Tween Girl Birthday Party Sleepover

My beautiful girl turned 12 last week! I can hardly believe we are just one year away from the having another teenager in the house! Karis could not decide on a theme for her party, so I asked her if she wanted me to come up with something fun. She agreed, so I went to work, browsing Pinterest for ideas. Around that time, I was dropping my son off at youth group and I saw a stack of wooden pallets behind the dumpster of a neighboring business. I called and asked if I could take some of the pallets and they said that was fine, so I grabbed a couple and started dreaming of creating an elegant pallet table for my girl and her friends to enjoy during the party.

I took inventory of what I already had at home: extra pillows, a white king sized sheet, twine. Then I made a list of the things that I wanted to purchase: paper lanterns, mason jars, tea lights, flowers, twinkle lights, material. I walked the aisles of Hobby Lobby trying to come up with a color combination, and because Karis is a big fan of pastels, I settled on peach, light green, white, and some pops of dark teal. I bought 6 white paper lanterns in various sizes, a string of white battery operated lights, some aqua tinted mason jars, two larger clear jars, white and peach flowers, tea lights, and material to use as pillow covers and a table runner. I also picked up some fancy gold paper plates and gold number candles. #CommissionsEarned

I set the table a couple of days before the party so that I had plenty of time to get my house cleaned and to prep for the food and games. I found some amazing game ideas on Pinterest and hit up the Dollar Tree for supplies. Karis wanted to swim, make s’mores, and play games. We started the party at 5:00 pm and I put together a simple charcuterie board style dinner with a variety of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, and veggies. The girls loved eating a “fancy dinner” by candlelight (I turned the main light on to get this photo).

I saved the “Beach Ball Question Game” from our New Year’s Eve party and that was once again, a huge hit with 11 & 12 year old girls. They actually played this game several times throughout the party. All you need is a beach ball and a sharpie marker. Blow up the ball and then write questions all over it with the sharpie. Some favorites are: What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your favorite book? movie? food? place? What superpower do you wish you had? Who do you admire? The ball gets tossed around and whoever catches it has to answer the question that is under their right hand when they catch it.

My favorite game/activity of the night was called “Foil Fashion Show.” This is where the Dollar Tree came in handy. I picked up a roll of tin foil for each girl, as well as several crafty type items: tape, pom poms, ribbon, pipe cleaners, glowsticks, and some flowered leis that we pulled apart. I told the girls that their goal was to create an outfit and when they were done, we would have a foil fashion show. I honesty expected them to take about 15-20 minutes on their creations, but they surprised me and took at least an hour. Some of them went all out, creating jewelry and headbands. One even made a super long train that dragged behind her as she walked the living room “runway.” The giggles and chatter were so fun to take in as the girls went to work, helping each other put together their best looks. I found some “runway” music for kids on youtube to play while they strutted their stuff and it was pure entertainment from start to finish.

The last game we played is a form “telephone” only with phrases and drawings. The girls played two rounds at night and then another round in the morning. All you need is blank paper and pencils. Cut paper in fourths and make a stack for each player. The stacks of paper should contain the same number of papers as the number of players. We had 7 girls, so each girl got a stack of 7 pieces of paper.

Have each player write a phrase (any phrase) on the top of piece #1. Then each player passes their ENTIRE STACK to the right. The next step is to read the phrase and then put that top paper on the bottom of your stack, facing up. The players will then draw a picture of the phrase on the top of page #2. Once everyone is finished drawing their picture, everyone will pass their ENTIRE STACK to the right. Now each player will see the drawing on the top and will have to guess what the phrase is that inspired the drawing. They will place page #2 on the bottom of the stack, face up, and write that phrase on the top of page #3. The process is repeated, phrase, pass, drawing, pass, phrase, pass, drawing, etc until each player ends up with their original stack of paper. Be sure to take some time to read through your entire stack out load and be ready to laugh until you have tears streaming down your face. This is definitely a perfect game for tweens, teens, and adults alike.

