Throw your tween child a birthday party he will remember. Choosing age appropriate games from a tween’s party can prove to be tricky. Ask your child for his input in planning the party and keep in mind that children’s interests change dramatically as they enter the preteen years. You don’t want to pick games that your child and his friends will deem babyish or corny, such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey, nor do you want to pick games that are too mature and that may bore the birthday child and his guests.
Keep in mind that the party guests may not know each other, especially if you invite children from different groups, such as children from school, church or a child’s sports team. Get the party started on the right foot by playing an icebreaker game or two. Print out BINGO charts. Instead of placing a number in each square, write a descriptive fact, such as “I have broken my leg” or “I have seen ‘Toy Story.'” Give each guest a chart and have them interview each other, writing the name of the person who fits each fact. The first guest who gets a complete row filled in wins.
Safe Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is a classic tween and teenage birthday party game. The game tends to get a bit out of hand sometimes, with tweens asking each other embarrassing questions or daring each other to do dangerous things. Keep things under control by coming up with a list of truths and dares with your child before the party. Write out the truths and dares on separate slips of paper, then place them in empty hats or boxes. When playing the game, tweens can pick a slip from either hat and follow the instructions.
Makeup and Fashion Games
For one night or day, let your tween daughter and her friends raid your makeup supply. The girls can either give themselves silly makeovers or glamorous ones. Have a disposable camera or inexpensive digital camera ready so that the tweens can take before-and-after photos.
You can also challenge guests to make fashions out of everyday materials, such as plastic wrap or paper towels. The guest who creates the most stunning fashion out of the silliest material can win a prize.
If the birthday party happens in the spring or summer, take some of the action outside and get the guests moving. Relay races remain fun for children ages 10 to 13. Break up the guests into three groups. Give each group a spoon and an egg (either real or a cream-filled chocolate one). Have a child balance the egg on the spoon, then run from point A to point B and back again. Once he is back at point A, have him pass off the spoon to the next person the group. If the egg drops off the spoon, the runner has to stop and put it back on. If it breaks, the group is disqualified. You can also run relays with soaking wet sponges or water balloons.
Hide chocolates and small trinkets around your home, yard or in a nearby park. Send the party guests out to find the objects. Guests get to keep whatever they find and the guest who finds the most candy and prizes gets a bigger prize. You can also send the guests on a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood or through a local mall. If you send them to a mall, divide them into groups and have an adult chaperone each group.
- birthday party image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com