If you have a child turning 13, you have probably heard a whole litany of daily complaints, including "I’m so bored." Unfortunately, if you are planning a party for his birthday, you are at risk of hearing a whole room full of preteens and young teens crying out this whine. Transport your kids to a fun party to ensure excitement and imagination take over any boredom they could experience.
You can choose a theme that takes the kids to a whole new world at their party. Take them to a location or decorate the house with a theme that lets kids use their imagination. A renaissance or medieval party lets kids dress up as they want and use new vernacular to communicate. Other examples might include a rock-star theme or a tropical luau party. If you are up for hours of fun and responsibility, host a sleepover for your 13 year old and friends. You can transform the living room, or even the backyard if the weather is nice, into a sleepover sanctuary. Hang Christmas lights to add a little light and decoration to the area. Set tents and sleeping bags for everyone outside. Let the kids bring their snacks to the area, allowing them the freedom to munch as they wish. Hand out plenty of flashlights for storytelling. If the kids are in the living room, let them play video games or watch movies.
Young teens might be interested in a coed party. Grant this request with the understanding that it will take extra work and more rules on your part. Control the guest list so you know how many kids to expect. Don’t allow the event to grow out of control as friends of friends of friends attend. Put away your valuables, turn on a playlist of parent- and kid-approved songs and let kids dance the night away–under the supervision of adults. You don’t have to smother the kids to have chaperones. Invite parents of the kids to come for coffee and dessert while the kids dance.
Use the party as an opportunity to learn a new subject, craft or hobby. Winter parties may benefits from knitting or crochet lessons. Girls can bring home the scarf they make as a favor. Boys at a camping sleepover might like to learn about the great outdoors, astronomy or fire building. Take a small guest list out for a new adventure such as rock climbing or kayaking.
Your child’s peers are more important than ever. Help him put together a list of his best friends. Let him know that he is not obligated to invite his entire class or group of peers. Ensure he doesn’t maliciously leave any one out, but make sure he knows he doesn’t have to invite everyone. All involved will have more fun if it’s a small group of friends.
Don’t plan a menu with anything too sophisticated or off-the-wall for finicky kids. Ask your child candidly what he thinks he and his friends would like to eat that day and go with it–within limits that make you comfortable. If your child wants all junk food, serve a limited amount and ask him to come up with a relatively hearty option, such as a pizza or hamburgers.