thing my kids love is a treasure hunt, it doesn’t matter what the treasures are as they work their way around, its the cracking of the clues they love!

  27. My son had a war party when he was 8! My carpenter husband built him a pillbox/bunker on either side of our yard so the kids could have a “war”. Luckily for them it was torrential rain! Perfect war weather! Looking forward to seeing photos of the big day.

  28. That’s great that he’s cultivating a love of history so early! As to the party request…not sure what to suggest there…….

  29. LOVE that she is not having a typical girl thing. Love that to bits. And you could be the first one to post pics to Pinterest of this theme!!

  30. In the UK at Christmas Sainsbury’s ads focused on 100 years since WW1. They also sold chcocolate with WW1 themed wrapping. You could take some inspiration from it and make some custom wrappers to swap on on modern day Cadbury for her friends to take home? Take a look here :

  31. Fantastic that Daisy is so interested in history. Though I’m not really sure how war can be linked to celebration. It seems a little disrespectful to those who fought – especially creating war themed party favours and cakes.

    Is there a chance you can explain this to her and offer some books or DVDs about the war instead? Perhaps when she sees the reality of war – the deaths, PSTD, ongoing conflict etc, she will understand.

    • Patricia she is more interested in history rather than glorifying war…it’s mostly going to be history party with lots of quiz’s etc and little on fighting…she’s just a 7 year old girl who wants to be a historian one day and we want to encourage that!

  32. Wow. Making a party out of a conflict that killed 37 000 000 people. War isn’t fun. War is miserable and pointless and by turning war into a party you are teaching your child a very bizarre lesson.

    • Daisy likes history and has a keen interest in it. The party could have been on medieval times, or The Georgian/Victorian periods (thanks to a love of horrible histories). She chose WW1 and we will be exploring those ideas in sensitive and age appropriate ways. Making Anzac biscuits, doing quiz’s in teams etc and the kids will hopefully maybe even learn something while having fun. It’s not a glorification of war, or celebrating, death or the horror of war, it’s meant to be a way for kids to learn and hopefully make them want to learn more as well…stranger things have happened! Kids learn things in different ways to adults and to start to ideas and engagement in a way (much in the way Horrible histories do in their TV show) with sometimes humour and grossness doesn’t take away from the actual learning. How can we even start to portray the horror and meaning and pointlessness of war? Why would we? We’ll continue to foster her love of learning and history, go back to the war memorial (as we have before) and continue to teach her respect and admiration for all that soldiers have done and continue to do. That’s not so bizarre is it Kerri?

      • Honestly, it’s still a bizarre theme to me, but I appreciate the intent behind it. It’s probably not a million miles away from a school excursion which would do similar things. Each to their own and I’m sure Daisy will love it.

        A great historical outing in Sydney is the Susannah Place Museum. My girls’ loved it. They also like the Our Australian Girl book series, if you haven’t already come across them. I think one of them is set during WW1.

  33. If you go to a shop that sells punk kinda clothing or a music store with jewelry they will sell the barb wire necklaces like a choker.remember the floral Patten black plastic ones Goths wore? Well same but barb wire. Would
    Be perfect for the cake just hold it in place with bobby pins

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