Planning a party for your tween can be a daunting task. Everything has to be perfect and everyone needs to have fun, otherwise you’ll have a sulky tween on your hands, throwing you shade. Worry not! Here are some party theme ideas for you to consider using to make your not-so-little one’s day memorable:
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Top Entertaining Tween Birthday Party Ideas and Games
Party at The Spa
One of the most appealing parties for tweens! Transform your home into a spa for the day, where your tween girl and her friends have an appointment with you to get pampered in luxury. With help, you can give the kids a manicure, foot massages, paint their nails, and even style their hair. You can bring it up a notch by giving them a facial with an organic face pack and you can make the party fun by letting them apply the pack themselves or to each other, and rest for a bit with cucumber slices on their eyes.
Nothing is more fun than staying up late and snacking and gossiping with your closest friends. A Slumber Party is super low key and easy to pull off with minimal people and preparation. Invite your kid’s friends over to mess around, snack, watch movies or play games before bedtime.
Read More: 21 Ways to Simplify Kids’ Birthday Parties
A trip to the Candy Shop
Tweens may not exactly be kids, but they do love candy. A candy shop themed birthday party will never bore them. Plan a party where kids get to choose any candy they want to eat. Deck the party with candy colours (pink, light blue, green, red, and white), place the candy jars (see-through) or bowls on the table and let the children help themselves. You can also order a candy themed cake to go with it. Please note that children can get carried away and eat more candy than they can handle. So keep an eye on the kids and make sure they don’t that-indulge.
If your kid loves nature, build the theme around going green! Fun activities could include old-fashioned games such as kick the can, or making crafts like wind chimes out of items from nature, old silverware, and trinkets found at secondhand shops. You might also consider taking the kids on a service outing, such as picking up litter from a natural area or planting trees. The food served should be natural and healthy, like cut fruits and vegetables, smoothies, and even homemade food favourites. Even the cake can have an eco theme!
Kids love pizza, so why not have a pizza party for your children? The fun part of a pizza party is that kids can make their own pizzas together and have it too! The party can take place at your home with minimal supplies like flour (or just pizza bases to reduce the mess), pizza sauce, toppings and cheese. Kids can design and decorate pizzas as they want to, in teams, and share it with each other. But be prepared: your house will be a total mess later.
Kids love to dress up, so why not dress up as their fav fictional characters? Incorporate themes from your child’s favourite fandom(s) such as in books or movies, and have a blast. Set the dress code so that kids can dress up as they like or fix one theme (if your kid is into The Hunger Games or Harry Potter) then follow along those lines with themed activities and snacks.
Get Artsy Party
Tweens love to be creative and show it off, so why not have an artsy party for their birthday? An art party is more than just a few crayons, sketches or sheets of paper. If you want to make the party memorable, let your kids learn art in a fun and interesting way. You could find ways to teach them about it yourself or hire a professional who can teach the kids to draw or sketch in simple ways that they can remember. Tweens love to work on crafts that don’t take long, are clever, and appeal to this age group, like henna or painting and decorating picture frames or handbags.
Pool parties are just super fun, especially for kids who love water. If you have a pool at home, organizing a tween pool party gets a whole lot simpler. Clean pool, decorations, pool floats, snacks, and cake are all you need to host a party at home. If you don’t have a pool at home, you can hire the pool at a club or a hotel to host a poolside party for the kids.
Regardless of where the party is, make sure that the pool is clean and free of chemicals and other allergens. Most importantly, make sure that the kids are safe in the water, and your party will be a big hit with your child.
Serve lots of cookies, candies and maybe a cake on a little tea table. Decorate the surroundings with flowers, balloons and the tea party is ready. Think of some unique entertainment ideas to keep them engaged. Custom yard inflatables, for example a teapot bouncy “house” will be something your kids won’t get out of. Of course, you can think of any other design your kids will like. Or you can just organise other outdoor games.
Game Show Party
Take inspiration from television shows like Fear Factor, Khatron Khiladi or Bigg Boss for a total gross fest party. Just make sure you warn parents that the kids should wear clothing that can get dirty! Set up several stations, such as places where kids are blindfolded and told to stick their hands into bowls of “worms” (cold, cooked Maggi) and “eyeballs” (aka grapes) where the kids earn points for correctly identifying what they’re touching. Another station could be for tasting concoctions such as “People Puppy Chow” served in dog bowls and baked eyeballs (baked marshmallows).
