A teen’s birthday party can quickly grow into a huge event that takes on a life of its own and requires you to take out a personal loan to pay for it if you don’t plan ahead. Discuss a realistic budget with your teen, and plan activities that don’t cost much and will still allow her and her friends to have a good time.
Use What You Already Have
Use things that you already have to keep the teens busy. Set up a variety of video games and video game systems, borrowing extra consoles and games from friends and family or renting them if necessary. Set up tournaments with sports games or music games that will keep the teens busy.
Create crafts out of things you have laying around. For example, ask your guests to come dressed up as if they’re going to a Hollywood premiere party, and set up a photo shoot. Print out the pictures and let the teens make scrapbooks if you have scrapbooking materials lying around.
Send Them on a Hunt
Write or print out lists of random items to take pictures of or collect for a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt. Send the teens around town to try to take pictures with a police officer, horse, pink car, or other uncommon or unusual things. Let the teens hang out at the mall to collect things such as job applications, business cards, buttons or have everyone take pictures in a yellow skirt or some other random article of clothing.
Another variation of a treasure hunt is to send teams out into the neighborhood, one team on each side of the street, with a small item. The teams should go to the neighbors’ homes and try to trade their item for something better, informing the neighbors that the item won’t be returned. See which team can come back with the best item.
Most teens love music. Download your teen’s favorite songs onto a CD or his iPod, and play the music through loudspeakers to let the teens dance. Turn your backyard or the park into a dance club, and let the teens mingle with some inexpensive snacks. Another easy option is to set up karaoke and let the teens perform for and with each other.
Take the party outside for an overnight camp-out, even if it’s only in your backyard. Rent or borrow a projector, and hang a large white sheet or cloth on the side of your house for an outdoor movie night under the stars. Serve simple snacks and sandwiches picnic style, and lay out sheets and blankets. Play your teen’s favorite movies in a marathon.
Daytime parties can include water fights, whether it’s with water balloons, squirt guns, the hose, buckets and sponges, or a pool.
Traditional games, such as truth or dare, can be played anytime. Put a twist on it by writing out questions or dares ahead of time. Role up the slips of paper, insert them inside of balloons and blow up the balloons.
Let the teens pop the balloons to get their question or dare. Most teens are passionate about food, so let them prepare a gourmet meal. Invite a chef to give them a lesson or simply print out a variety of recipes that they can create and taste. Be clear about cleanup duties before they get started.
Teen girls usually enjoy makeup and beauty products. Purchase pedicure, manicure, facial supplies and makeup from dollar stores, and let the girls give each other makeovers. Extra tissue and makeup applicators should be included to keep the experience hygienic and safe.
- teens image by Sandra Henderson from Fotolia.com