It was an unusually cool day in June this year, so we had to slightly modify our original plans. The girls actually braved the cold and jumped in the pool for a short swim. Fortunately, one of the things that I got for them was matching pjs, so they dried off after a bit and got comfy for the night. My husband got me a Cricut Maker 3 for Mother’s Day this year and I haven’t had a ton of time to use it, so I made sure to test it out on a couple of things for Karis’s party. I found some adorable moon and star pj shorts for a great deal at Walmart and bought plain black t-shirts to make personalized tops to match the shorts. I tried out holographic iron on for the first time and it was such a cool product. I found a free moon and stars SVG online and watched a few tutorials. I must say that for my first try at making shirts with my Cricut, it was pretty easy and I loved the way they turned out. #CommissionsEarned

I used my Cricut Maker 3 for a couple of other decorations as well. I found a free Happy Birthday cake topper SVG and cut it out on two pieces of gold card stock. I used the smaller one as an accent for the Marshmallow Pops I made. Karis is not a fan of cake, so every year, I make marshmallow pops as an alternative. This year, I used Jett Puffed S’more Marshmallows and diluted orange candy melts with white ones to make a pastel peach color. I mixed blue and green candy melts with a bit of white to create teal for the flowers, and I used gold colored sprinkles on white candy melt dots for the centers of the flowers. They were the perfect complement to the colors of the elegant pallet table and Karis loved them! For more marshmallow pop inspiration, check out some of my marshmallow pop tutorials.

I decided that the door needed a “Happy Birthday” sign at the last minute, so I used the larger gold cutout and gathered some items that I already had laying around. A wooden embroidery hoop, leftover material from the table runner and the pillow covers, and the leaves that I pulled off of the peach and white flowers came together beautifully as an elegant birthday wreath. I used three long scraps of fabric that I twisted and hot glued to form the flowers. It added the perfect finishing touch to my girl’s elegant 12th birthday party.

The rain picked up as the night went on and Karis still had her heart set on making s’mores. Dad to the rescue. He grabbled our little propane camping fire pit and set it up on the front porch. Before the girls settled in for the night, they sat outside on the porch, roasted marshmallows, and made s’mores. It was actually a very sweet moment seeing them all circled around, chatting under the overhang in their matching pjs while it rained.

You would think that after late night s’mores it would be hard to settle 7 girls down for bed, but after dinner, swimming, a foil fashion show, and paper telephone, they spontaneously grabbed the beach ball for another round of the question game. They got their beds ready and snuggled in for some late night chats. I only had to come out once to remind them to keep it to a whisper and I actually got some sleep myself. Twelve is a fun age, and I am so thankful for the sweet group of girls that my daughter gets to do life with. I would have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable parties I’ve done, and the joy on Karis’s face always makes it so worth the creative effort it takes to pull of a memorable birthday party.

For more fun ideas for tweens and teens check out some of my other blogposts…

The Amazing Race Birthday Party

Retro Video Game Room (Arcade) For Teens

Wings of Fire Birthday Party

Glow in the Dark TRON Birthday Cupcakes

My middle son, Micah, turned 16 this month and we had a blast celebrating him by creating the coolest Retro Video Game Room in our garage where he can hang out with his friends. Micah loves old school games and is a huge fan of the TRON movies. In fact, one of the first things we purchased for his game room was an awesome neon TRON sign. I also bought him a vintage style FLYNN’S ARCADE t-shirt from Amazon as one of his birthday gifts.

To make the cupcake toppers, I created a printable of the TRON disks and mounted them on circles of black poster board. I used a hot glue gun to secure lollipop sticks to the back of each topper. About an hour before the party, I cracked the blue glow sticks and made them into circles, then I secured them to the front of the TRON disks with hot glue as well. After frosting the cupcakes, I inserted a topper into the center of each one and they looked amazing. I made sure to wait until it got a bit darker to bring out the cupcakes, so that the glow of the toppers was in full effect. Micah loved them!!!