Movie Night Party
A movie-themed party is fun, has popcorn, and sodas. If your kid has a favourite movie, the birthday party can revolve around it. You can have a generic movie theme with fake movie ticket stubs, (real) popcorn and nachos, sodas, and even fake 3D glasses for the fun of it. You can plan this theme party with custom invitations that look like movie tickets, which the guests should bring with them to enter the party zone, with games and snacks! You can plan the screening of a film that the kids might enjoy. So just kick back and enjoy the show.
You can have pillows and mattresses for a party dinner, have a birthday bonfire with a S’mores station that has marshmallows, skewers, chocolate fudge and more. That, plus cake and maybe pizza, will make the party a lot of fun for your tweens. Obviously, you’ll have to be careful.
Tea Garden Party
An outdoor party is more fun than an indoor one. If you have a garden or an outdoor section with sufficient space, why not plan a garden party with outdoor games for tweens? Want to make it fancy or elegant? You can have an evening party when the garden can be decked up with colourful lights, tables laden with fancy finger foods and have a dress code for the guests.
Rock Star Party
If your tween loves music, a rock star party is a great and cool birthday theme. Kids not only get to dress like their favourite rock stars or singers but also get to show off their talent and sing their favourite numbers. Besides the decoration that goes with the theme, you will also need a microphone and a simple sound system to make the party musical and fun. Kids can pick their favourite songs, not just pop and rock, and sing one at a time or as a band while everyone else enjoys the birthday cake.
Party for a Cause
If there’s a particular cause that’s close to your kid’s heart, they might want their party to serve as a benefit for it. Animal lovers, for example, could throw an animal themed party and ask guests to bring kitty litter, dog food or even cash to donate instead of presents. These items could really help the local animal shelter. Or maybe, a winter-themed party could be an opportunity to collect gently used coats, hats, and other clothes for children in need.
It isn’t a party without some party games! Don’t forget to plan some fun games to indulge your guests in. Here are some party games ideas for you to try out:
Knight’s Tale is a role-playing game that takes the tweens back into medieval times to live it up.
How To Play:
Pick a few kids to play the role of knights, royalty, mages and wanderers. Do not reveal the identity of the princesses to the knights.
You will need two royalties (king, queen, princess or prince), four knights, and one mage. The remaining players are wanderers.
The two royalties have to hide from the rest of the players, especially the knights, who have to find them.
If a wanderer finds a royalty, they have to stay in the same place while the wanderer informs the knight. They cannot, however, reveal the name of the royalty. Only the mage knows who is who.
The knights must go to the royalty before the other knights to win the game.
The kids should not spy – it ruins the game.
No one should guard the royalties.
Knights have to find the royalties in the given time.
Knights can fight each other for the princesses (without violence)
Crazy Baseball is a fun version of baseball, which you should play outdoors. You can get creative with these birthday party activities for your tweens.
How To Play:
come up with a list of six funny ways a kid can hit a ball. You can create a set of rules, such as singing a romantic song and hit a tennis ball with a basketball, jump up thrice and kick a football with your left leg, do a dance routine and hit a baseball with a tennis racquet etc.
Assign a number to each of these rules.
Have the playing field ready – in your backyard, or a baseball field or any other place where there is space to play and mark the bases.
Designate one person to be the pitcher
Ask each kid to roll the die. They have to do the designated task based on the number they get.
Who can build the tallest tower in the room? Tweens can compete for this fun birthday party game played with balloons and tape.
How To Play:
Divide the participants into different teams. Let each team have at least four people.
Give them a pack of balloons (each pack should have at least 20) with equal numbers, some tape, and an air pump to blow balloons.
Give the players 15 minutes each to blow as many balloons as they can and build the tallest towers with the balloons, using the scotch tape.
The team that builds the tallest balloon tower wins.
Candy Stack is a minute-to-win game. It is a skill/competitive game for tweens – that ends with a lot of candy for them!
How To Play:
Divide the candy into equal portions in different bowls.
Give each player a bowl of candy and give them each a minute to stack the candy corn into towers.
Give each player one minute to stack as many candies as they can to form the biggest sweet tower, as the others cheer them on.
There are no prizes – each player can keep the candy he or she uses to make the stack.
Another minute-to-win game that sure going to have us all on our feet hollering.
How To Play:
Give each child two small bowls and a straw. Fill one of the bowls with small sweets like Pebbles or M&M’s, and leave the other one empty.
On the count of three, children must suck the lollies onto the end of their straw, and transfer them to the other bowl.
