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

Frozen Birthday Party

Anna.  Elsa.  Olaf.  My daughter, Karis, turned four a few months after Frozen hit the theaters.  Of course, she, along with every other little girl in America, wanted to have a Frozen birthday party.  Unfortunately, party decorations and “Frozen everything” had not filled the stores yet.  Perfect opportunity to get creative!  I was able to order a few things online from a party store, plates, a table cloth, cups, and stickers.  I bought two posters, one of Anna & Elsa and another of Olaf, and I lucked out when I found some Frozen chapsticks at TJ Maxx. The rest was up to me.  I used my Cricut a ton for this party, cutting letters out of sparkly card stock to make several banners with the phrases, “Let It Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Happy Birthday!”  I also cut out circles, squares, and snowflakes to add to the decor.  My daughter wore an Anna dress that we purchased at Target, and with her long braids, she felt just like Anna on her special day. I had so much fun planning the activities for this party. #CommissionsEarnedIMG_6897IMG_7643IMG_7645

Karis and I made several batches of sparkly Frozen play dough.  We collected everything needed to build our own snowmen…noses (cut pieces of orange pipe cleaner), hair and eyebrows (cut pieces of black pipe cleaner) , eyes (googly eyes), arms (small sticks gathered from our yard), tooth (white rectangles of poster board), and coal (mini black pom poms). When the girls arrived, I had them all sit around the coffee table.  I gave each a paper plate and a hunk of play dough and let them build their own Olaf.  This was the cutest activity and the snowmen were adorable.  #CommissionsEarned Even my older boys participated and enjoyed themselves.  When the party was over, each child got to take their snowman home with them.

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We used the Olaf poster to play “Pin the Nose on Olaf.”  I wanted one more game that would be fun for 4 year olds, so I came up with this “Knock the Castle Down” game.  I printed a castle coloring page off of the computer, colored it to match the party decor, cut it in 6 pieces and taped it to clear plastic cups.  I bought a pack of 3 whiffle balls from the dollar store and set the castle on a children’s size table.  The kids lined up and took turns throwing the balls and knocking down the castle.  This game ended up being so much fun and my kids played with it many times after the party was over. #CommissionsEarned IMG_6935IMG_7612

Frozen cupcakes…so many possibilities.  I decided on these beautiful snowflake cupcakes. I frosted the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting tinted with Wilton’s food coloring gel in blue.  #CommissionsEarned The day before the party, I made the snowflake toppers with Wilton’s candy melts in bright white and Wilton’s Sprinkles in Blue Sugar Pearl.  (see tutorial) After placing each snowflake on top of the blue icing, I added a couple of Wilton’s Sprinkles in White Sugar Pearl to add a bit more sparkle. 

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These goodie bags were just perfect to pass out at the end of the party… so girly and fun, filled with sparkly treasures for each little princess.  I already had the Frozen chapsticks I purchased early on at TJ Maxx, so I just needed a couple of small items to go with them.  I found the little blue bags in the wedding section at Michael’s and the rings and wands in the toy section. These tiny nail polishes became “Frozen” when we added a snowflake (cut from the Cricut) to each one.  I made some cute tags using Frozen sticker and threaded them through the wands to complete the look.  You can now find a variety of Frozen goodie bag items on Amazon. Karis helped me put the goodie bags together, so she was very proud to hand them out the each of her friends as she said, “goodbye and thank you for coming to my party.” 

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For more fun birthday party ideas check out some of my other blogposts:

Dolphin Birthday Party

Moana Birthday Party

Pink Dinosaur Birthday Party

Adopt A Pet (Beanie Boo) Birthday Party

Warriors Birthday Party

Wings of Fire Birthday Party

Science Experiment Birthday Party

Art Themed (Zoom) Birthday Party

Pink Dinosaur Party

For my daughter’s 5th birthday, she wanted a pink dinosaur party.  Not your common theme…dinosaurs, yes… pink ones, no!  Dollar store and spray paint to the rescue!  I found 7 good sized plastic dinosaurs at the Dollar Tree and spray painted them bright pink. You can find similar dinosaurs here and then use this spray paint that bonds to plastic. I used card stock in several shades of pink to create most of the other decorations.  Did you know that you can sew paper?  I discovered this recently, and have been making the cutest and most cost effective decorations even since.  I used my Cricut machine to cut circles and flower shapes in the various colors and then sat in front of my sewing machine with little stacks of these cut outs.  In no time at all,  I had 6 paper garlands to hang as the backdrop for the food table.    I also used larger flower shapes cut from my Cricut in shades of pink and patterned scrapbooking paper to create a festive birthday banner for my girl.  I found the pink dinosaur by googling “pink dinosaur” images online.  Pink ribbon tied into bows held each individual letter together. #CommissionsEarned

Edible cupcake toppers are one of my favorite things to create.  You can pretty much make a topper for any theme simply by printing a silhouette of it from the internet.   I used Wilton’s candy melts in pink for the dinosaur silhouette toppers and for the pink marshmallow pops as well.  Check out my blogpost on My Little Pony (Rainbow Dash) Marshmallow Pops for an edible cupcake topper tutorial.  

My daughter wanted to do some dinosaur activities at her party.  Her number one request was “pin the horn on the dinosaur.”  I used a projector to trace a cute pink dinosaur onto a piece of poster board.  I colored it pink and cut out a stack of horns for the kids to pin on.  I also set up a water table outside with a bunch of plastic dinosaurs floating inside.  Water play is always a big hit with preschoolers.  Our picnic table became the craft table.  I cut large dinosaur shapes out of card stock and put out glue, sequins, plastic beads, and googly eyes for the kids to decorate.  My favorite activity of all was “make the dinosaur hatch.”  A couple of days before the party, I filled water balloons with plastic dinosaurs and water. I tied them off and froze them.  I brought out these frozen “dinosaur eggs” and handed one to each child.  I gave them each a medicine dropper, added food coloring to cups of water and had the kids make their dinosaur hatch.  They peeled the balloon off of the “ice egg” (some needed a little help from parents with this part).  Then they took the colored water and squirted it over their egg until their little plastic dinos hatched out. #CommissionsEarned

Once again, the dollar store came through for the “thank you for coming” gifts.  I was able to buy dinosaur eggs with a mini plastic dinosaur surrounded by pink and blue slime.  To make them coordinate with our theme, I covered the back with a rectangle of pink card stock and made a front cover with the little pink dinosaur image and the words, “thank you for coming to my party.”  My 5 year old girl was absolutely thrilled with her pink dinosaur party, and so was I.  You can find a similar dinosaur egg party favor here.IMG_9512IMG_9483IMG_9516IMG_9531IMG_9514IMG_8857IMG_8853IMG_8887IMG_9542IMG_9478IMG_8863IMG_8861IMG_8858IMG_9534

For more kid friendly birthday party ideas check out some of my other blogposts:

Moana Birthday Party

Dolphin Birthday Party

Wings of Fire Birthday Party

Warriors Birthday Party

Art Themed (Zoom) Birthday Party