When children turn 11, they often enjoy celebrating birthdays with extended family and friends, though not necessarily at the same time. Consult with your tween about managing the guest list or having a few celebrations, and then brainstorm a special 11th birthday party. Whether you invite family or not, make sure you or another responsible adult stays present for the duration of the party.
All types of themes interest 11-year-old children. They often enjoy parties centered around activities or games, such as a murder mystery, a scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt, a water fight, swimming, bowling, miniature golf, a backyard carnival with games, a talent show or a double feature. Other fun themes for 11th birthday parties include disco dancing, Hollywood glam, role-playing games, haunted houses, a beach luau, a backyard camp out, animation or rock and roll.
Even if they scoff and say it’s all “kids’ stuff,” most tweens appreciate the traditional birthday party trappings. Make your decorations stand out with a painted backdrop, customized banner, place settings adorned with bright candies or balloons in a color theme. Foods may include cooking projects, such as dipping vegetables and bread into fondue, or stacking submarine sandwiches. Create fun fizzy drinks by mixing Italian soda, carbonated water and whipped cream, and add a paper parasol on top. Have your child create a custom soundtrack of favorite songs for the event.
An 11th birthday can stand out as a memorable event. Supply disposable cameras to the visitors so they can snap photos during the party. Let guests have turns filming each other in a karaoke sing-off or sharing funny memories of the guest of honor. Pass around a poster or scrapbook for everyone to sign.
If you ask tweens, they may request that the party go on all weekend. However, setting a time limit keeps the mood more cheerful. If you have a small, like-minded group of guests, they may happily play a game or just chat for a few hours. For larger or more disparate groups, set the time limit to three or four hours and have a movie ready to show–just in case.
Tweens tend to form cliques and exclude others. Make your child’s party feel more inclusive by keeping the pace lively. Introduce projects, snacks, entertainment, beverages, games and activities at regular intervals.