I wanted to display the cupcakes on something that looked like the “TRON grid” and I found a really inexpensive option. I used a black foam board and made a grid with blue painters tape…super simple, but it worked, and the glow sticks even gave the “grid” the illusion of being lit up, once it got dark. #CommissionsEarned

For more content from my son’s 16th birthday party, check out my recent post:

Retro Video Game Room (ARCADE) for Teens

15 Birthday Party Themes For Kids

Planning birthday parties for my kids is one of my absolute favorite things about being a mom. I love brainstorming ideas with them, scrolling Pinterest for decorations, games, food, and party tips, and ultimately, bringing their visions to life in a way that makes them feel loved, known, and celebrated. I usually start months ahead of time and I thoroughly enjoy the process from start to finish.

But I realize that not everyone thrives in the same way, and what is life giving to me, may not be life giving to the next person. That is one of the reasons I love blogging. I get messages from moms, thanking me for putting party ideas together so that all they have to do is purchase similar items, download my free printables, and set up their child’s party without all of the legwork. It brings me so much joy to know that I am making life easier for those who do not enjoy the creative process of party planning in the same way that I do.

Over the years, I have posted at least 15 different party themes, and I thought it was time to do a blogpost compiling all of these ideas into one for parents who are not sure what theme to go with and would like to browse through all of the parties I have put together over the years. Here is a list of all of the parties on my blog so that you can have quick links to get to each of them to see if any spark interest in your child. Happy party planning!

In addition to these full party posts, I have 15 fun treats and activities that can be incorporated into some of your future parties.

I hope that this post provided some fun inspiration for your upcoming events. Leave a comment to let me know what your next party theme is going to be!

Wings of Fire Birthday Party

My sweet girl turned 11 last week, and what a joy it was to have an in person birthday party after last years Art Party over Zoom. Karis is a huge fan of the Wings of Fire book series, so we went with a dragon theme for her party. Pink, teal, and yellow may not be typical colors you think of if you are a Wings of Fire fan, but Karis loves Kinkajou the pink and yellow dragon…so she became our inspiration.

My first project was to create a dragon mobile. I already had an old hula hoop and some teal spray paint, so all I had to purchase was colored card stock and fishing line. After printing out a couple of different dragon silhouettes, I went to work tracing and cutting various dragons out and hung them along the painted hula hoop so that they cascaded down in a circle.

Karis and I browsed Pinterest for dragon themed food ideas and came up with some fun options including Dragon Egg rice crispy treats, Bugels as Dragon Claws, Dragon Scales (Fritos), and Goldfish Crackers for Seawing Prey. We cut up fruit for Rainwing Food and included animal cookies for the Skywing Prey. We also grilled up some hot dogs since her party was at dinnertime.

In addition to the dragon mobile, I lined a wall with a large black piece of material that I used for a previous New Years Eve photo booth, and because I keep everything…I already had the silver door streamers and the pink and teal lanterns to add to the backdrop. I made a birthday sign out of the left over cardstock from the dragon mobile and included a printout of the dragonet prophecy and a letterboard with the phrase “The dragonets are coming…” #CommissionsEarned

Karis loves art, and always wants to incorporate some crafty activities during her parties. We decided on three things 1. A dragon egg hunt 2. Make a dragon eye ring, and 3. Paint a dragon silhouette. We had a ton of old plastic Easter eggs that we turned into “dragon eggs” with the help of some spray paint. Karis’s friend came over to help her stuff over 60 eggs with candy and the kids loved going on an egg hunt in June.

For the dragon eye rings, I purchased some clear beads, metallic paint and metallic sharpies, adjustable rings, and some jewelry bonding glue. The kids started out using a black sharpie to create a pupil on the round part of the bead, then added a metallic outline and flecks with the silver and gold sharpies. They painted over the flat part of the bead with a couple of coats of the paint color of their choice and let it dry for about an hour. Once dried, a dab of glue bonded it to the ring and they were able to go home with the coolest dragon eye rings.

