Parties for young children are simple: the winning formula is buffet food, candy, party games, and maybe ice-cream. As our kids get older and their sense of identity grows, it can become slightly more tricky to get right. They want to be able to take control of their party planning and create something “cool” which will be popular with their friends. Making suggestions can be a bit of a minefield, but anything’s probably better than their own ideas. Here are four different party ideas that could be incorporated or explored separately to create a fun party that’s certain to get them and their buddies excited.
- Something foody
What pre-teen doesn’t absolutely love pizza? Why not create a make-your-own pizza party, with all the ingredients their hearts could desire. If you want to do this in your own home, the guest list might have to be limited by the number of people that will fit in your kitchen, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Get them kneading their own dough, designing their own toppings, and then they have all the fun of eating it afterward. You could even give out paper chefs’ hats to guests on arrival.
- Something sporty
Older kids still have so much energy, but they’re at the age where it can be directed into something constructive, so why not make the most out of this for their birthday party? You could go for something traditionally sporty, such as a soccer party, or you could shake it up a little. Why not look in your area for soccer, with a twist? Bubble football suits mean the players bounce around the pitch, bumping into each other, and generally making the game a whole lot sillier – great for a birthday party!
- Something sleepy
“Moooooom can my friend sleep over?” is a common phrase in the household of families with older kids. The slumber party is a coveted thing – a time to gossip, watch movies, and eat colossal amounts of junk food. While you might usually be loathed to let them have a huge pajama party, for their birthday, it could be a real treat. Movies, pizza, popcorn, and a room full of air mattresses make for the best pajama party – it’s basically a rite of passage, especially for young girls. Just make sure you get permission from other parents, keep the number of invites to a sensible level, and make sure you have emergency contact numbers for the other kids- particularly useful if they start to get homesick.
- Something outdoors
If your kid has an adventurous streak, is in the boy scouts, or just enjoys the great outdoors, why not have an outdoorsy birthday party? You could try camping – although taking responsibility for a lot of your kid’s friends could be stressful – but a day of shelter building, fire cooking, and even white-water rafting is many kid’s dream birthday party. You might need to enlist the help of some extra adult hands, or even find a local outdoor center who caters for birthday parties, but once you iron out the logistics, you’re onto a winner.
With a combination of these ideas, or even one on its own, you’ve got yourself a guaranteed hit birthday party, however too-cool-for-school your kid is.