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As the mother of seven, four of which are girls, I have thrown more than my share of parties. Each of my girls have very different ideas, hobbies, and passions. So the party themes are varied as well. Please keep in mind that I do not pick a theme on short notice and I am always looking for new and different ideas. Planning and fore thought make for the most successful parties. The longer you have to plan, the cheaper the event.
The following ten ideas have been tried and have all been repeated by others in our area. The greatest flatter is when someone else host a party with your original theme.
When the girls arrive let them go crazy trying on all the dresses. Some will require privacy to change. Once the gowns have been selected, the hair salon opens. Let the girls do each others hair. Once the hair is in place which generally takes an hour, make up is applied. I highly suggest that you not have heels for the girls to wear. Someone can get hurt. Plus the tennis shoes they have on, add to the look.
You could have a limo take the girls to a movie or a restaurant once the proper look has been achieved. But a limo is not needed. Everyone looks and stares at the girls in their finery. The girls will love the attention. Wraps, boas, and old mink stoles add to the glamor.
When you arrive back home, let the girls do a fashion show to strut their stuff. Dancing is often done after the show. One year, we even had corsages for all of them. They all had a flower to take home as a keep sake.
Games are played. Do immature younger games, but play them backwards. After games, the girls will change into their pajamas, backwards or course. While the girls watch a movie, fix them breakfast food. Served under the table of course.
In the morning, serve chips and soda pop for breakfast. Added bonus, you do not have to deal with the sugar rush, their parents do. When it is time to leave. Welcome the girls with a hello and how wonderful they look. Since you have not seen them in forever.
We write the invitation backwards to get the party started right.
When the kids arrive, have them each make their own pizza dough. It will need time to rise. While the dough is getting ready have several bowls of white icing ready. Let the kids use food coloring to make several different colors with the white icing. Make sure each child gets to make a color. Have at least three cupcakes per child made before the party begins.
Now let the kids pat out the dough, make crust, apply sauce, cheese, and toppings for their very own creation. They will use three times the amount of cheese that is needed, so stock up or explain that less is more. While the pizza pies are cooking, have them decorate their cupcakes.
After the pizzas have been admired and eaten, the real fun begins. Take number 10 cans with lids, have each child measure out the cream, sugar, and mix in a three pound coffee can with lid. Insert the three can into the ten can. Add ice, and salt. The kids will then spend the next hour to hour and a half rolling the cans back and forth to make ice cream. Driveway or uncarpeted room is perfect for this.
The ice cream and cupcakes are the highlight of the event.
Now it is off to the mall. Once again, teams are drawn. Each team is given a list of 50 things that they need to scavenger for. The lists must be the same items and one paper sack to hold their items. Each team has an adult chaperon. They can ask people walking in the mall, people working in stores, etc. Each team has an hour to collect the most items. The bags are collected and it is the perfect time to watch a movie at the mall or go home to watch a movie. The items are counted in front of all the kids when you arrive home and a winner is declared. The winners must make the popcorn, chips, and drinks for the losing team.
Items on the list can include a paper clip, green stamp, a milk jug lid, straight pin, gas receipt, stamp, Q-tip, etc. Make sure the items are small and hard to find.
The girls make necklaces, bracelets, and rings for themselves and for the birthday girl. Friendship bracelets take hours to make and the girls can watch movies while they make their unique color designs.
Pour dish soap is small bowls for the girls to soak their fingernails in. Have them do this at the table so they can talk together as they soak. Show them how to correct and push back their cuticles. Have them paint each others finger nails.
Cake and ice cream before you soak their feet in bath salts. The birthday girl can open gifts in front of them as they soak. Now it is time to fill their toes with cotton balls and paint their own toe nails. Scented lotions should be applied now.
Flip flops can be purchased in September from Old Navy, Gap, Rue 21, etc. for 50 cents to a dollar. Buy most in your daughters size and a few larger and smaller. Have the girls make designer flip flops in their school colors. Have them cut stripes of fabric and tie knots to make a personal pair for each to wear and show off their pretty toe nails.
Pajamas are now put on and the shower caps are dawned. Have the girls make their own facial cream. I use oatmeal and honey. As the girls get comfortable for a movie, have them each lay down and put cucumbers on their eyes. This reduces puffy eyes and makes the girls tired. They laugh and talk for a few minutes and by twenty minutes they are fighting not to go to sleep.