I grabbed a couple of packs of canvases at a great price at Hobby Lobby and added a variety of new colors to my acrylic paint collection. I also invested in some paintbrushes. I cut several different sizes of dragon silhouettes out of cardstock and some castles as well, and I printed out a collection of pictures to use as inspiration. I rolled out a long line of painters paper to save our concrete and then let the kids go for it. Some used the silhouettes and others sketched their own pictures. Most of the party guests were Wings of Fire fans, so they were all happily chatting about what type of dragon they were painting. The only drawback to this project is that I should have planned for less activities or more time because it took a lot longer for them to paint than I anticipated and some brought home 1/2 finished canvases. #CommissionsEarned

June weather can be hit or miss where we live, but on the day of Karis’s party it was over 100 degrees. We thought it would be fun and refreshing to end the evening with a night swim. I found the cutest dragon floaty at Target and decorated the pool fence with some more of the Dollar Tree paper lanterns in pink and teal. The kids were more than ready to cool off with a dip in the pool, but not before celebrating the birthday girl with her favorite treat, marshmallow pops with mini dragons made of Wiltons candy melts. #CommissionsEarned

I made sure to snap a quick photo of all of the kids together before the night ended as this is my favorite way to make thank you cards. I order a set of prints from Shutterfly and back them with cardstock. Karis writes a little note to her friends, thanking them for the gift they got her and for coming to her party and they all have a cute photo capturing the fun they had.

Check out my newest blogpost Wings of Fire Dragon Costume (Kinkajou) to learn how to make this set of felt dragon wings for your favorite Wings of Fire fan.

Warrior Cats Birthday Party

My daughter has been obsessed with the Warrior Cats Saga for the last several years. She is making her way through all 80 books and even creates her own short stories and artwork based on the characters. So, naturally, for her 9th birthday, she chose “Warriors” as her theme and we had so much fun scrolling Pinterest for ideas and coming up with the food, games, activities, and decor for her party.

Warriors is a series about 4 clans of cats who live in a forest. The first arc is about a house cat named Rusty who goes into the woods and meets a clan cat. As the series progresses, Rusty becomes the Warrior known as Fireheart. He fights evil and protects his clan’s borders from rogues who stray into their territory and from other clans. Each arc features a different cat and sometimes a different clan.

Warriors eat their food from a “Fresh Kill Pile.” Our food table was inspired by things the Warrior cats would catch and devour. I included signs for the birds, bones, fish, rabbits, and mice. The birds were chocolate dipped pretzels with an M&M nose, mini chocolate chip ears, and Wilton’s candy eyeballs. Slide mini marshmallows on the end of stick pretzels and then dip in white candy melts to create “bones.” For the mice we used strawberries, twizzlers candy, mini chocolate chips, and small circles of chocolate candy melts (left over from the birds) for the ears. We used blue jello and Swedish fish candies, as well as Goldfish crackers because we all know how much cats love fish, and our rabbits were Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies crackers. Since the party was at dinnertime I made some PB&J sandwiches cut in the shape of cats. in the Warriors books, there is a sacred place on the hills called the “Moonpool,” so we replaced water labels with ones reading “Moonpool Water” and surrounded them with rocks to resemble a pond. #CommissionsEarned

The games and activities kept these Warriors Fans entertained for the majority of the party. We started out with a silly game of “Scoop the Poop.” Fill a tub with Rice Crispy cereal and add some mini Tootsie Rolls to the tub. You will be surprised at how difficult it is to feel those tiny Tootsie Rolls with a blind fold on. The kids took turns “scooping the poop” from our Rice Crispy litter box and of course giggled their way through the game at the same time. We gave them 30 seconds to find as many “nuggets” as they could and they got to keep what they found. I added more tootsie rolls as the game went on.

Cats like to hunt for prey, so our second game was an animal scavenger hunt in the front yard. I created signs with the names of the 4 Warriors Clans and the kids got to choose their clan. I picked up some tiny forest animals at the dollar store and had my older son hide them before the party started. The Clans took off to hunt for rabbits, birds, and little hedgehogs that they would later trade in for candy. We used the mini animals in the next activity as well.

