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Plan a "Take me Out to the Ball Game" birthday for your little one

Summer brings lot of things with it. Kids are out of school, the temperature starts its climb toward triple digits and baseball dominates the sports scene. America's pasttime is everywhere and even the most casual fan can enjoy listening to the crack of the bat or the pop of a pitch finding its way into the back of a catcher's mitt on a lazy Saturday afternoon at the local ball park.

For many children, playing baseball in the summer can be one looked back upon fondly years down the road. That, coupled with a summer birthday can create a particularly memorable season. A baseball themed birthday party can be the perfect combination of two summertime traditions and having guests won't be a problem because if you throw it, they will come.

Invitations are the logical start for hosting the party and should be centered around the theme. Whether it's a card featuring a photo Paul Konerko or Derek Lee or merely a baseball shaped invite, your guests should be able to tell that the party will be baseball central. For a personal touch, try using baseball card style invitations.

While invitations are certainly important, decorations for the birthday party are where you can really knock it out of the park. Hanging a banner is a necessity. This can be either a general baseball banner or, if the guest of honor has a favorite team, you can celebrate his or her rooting interests.

Of course, decorations aren't merely limited to banners. Set the scene by adding some atmosphere with a stadium backdrop or scoreboard decorations. Guests can update it to make their favorite team win or simply enjoy the ambiance.

However don't forget the theme when it comes time to eat or your guests will be thinking "say it ain't so, Joe." There are a wide variety of plate, napkins and silverware in team colors. Whether your special someone's favorite teams is the White Sox, Cubs or Yankees, guests will certainly enjoy eating a ballpark frank off of a plate with their favorite team's logo on it.

Don't strike out when it comes time for an activity, either. What would a baseball themed party be without a wiffle ball game? The sport is a staple of summertime fun - but it has to be done right. Make sure the field is set up properly. If there is no room at the house, then go to the nearest park and ensure that there are bases for the players. For an extra touch, provide the winning team with a trophy or ribbon in commemoration of their victory.

If done correctly, a baseball themed birthday party can be a huge success. There are few things that sports-minded kids like more than playing baseball in the summer and if you can combine their love of sports with the fun of a birthday party, you're sure to have something special on your hands. One thing is for sure, a well done party will certainly be a home run.

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