The photo booth is a place where kids get to do some of the things kids do best – dress up, act goofy and make silly faces. And at the end of all of that, they even get a souvenir. Which is probably why this his has become the most popular attraction at so many community events (with a longer line than the bouncy house, even!). Something with that much kid appeal is something to celebrate. Whether you feature a photo booth at your next kids’ party or make the photo booth the theme of the party,... your guests will come wearing their best smiles.
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The Photo Booth
Choices for the actual photo booth range from renting an automatic booth (the kind you find at a carnival) to professional set-ups (complete with a photographer) to do-it-yourself.
Though it may sound like a large project, a homemade photo booth can actually be easily set up in any corner of your home.
How to Make Your Own Photo Booth
- Hang a sheet or tablecloth on a wall to serve as the backdrop.
- Place a bench or a couple of chairs in front of the backdrop.
- Section off the area with the room divider.
- Remember that a homemade photo booth will require someone to be the photographer, and since you will be busy hosting the party, it’s best to leave this duty to someone else. Perhaps a relative, friend or another parent can take on the job.
- Along with someone to snap the photos, it’s a good idea to have a second person on hand to operate the digital printing station and keep up with the demand for instant photos.
Of course, you don't need an actual booth to have a photo booth. You can set anything from a blanket under a tree to a simple hanging frame as the place for kids to pose for pictures.
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While any style of invitations may be used for the photo booth party, one suggestion is to create invitations that resemble the prints you would get from a photo booth.
How to Make Photo Booth Invitations
- Snap a few shots of the guest of honor.
- Print them on photo paper.
- Cut three or four of the images into squares, arrange them in a line and glue them onto a strip of cardstock.
- Add a heading that reads something like, “Come strike a pose at a photo booth party!”
- Write the party details on the back of the cardstock.
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Props and Accessories
Something you'll often see on the photo booth line is an increase in the level of excitement as kids draw closer to the prop box that sits outside the door. The colorful and crazy items that poke out of the box may spark their imaginations to come up with creative ideas for poses and group shots.
Just a Few Suggestions for Props and Accessories Include
- Scarves and Boas
- Thrift store clothing
- Halloween costumes
- Musical instruments
- Sports team jerseys
- Sporting equipment
- Costume jewelry
Not all props have to come from a closet or costume shop. Even ordinary household items, such as kitchen aprons, pots, and oven mitts can turn kids into creative characters.
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Games and Activities
Keep them smiling both inside and outside of the photo booth with a selection of games and activities.
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- Photo Booth Charades
A charades-style game can help kids to loosen up and just have fun in front of the camera. To play photo booth charades, place slips of papers on which you’ve written commands, such as “stick out your tongue” or “make a frightened face” into a hat. Ask guests to draw slips from the hat when they enter the photo booth and have the photographer snapshots as the subjects act out their commands.
- Photo Booth Party Makeovers
Most kids enjoy primping for photos nearly as much as posing for them, so why not give them the “star” treatment? Place a star on the door of the “dressing room,” a separate room with a supply of makeup and hairstyling tools they can use to give each other makeovers. If your party guests include children who are too young to do it themselves, enlist the help of another adult to do their hair and makeup.
- Scrapbooking Table
When they emerge from the photo booth, a scrapbooking table is a place where the kids can enjoy a craft project. Set your scrapbooking table with the individual scrapbooking pages and scrapbook embellishments. With their prints and a choice of the scrapbooking supplies, kids can create their own decorative memory pages.
- Disposable Cameras
Label the disposable cameras with the names of your party guests and hand them out to guests as they arrive. Hand out the cameras and ask guests to take candid photos of each other during the party. Collect the cameras at the end of the party, and have the images printed and send them to guests along with the thank you notes.
- Photo Booth Charades
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Buffet-style meals work best for parties like this, where guests are busy with different activities at different times. An arrangement of finger foods or tea sandwiches would work well, since kids can grab a bite to eat whenever they are free from primping and posing.
For dessert, a cake shaped like a camera is cool choice for this party theme, or you may have an edible, photo-topped cake made from the same photos you used for the invitations.
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Because kids will take home their photo booth prints and scrapbook pages, additional favors aren’t necessary. If you still feel like you want to give a parting gift, however, mini scrapbooks are a suggestion for a party favor that they can use to fill with the disposable camera images once they receive them.