Tween Birthday Parties

12:02:00 AM

Is it just me, or are tween parties harder to pull off than any other age group? Chloe's first 9 birthday parties were filled with tons of family. Her friends were too young to be dropped off, so their families attended as well. Perfect. Plenty of people to keep each other entertained & parents on hand to help the little ones with crafts, games, and activities.

But for her 10th birthday, Chloe decided that she wanted a SLUMBER PARTY. I felt instant anxiety - me, alone with a dozen girls all night.  Take into consideration that I'm a professional event planner whose team pulls off seamless events for parties with hundreds of guests. But tweens, they're a different species altogether. They need constant stimulation and entertainment or the "I'm bored" attitude will take over.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE planning parties. Regardless of what type of party I'm planning, it's a fun process.  But pleasing multiple tween girls a like walking a tightrope. You can't rely on a princess or circus theme to plan the party around. There are no magicians, face painters, or clowns to keep the kids entertained for 2 hours while you restock food and clean up. Yet, you need to entertain them - they want the frills of a kids party, but a more mature version.

So we started brainstorming - games were a must, but they had to be "cool" games. And since the girls were going to be there all night, we were going to need a lot of them. The games they have enjoyed the most during her 2 past slumber parties were Family Feud, Pictionary, Scavenger Hunt, and a variety of Minute To Win It games. We also throw in a couple of girly games here and there for the laugh factor - Express Makeover & Aluminum Foil Couture. We leave breaks between the games so that the girls can chat and work on arts & crafts - which are also a must. We always have supplies on hand for making bead bracelets & necklaces. Last year we also included tie-dye t-shirt making which was a BIG hit.

After the games we sing Happy Birthday & open gifts. We also have karaoke set up, but many of the girls are too shy to perform. Last year, the girls wanted a mini-neon dance party as well. Just about everyone participated in this because they danced in the dark, LOL. Once everyone is tired, they grab a snack and we start watching movies. This is the part that I've had the hardest time with every year. Your best bet is a combination of asking friends beforehand, to googling the heck out of "best tween movies," and looking up the most popular new rentals.

So you would think that after games, crafts, dancing, eating, and 2 movies they would be tired right? WRONG. During each of the last 2 slumber parties at my house, I have averaged 3 hours of sleep. You have girls who pass out right away and others who challenge one another to a contest of who can stay awake longest. I can't leave the girls awake by themselves, so I stay awake too. And guess what, 10 year olds can somehow manage to stay awake until 4 AM when challenged! The girls who fell asleep early are up early too, so I have to be up before them to get breakfast ready. Having a great mom friend or sister who is willing to spend the night is an awesome way to go.

After an exhausting day and even more exhausting night, the last thing you want to do is clean up the aftermath left behind by  your party guests. It's definitely my least favorite part of the process. My satisfaction comes from hearing my mini talk about how much fun she had for days and days after the party. Then, thinking about going it all again next year doesn't seem SO bad. LOL.

Come back next week after I've climbed out from under the piles of party decor left behind by Chloe's 12th birthday party. I'll share tips, DIY, and tons of pics!

-Andrea

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