One minute, your almost-8-year-old child is bossy and selfish; the next, she’s helpful and happy. This emotional roller coaster can wreck havoc on your emotions, so when she has definite ideas for her upcoming birthday party, pay attention or suffer the wrath. At this age, she’s a friend magnet, especially with other girls, and wants desperately to feel part of the gang, according to greatschools.org, so keep that in mind when planning this party with her.
Your child’s favorite things can easily translate into a party idea. Incorporate an interest in fashion, sports, books or even the Food Network into a party theme. Since your child is now likely more influenced by peer pressure, make sure the idea will fly with his friends, too.
Think Outside the (Ice)Box
If your child is a budding chef, throw a Food Network-inspired party based on her favorite show. If she’s a “Chopped” fan, enlist partygoers’ parents to be the chefs and have the birthday girl pick the mystery ingredients ahead of time. Give the chefs a half-hour to prepare their dishes (and make the party food at the same time), and have the kids pick the winner. For a “Cupcake Wars” party, provide frosting and cake decorations for the children and give them 15 minutes to create their tasty treats. Then select the best ones. Aprons and chef hat party favors can top off the whole affair.
For Girly Girls
If you have girly girls on your hands, send them to the salon for some pampering. A pedicure and fancy up-do will send them into squeals of delight. If she’s still into princesses, you can’t go wrong with a princess party. Suggest that your guests wear their best princess finery–and remind them to bring their tiaras. Feather boa party favors and fancy finger sandwiches and cupcakes would be the icing on the proverbial cake.
They Like to Move It, Move It
Getting active kids moving will keep them occupied and out of your hair. Set up a Wii tournament party in which guests play baseball or ski jump or drive around obstacle courses or play tennis. If it’s not their turn to play, the children will still be entertained by their friends’ mishaps on the screen. Laser tag, bowling or gymnastics parties will also get their juices flowing (with very little effort on your part and no wear and tear on your house). After all that activity, pizza or hot dogs and chips would be a nice end to the party. And a great party favor? Frisbees and footballs will extend the theme.
Harry Potter and All That
Eight-year-olds have their favorite books and characters. Base the party on one book and its characters (Harry Potter comes to mind), or have each guest come dressed as his favorite character. Serve food items found in the books and send them home with books as party favors.
Since girls and boys gravitate to same-sex friends at this age, according to greatschools.org, your son may want to have only boys at the party. One rule of thumb is to invite the same number of guests as the birthday child’s age. But there really is no rule, so invite as many guests as you can handle. If you have an off-site party, the organizers may have a guest limit, so be sure to check that out.
- happy birthday image by Michael Kempf from Fotolia.com