My favorite part of this party was “create your own Warriors scene.” Karis and I spent some time making multiple batches of green and brown play dough in the days prior to her party. We picked up some aluminum tins from the Dollar Tree and a bunch of nature materials. At the Dollar Tree we found blue glass beads to use as water, mossy rocks, leaves, fake flowers and plants, and a variety of rocks. I grabbed some wood rounds and plastic cats from Michael’s and collected twigs from the yard and let the kids use their imaginations to create their very own Warriors scene. They used the brown play dough as dirt and the green as a base for grass and built from there. Each one was unique and they all turned out amazing. I even picked up some little plastic garden signs so that they could name their creations. #CommissionsEarned

My daughter isn’t a huge fan of cake, so we always make marshmallow pops for her birthday treat. This year, I bought the big square mallows that you can use for s’mores and covered them in green Wilton’s candy melts. I used orange candy melts to create little cat silhouettes and put them on the front for the tastiest birthday treats. And in case you are wondering where we got Karis’s ThunderClan T-shirt, I made it using a photocopied image as a template that I printed off from the computer and a small piece of black material. I then used Seam-A-Seam 2 light to iron it onto a white cotton tee after cutting it out of the black fabric. She has worn it many times since her party and it has held up really well.

We always like to send our party guest off with a little thank you and my girl loves Hershey’s chocolate bars. I created Warriors themed wrappers to replace the Hershey ones with a little thank you note on the back for Karis to hand to each of her friends at the end of the party. #CommissionsEarned

Maybe you have a little Warriors fan of your own who would enjoy a Warriors Themed Birthday Party. I hope that this blogpost has made your planning a bit easier and inspired some fun ways for you to celebrate. As the Warriors like to say, “may StarClan light your path!”

Warrior Cats fans will also love this…

Wings of Fire Birthday Party

Art Themed (Zoom) Birthday Party

Birthday parties have been tricky this year, and all of us have had to find creative ways to celebrate the milestones of our loved ones. My daughter, Karis, turned 10 this summer and planning her birthday parties has always been a big event for my girl and I. She was devastated to not be able to get together in person with her friends. I wanted to make her day super special and involve her friends somehow. School had just wrapped up for the year and her classmates had become pros at using Zoom, so we took advantage of that platform.

We decided on an art theme and went to work creating a super fun and colorful backdrop for her Zoom Birthday. I purchased a couple of clean empty paint buckets, some plastic table cloths and rainbow balloons. Karis painted a bunch of paintbrush handles for a garland and we shopped online for art supplies and treats for goodie bags for each of her party guests.

About a week before the party, we put together the party bags. We added two plaster animals for each child to paint, a set of paints, a paintbrush, a mini easel that we made out of popsicle sticks, a tiny canvas, some candy, and a personalized note from the birthday girl. Then a few days before the party we drove around and dropped the goodie bags off at each child’s house.

On party day, we set the table with a plastic tablecloth for easy clean-up and laid out all of the art supplies for Karis to use. Her friends were doing the same thing at their own homes. They all logged into the Zoom call at the same time and spent a couple of hours painting, creating, laughing, and eating treats. They sang “Happy Birthday” and she even got to open some presents from friends who had either mailed them or handed them to her when we dropped off the goodie bags.

2020 has not been an easy year. We have all had to adjust in more ways than we would like and have grieved many losses. Our kids have suffered in countless ways, and as I write this, we are still in the middle of this worldwide pandemic that we didn’t expect to last as long as it has. I know that this is not the “in person” party that my sweet girl dreamed of, but I hope that when she looks back at her 10th birthday party, she will be filled with joyful memories and she will appreciate the gift of friends who love her and celebrate her in creative ways. #CommissionsEarned

Adopt A Pet (Beanie Boo Cats & Dogs) Birthday Party

My daughter just turned 8, and this year we decided on an Adopt A Pet (Beanie Boo Cats & Dogs) theme for her birthday party.  I’m not sure what was more fun, preparing for the party, or the party itself.  My daughter and I spent so much quality time planning and crafting together in the months before.  Be sure to watch my video compilation (above) of the party.