Time for them to put on their facial masks and watch a movie. Twenty to thirty minutes later, let them wash the dried mask off. They can do each others hair as they finish the movie. In the morning, rave about how wonderful they all look.
In April you can find plain sweatshirts for a dollar at Wal-Mart. Buy them in various sizes and try to get them all the same color. Iron double sided instant hem on the back of a floral fabric that matches the sweatshirt before the party. Letter stencils will help the girls draw and cut out their own names in the fabric. After you have ironed their names on the sweatshirts, have the girls use puff paint to outline the letters. Hint: the girls must use the puff paint on the shirts in a place where the shirts will not be moved till in the morning. It takes several hours for the puff paint to dry.
Buy flat sheets at garage sales. They become perfect canvases for the kids to paint on.
Finger painting is also fun.
Buy face paint at costume shops and mass merchandisers after Halloween. After the girls have painted their own portrait for the birthday girl as a keep sake, have them go crazy painting their own faces, and each others. They will laugh till they cry.
As the teams are getting ready to leave with a chaperone, that has an empty trunk for all the food they collect, dare them to take it a step further. Tell them that you are not sure if they can do two things at once. Show them a single plastic shopping bag and ask them if they know what it is made out of. Some will be surprised to find out it is made of plastic or oil and even both sometimes. Explain to them that those bags that their groceries come home in, are filling up our dumps and hurting the environment. Dare them to see which team can collect the most bags as well.
Find a local food bank ahead of time that the kids can give the food to. Set up a time for them to meet you. Have them praise the kids and tell them how many people they will feed with the food they collected. If your party starts at 2. The kids should collect from 2:30 to 3:30. Set up a 4 o'clock appointment for the kids to help deliver the food. The arrange for the kids to take all the plastic bags to a recycling center. If one is not available or open at that time. Have them take then to a not-for-profit resale shop to be reused.
Be sure that the kids know the name of the food bank they are collecting for. You can even print a small flyer with the name of the food bank on it and ask for people to help their cause. You can get 10 on a single piece of paper for them to hand out at the door.
After the teams have collected and delivered their good deeds it is back to the birthday girls house. They will all be hungry and tired. After cake and food, read the ways they can help the world, that they wrote when they arrived. Tell them how proud you are of them and all that they have done.
We have made fleece blankets for nursing homes with the knot ties, drawn get well cards for those at the hospital, letters to soldiers over seas, and once we collected money for a local child with cancer. They raised over a hundred dollars going door to door in an hour. You would have though it was a million by the look of pride on their faces.
Have them watch John Travolta shake his stuff in Saturday Night Fever. Teach them how to do the hustle. Dance to the Bee Gees and Donna Summers. It is a laid back theme that the kids love.
Then take them out for a fun evening. Go out to dinner, a movie, miniature golf, etc. They must stay in character the whole evening. Accents are a perfect addition to the charade. The kids will get tons of attention where ever they go. It is a winner every time.
These ideas can be done easily and cheaply if planned in advance. My children must have their theme by their half birthdays each year. It is their day and it should be celebrated. To make it more memorable, take tons of pictures. Plus, make sure all siblings are not a part of the event. A sitter or grandparent can take them during the party. Make your child feel like the only person in the world that day. Give them all of your attention. That is the best gift of all. Don't worry if it is not perfect. Accidents will happen, something will break, and your carpet is going to get stained. Just smile at your child and remember that they are what is important. The other things can be replaced, but your child can not. Now, let's party!
By Crystal from Branson, MO
My niece is turning 14 in July. We have discussed different party ideas that she may like. She has already had swim parties, spa parties, bonfires, etc. She wanted something different this year. What we came up with was a Food Party.
My daughter planned this inexpensive party and has invited 6 girls. When I asked what she wanted to do at her party, she said just get 12 cupcakes. That's all. When she made out the invitations, she wrote that the activities would be, girl talk, listening to music, dancing, singing, playing pool, and Wii.
For my 15th birthday party, I organized a theme party where I asked everyone to bring some clothes and/or accessories from the 80s. We shared clothes and accessories; we even did each other's make-up!
Add a twist to the classic birthday party! Instead of streamers, link together glow stick bracelets. Tell people to wear neon, florescent or white clothes, and throw in a couple of black lights on the walls or the ceiling.
If you are having a birthday party and you don't know what you want to do, then my suggestion is to go to an amusement park. Let's say there is NOT a park near your home, then go to a community pool. If you invite only a few friends, it's still fun.