By mc4lifes from Sydney, NSW
Well seeing that 6th graders are about 11 to 12 years old, they want to be treated like they were 16. Or rather their idea of 16, which means they still want to be a bit silly but not in a corny way.
Perhaps a beach party scene would make a nice theme. However, not with beach balls and surf boards, nor palm trees. Much too common.
Try a pier/patio with bar stools at a high counter. Use plastic highball glasses to serve tea and lemonaid to look like night club drinks. Hanging ball paper lanterns in soft colors and hang thin blue cloth to flutter in a breeze made with fans turned on low. This will give the effect of a summer night at a beach resort/hotel outdoors.
The dresses can then be evening dresses which are not mini skirts, but not so formal as a prom. The boys do not have to wear suits, but nice slacks and button down short sleeved shirts (no ties) or polo/golf shirts, and dress shoes.
Make separate little sitting areas with 2 chairs and little tv trays as side tables draped in more blue cloth so friends can sit and talk. If you can, have some one make paper mache rocks and place them randomly about, then you can make a "sandy path" with brown butchers paper. Friends will walk about on the path and talk. Have parents bring in potted plants from home and place them at curves in the "path" to give some atmosphere.
Leave the center clear for dancing, making it look like a night club floor if you can.
If you buy the right kind of cloth, it can be used for other things later. It should be a very light blue. A hint of clouds and sky.
You can have a "games corner" where boys can win little trinket or flowers and where girls can win prizes for their dates.
It's always the entrance that counts, the first thing that is seen when one enters the room. One should not walk directly onto the empty dance floor. They will feel awkward and on display. Use a tall cabinet decorated as a fancy hotel and greeter as a "coat check" area that directs traffic in a specific direction. Like going to the counter at a fancy hotel.
The next thing they see should be perhaps the "bar", or perhaps a "garden area with blue cloth around it. One must walk through the "garden" before reaching the "Patio", at the far side of which is the "bar" and a few tables.
Far across the room, perhaps where the music will be coming from, could be a mural/painting of a far away island perhaps, or other beach scene.
They can walk the path around the perimeter of the room greeting their friends and gradually moving out to the dance floor area. Keep the music going at all times. This will keep the crowd spread out with some of it always on the dance floor.
Oh. Use double sided tape to hold the path to the floor or colored safty tape along its edges so no one slips! Hum... paper might make too much noise and cloth is too expensive. Perhaps you and the other parents can come up with a solution to that.
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