Beanie Boos can be expensive so I started purchasing these little kittens and puppies early, taking advantage of the 60% off coupons from Michael’s as often as possible.  We picked out 6 kittens and 6 puppies and then I set out to find a fence and fake grass.  I used my Circut Expression 2 to make the “Adopt A Pet” banner and then did a little photo shoot to use as the cover of the invitations. #CommissionsEarned

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I wanted to plan a fun activity for the beginning of the party while the guests were arriving, so I created a super fun game of Beanie Boo Bingo.  I have included the pdf below if you want to print out this game to use for your child’s party.

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Beanie Boo Bingo pdf

Once all of the girls arrived, I let them choose their pet to adopt.  I was a little nervous about this part because each animal was different and I wasn’t sure if the girls would get their hearts set on one and be disappointed.  I asked them to think about 2 or 3 that they would love to adopt and then said we would draw numbers to see what order they would choose.  We let the birthday girl have the first choice and then went from there.  Thankfully it all worked out and everyone was happy with their pet.

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The girls got to sign an adoption certificate to make it official.

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Here is the link for you to use.    pet adoption certificate pdf

I purchased a dozen white gable boxes to use as pet houses, cut a hole in each for a door, and the girls got to decorate a house for their pet. This was such a fun activity and I love watching all of their creativity as they designed a sweet little space for their pet to live in. #CommissionsEarnedIMG_2424IMG_2425IMG_2426IMG_2491IMG_2492

I set up another station for the girls to make a collar for their pet using pipe cleaners and beads.  These Dollar Tree veggie trays were perfect for holding craft supplies.  I have used them over and over for several projects and they have held up really well.  Amazon has a wonderful assortment of pony beads and letter beads.  #CommissionsEarned

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I also made leashes and blankets for each of the pets.  Click the links to purchase paw print ribbon and gold rings and clips.  One spool of ribbon made 12 leashes.  1 yard of paw print fabric, 1/2 yard of puppy fabric, and 1/2 yard of kitty fabric made 12 small blankets about the size of a baby burp cloth. #CommissionsEarned

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We played a couple of fun games.  “Give The Dog A Bone” and “Pin The Tail On The Kitty.”  I used poster boards to draw a Kitten and Puppy.  Then I made three bone shaped bean bags, mounted the puppy on one of our corn hole pieces and cut a hole for the bean bags.  These old fashioned party games were so much fun!

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I kept the food pretty simple because we also had hot dogs and fruit for dinner.  I collected yogurt cups in the months leading up to the party, then used a sharpie to draw a “fish” on half of them and a “bone” on the other half.  I filled the cat dishes with Goldfish Crackers and the dog dishes with Scooby Doo bone shaped graham crackers.  I covered two pieces of styrofoam with pink wrapping paper to display them on.  The Dollar Tree was a goldmine for decorations and pet themed items.  I found the large black dog dishes there and filled one with pretzels (sticks) and the other two with Trader Joe’s chocolate Cat’s Cookies.  I also purchased three paw print jars from the Dollar Tree and filled them with candy, but you can find similar jars here.  #CommissionsEarned The pink and teal hanging paper lanterns were 2 for a dollar as well, making the table setting very affordable.  I have included a pdf of the cupcake toppers, activity signs, and “DIG IN” sign for you to print off from home.  (see below)

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beanie boo cupcake toppers pdf

dig in party sign pdf

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cats & dogs party signs pdf

A month later, my girl is still saying that her Adopt A Pet party was the “funnest birthday party ever!”  I would definitely have to agree!