You can either put a time limit on the game, whereby the children get to keep all the lollies they have transferred when the timer stops, or you could have a race to see who empties their bowl the fastest. If you are planning the race version, make sure everybody has the same amount of lollies in their bowl.
Spin the Bottle
This is a really fun game, especially with a few squeamish kids at the party! You’ll need many plates, a bottle that will easily spin on its side, and an array of different food items.
How To Play:
On each plate, place a piece of food that has to be eaten when the bottle stops at that plate. Make sure the food is a mixture of nice and nasty to increase the excitement when the bottle starts to slow. You don’t want the nasty food to be too yucky, but at least 1 of the items needs to be something only the bravest of kids will eat.
Now sit each player down in a circle around the plates. Each player takes a turn to spin the bottle and they have to eat whatever is on the plate the bottle stops at. Have back-up supplies of each food item, ready to replace the food removed from the plates.
If a player refuses to eat any of the food items, they’re out. Reduce the number of plates, each time someone gets out.
Eventually, you should have just 2 players, and 2 plates of food, 1 of something nice and 1 of something nasty. Keep playing until someone can’t stomach it anymore.
Who Am I?
Great for icebreakers and testing kid’s social skills that’s bound to be a riot of laughs.
How To Play:
Write out the names of famous people, animals, or things on to slips of paper, so there is one for every child. If your party has a particular theme, you may want to use things related to that theme, but anything that is popular with children will work fine.
Tape a slip to the back of each child, without letting them know what it says. They must then go around the room asking others Yes / No questions, to try and work out who or what they are.
Line Up is one of the best birthday party games for tweens. It is a fun energizer that you can play on the lawn or a room with ample space.
How To Play:
Ask all the tweens to stand in a random order at first.
When you say “Line up in the order of…”, the kids have to rearrange themselves quickly to form that order. You can ask them to line up according to their height, alphabetical order, the number of siblings, age, birthday months, and so on.
Give them only a minute to rearrange themselves – that makes it more fun to play.
It also forces them to think fast and have fun – when they do arrange themselves – let them cheer for themselves and reward them with cake and treats
A fun game to play, and even funnier to watch. Your tweens will have a blast.
How To Play:
Divide the guests into two teams.
Tie the balloons at different heights – high enough to make the kids jump to head them. You can also have a few balloons at ground level, and vary the height each time.
Assign one colour to each team.
Two players, one from each team, wear the hat or cap and try to burst as many balloons as they can with their head. Each player gets 15 seconds to do so.
A new player from the team tries to pop the balloons every 15 seconds.
The team that bursts all the balloons assigned to them, wins
If you do watch a movie at the party a great idea to get the kids to behave and pay attention to the movie is to host a movie quiz afterwards.
How To Play:
Divide them into a few teams and come up with some questions, and the team with the most correct answers wins!
The team/individual with the most correct answers win. Again you can incorporate prizes/ goody bags for the winners.
If you don’t mind the kids playing with make-up, and possibly destroy some of it, this is one game that they will definitely enjoy.
How To Play:
layout the make-up and blindfold one person. This person blindfolded has to do the make-up of another person in 60 seconds.
Then, the person who’s make-up was done, does this to the next person and so on until everyone has their make-up done.
Then once everyone has their make-up done get some mirrors and laugh away at how ridiculous you look.
Then have a runway show, showing off your make-up and vote on who’s looks the best/funniest/etc.
This game again requires some forward planning.
How To Play:
come up with a set of clues or hints and print them off in various orders (so the kids don’t start off in the same place).
Pair the kids off and give them a list of clues each.
All of the clues will direct them to the clue that will have an answer they need to fill out on the sheet which will lead them to the next clue. The first pair finished wins!
Buy some plastic wine/champagne/cocktail glasses from a party shop and supply juices, ice and fruit to let the kids make their own “mocktails”. This is a super easy fun game with really yummy results. This is especially good for older kids who like to be ‘grown up’.
As the Olympics are coming soon, it might be a fun idea to host a mini Olympics of your own.
How To Play:
Everyone has to compete in sports like hula hooping, running, soccer, skipping etc. and you can award medals like gold, bronze and silver.
This is kind of a more fun way of playing musical chairs or statues, but they are also fun games.
How To Play
Everyone has to play
while the music is played everyone dances but once it stopped everyone has to quickly sit down on the ground on their bums.
The last person to sit is out, and so on until there is only one kid left. They are the winner!