Have a child turning 13 this year? Have no idea what kind of party to throw? Then you are just like many moms out there, in the same situation. With my son making the transition from tween to teen this year. I found myself racking my brain, trying to come up with some cool party ideas. What kind of theme, if any? What about colors, food, décor, music, games? For a tween, turning 13 and becoming an official teenager, is a huge deal! They want their party to be cool and the talk of the school on Monday! Well, after many ideas coming and going, many ideas not ‘approved’ by the birthday boy, we have come to a decision. With a large park right outside my backyard, I decided to take advantage of the extra space and throw him a ‘house’ type party at night. So, to celebrate my sons’ 13th birthday we will be throwing a Birthday Backyard Bash!
To get started, instead of traditional birthday invitations, I printed up some flyers that have a look and feel of a traditional ‘house party’. My son was very happy with the idea of passing out flyers instead of invitations, and it made him feel like he wasn’t having a little kid party. The party will also be from 5pm to 9pm on a Saturday night. The later time of the party will help reinforce the ‘not a little kid party’ feel and give teens a chance to attend a Saturday night party, that their parents will approve of!
For entertainment, there will be music (Top 40), and we came up with a few good ideas for games that are still fun for teens. The first one is a scavenger hunt. Everyone will have to find a partner and go out to the park behind our house and collect things like rocks, sticks, a piece of paper, leaves, bark and more. The first pair to get everything on their list and get back to the house wins a cool prize, like a pack of multi-colored sharpies or a lazer pointer. Second, we will be having a three legged race. The kids will have to again pair-up and tie one of their legs together with a piece of small rope or twine, creating a three legged, two-headed teen. The pairs will have to work together to get to the finish line first, to get their prize! Last on the list of games will be a round of musical chairs. It will be a lot fun to watch them scramble to get to a seat each round. The winner will be taking home a basket full of snacks like, cookies, crackers, and candy.
As for the food, well that’s the easy part. A teen party wouldn’t be complete without pizza! Order up a stack of pizzas, set them out and watch them get gobbled up! A good rule of thumb when deciding how much pizza to order is make sure you have at least two slices for every guest. With a large pizza averaging 10 slices, you would need 1 large pizza for every 5 guests. We, will also be serving nachos on the side. Get a large can of nacho cheese, pour into a crock pot turn on low and set on table with a spoon. Pour tortilla chips into a large bowl and set out a jar of sliced jalapenos for those wanting to turn up the heat. What could be a better combination for teens, pizza and nachos!
For drinks, make sure you stock up and fill your largest ice chest with sodas and bottled water. If your family recycles, make sure to set out a trash can labeled Cans/Bottles to collect all of those money making containers. It’s always a good idea to offer an alternative to the sugar filled sodas, with bottles of water to help keep them cool and hydrated.
For decorations, make sure to keep it simple and limit yourself to only two or three colors. For this particular party I will be going with my sons favorite colors, black and bright green. Go for solid color plates, napkins, table covers, and balloons. Since we will be having this party at night, I will also be stringing up some white Christmas lights around the canopy and trees to add some sophistication and revealing light to his ‘grown up’ party. After all the games and eating are over with, let them hang out and talk, listen to some music and maybe even do some dancing. Towards the end of the party (last 30-45min), do the cake and presents. By the time they have eaten their cake and he has opened his presents, said his thank you’s, it should be time for the party goers to return from whence they came.
A few helpful pointers to keep in mind when throwing this type of party is 1: Don’t invite more kids than you can supervise. Invite friends and family to help supervise the party, if you have more than you can handle. 2: Make sure to plan ahead and be prepared, don’t wait until the last minute. If you do, you will find that you will have forgotten something come party time. 3: Stick to the plan! Write out a flow chart for the party. Estimate how long each event will take and keep every one on track. 4: Allow the kids to have some fun and you will have fun too!