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“Sweet 16” Candy Bouquet

My oldest turned 16 last month!  S I X T E E N ! ! ! I can’t believe I have a child who is old enough to drive.  As far as teenagers go, we scored!  Jacob is a great kid… kind, thoughtful, funny, responsible, trustworthy.  I am so grateful!  When I asked him what he wanted for his 16th birthday, he jokingly said, “candy!”  I had wanted to make something fun for him to wake up to on his special day, and this sparked an idea.  I went to work making him a “SWEET 16” candy bouquet in a galvanized bucket.  I found the bucket at Walmart and I loved that it had a chalkboard label already on it, but you can find a similar one on Amazon.  I used my Cricut Expressions 2 to cut the letters on white vinyl, purchased a package of wooden dowels, a piece of floral foam, a ton of candy, and a 1 and 6 balloon.  I grabbed my glue gun and went to work.  Check out this simple tutorial (below) to make one of your own. #CommissionsEarned

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The Amazing Race Birthday Party

Birthday parties are challenging for teen boys.  The past couple of years my son Jacob has not wanted a theme or decorations, so we have just had a few friends over for movies and board games.  But this year, for his 15th birthday, we decided to do something unique.  The idea was sparked by a conversation we had about the youth group I attended as a teen and some of the fun events we got to do.  My favorite was called “The Torture Rally,” a 24 hour car rally around our city with clues to solve and challenges, definitely one of the highlights of my teen years.  I described it to Jacob as a sort of youth group Amazing Race, and the idea for pulling of a birthday party like this was birthed.  We kept the party small and just had one team…so they were essentially competing against themselves, but they had so much fun and it was well worth all the hours of prep that I put in to plan all the clues and challenges.

Here is a list of what we did for Jacob’s AMAZING RACE PARTY!

  1.  PULL 50 MARBLES OUT OF A TUB OF ICE WATER USING ONLY YOUR TOES

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2. MEMORIZE THIS POEM.  FIND THE MAN IN RED ACROSS THE PARK AND RECITE IT PERFECTLY.  IF YOU MESS UP, GO BACK AND TRY AGAIN

Spaghetti, spaghetti, all over the place, Up to my elbows – up to my face, Over the carpet and under the chairs, Into the hammock and wound round the stairs, Filling the bathtub and covering the desk, Making the sofa a mad mushy mess.  The party is ruined, I’m terribly worried, The guests have all left (unless they’re all buried).  I told them, “Bring presents.”  I said, “Throw confetti.”  I guess they heard wrong ’cause they all threw spaghetti! – Shel Silverstein 

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3.  (set up in someones front yard) MEMORIZE THE ORDER Of THESE TRIBAL PRINTED CARDS.  NOW RECREATE THIS EXACTLY IN THE BACKYARD.  YOU MAY RETURN AS MANY TIMES AS NECESSARY BUT CANNOT BRING CARDS WITH YOU.

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4.  (part 1) WEAR CRAZY PARTY HATS AND MARDI GRAS NECKLACES IN PUBLIC (WALK ACROSS THE BRIDGE) (part 2) CHALLENGE…WITH STRING TIED TO YOUR WRISTS AND CONNECTED TO A PARTNER, FIND YOUR WAY APART (it’s actually quite simple but seems very complicated)

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5.  MAKE MARSHMALLOW SHOOTERS.  NOW SHOOT MALLOWS INTO A BUCKET THAT IS HELD ON YOUR TEAMMATES HEAD (MAKE 5 MALLOWS EACH)

IMG_7421IMG_7425            6.  PLAY A GIANT GAME OF MEMORY: BOARD GAME STYLE (game made out of heavy paper plates, printed boardgame photos, and weighed down with flat marbles)

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7.  FIND THE PIECES OF THE WOODEN PUZZLE HIDDEN IN THE PLAY STRUCTURE.  NOW PUT THE PUZZLE TOGETHER. (much more challenging than it looks)

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8.  GO TO BARNES AND NOBLE AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS…

  1. HOW MANY BOOKS ARE THERE IN THE BIBLE?
  2. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF A BOOK WRITTEN BY OUR PRESIDENT?
  3. HOW MANY BOOKS ARE IN “THE DIARY OF A WHIMPY KID” SERIES?
  4. NAME 3 “NON-BOOK” ITEMS YOU CAN PURCHASE HERE
  5. FIND AND NAME 2 BOOKS BY THE CHILDREN’S AUTHOR ERIC CARLE 

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9.  GO TO THE MALL.  FIND THE PHOTO BOOTH.  TAKE A PHOTO WITH YOUR WHOLE TEAM IN THE BOOTH AT THE SAME TIME.

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10.  USING SIDEWALK CHALK, DRAW AN ACCURATE DIAGRAM OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, PLACING EACH PLANET IN ORDER STARTING WITH THE SUN

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11.  DIVE INTO THE POOL AND RETRIEVE THE GOLF BALLS AT THE BOTTOM.  EACH HAS A LETTER WRITTEN ON IT.  UNSCRAMBLE THE LETTERS TO DECODE THE MESSAGE

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FINISH THE NIGHT WITH PIZZA AND CUPCAKES AND OF COURSE AN EPISODE OF THE AMAZING RACE!!!IMG_8150IMG_8223

The Amazing Race Birthday Party lasted for about 5 hours total (the race itself was 4 of those hours which included a “pit stop” for snacks about half way through).  Be sure to come prepared with bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated, especially during the summer.  For more Amazing Race Birthday Party footage check out this fun video of the highlights from Jacob’s party and you can find more race style party products on Amazon! #CommissionsEarned 

For another fun birthday party idea for teen boys, check out my latest blogpost:

Retro Video Game (ARCADE) Game Room for Teens

Moana Birthday Party

We celebrated my daughter’s 7th birthday the first week of June with a Moana Themed Birthday Party.   My girl fell in love with Moana after watching the movie in the theater and she’s been belting out “How Far I’ll Go” at the top of her lungs ever since.  Her Grandma and Papa surprised her with the soundtrack for her birthday, which made the party even more special to have her favorite Moana songs playing in the background while she swam and played with all of her sweet friends.

I had so much fun planning this party and I’m happy to say that everything turned out just as I imagined it would.  I started making decorations several weeks in advance because May and June are always crazy busy with all of the end of school activities, dance recitals, and two kids with birthdays just a couple of weeks apart.

I used my Cricut Expression 2 to make the black and white tribal sewn paper garlands and the HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARIS pennant banner.  I also used it to cut some of the pieces for the Kakamora faces.  These were all made out of card stock that I purchased from Joann Fabrics.  I also found the tribal print material at Joann’s that I used to cover the contents of our two bookshelves.

The Dollar Tree is a great place for inexpensive tropical decorations this time of year and it did not disappoint.  This is where I purchased the tissue paper for the giant tropical flowers, the leis, the grass skirts that I used to surround the table, the plastic beach backdrop, plates and napkins, and the Moana and Maui “magic towels” that we gave to the children as party favors.  You can also find a lot of beachy party decorations on Amazon.

My favorite part of the whole party, was the Moana Boat and Sail Photo Backdrop (tutorial link below).  All the kids were greeted by my daughter and given a lei to wear and the first thing they saw when they walked in was a huge beach scene with a cardboard Moana boat and sail to play in.  I even made an oar out of a dowel, cardboard, and twine.  We got some super cute pictures of the kids in Moana’s boat. #CommissionsEarned

If you are planning a Moana party of your own, here are three fun tutorial for you as well as a ton of pictures from my daughter’s party.  Enjoy!

Moana Marshmallow Pops Tutorial

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Moana Boat and Sail Photo Backdrop Tutorial

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Heart of Te Fiti Cupcake Tutorial 

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If you are planning your own Moana party, I’ve included links to some products that you can purchase for your child’s party. #CommissionsEarned

For the Marshmallow Pops you will need-  Moana Stickers, Marshmallows, Lollipop Sticks, blue Candy Melts, and Pretzels

Moana Figurines

Moana Party Decorations 

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