Ask any parent what the trickiest age for kids is and they'll often reply 'teenager'. Not quite grown-up, not quite children, throwing a party for your early teens or tweenagers, (as 10-12 year olds are sometimes known), can be tricky.
The important thing is to get the balance right between a children's party and something a little more grown-up. Here are our tips to help you get it right.
Rock Star Party
A rock star themed party is a great way to bridge the gap between child and teenager. Ask the kids to come dressed as their favourite diva or guitar hero, or alternatively, a glam rock theme can be a big hit. Think 1980s-style costumes, animal skin print dÃ©cor and VIP pass invitations.
Air guitar competitions and karaoke, of course.
Any self-respecting rock star has an impressive array of tattoos. Stick to the easily removable kind with these Single Row Black Tattoos.
For many (not all) girls, it's their tweenage or early teenage years when they first develop an interest in fashion and beauty. If this is something your child is interested in, a spa party could be the ideal theme.
Create a calm, clean and relaxing environment, with plenty of towels, seating, easy access to a bathroom and different 'stations' for activities. You could also play relaxing music and provide healthy snacks, such as fruit smoothies. These eye mask invitations are a really nice idea.
Facemasks with cucumber slices for the eyes, foot spas, manicures and makeovers.
Fill your spa party pack with lots of girly pampering products, such as these Mini Bath Pearls or these Miners Goo-ooh Clear Raspberry Lip Gloss. We also offer pre-filled bags, such as this French Manicure Party Bag.
What could be better than a party including all of your favourite films? Get all of the children invited to suggest an age-appropriate film, and then vote on the ones they want to watch. All you need to do is provide a comfy seating area and plenty of cinema-themed snacks, such as popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and mixed sweets. Try creating these vintage cinema ticket invitations.
Film watching! You could also play a movie trivia quiz and movie-themed Pictionary.
Kids always relate going to the cinema with getting stuck into the pick & mix, so include fillers such as these Mini Tube of Love Hearts and Lolly Pop. You could also include fillers themed on the movies you watched - so, for example, if you watched Pirates of the Caribbean include pirate-themed treats, such as these Single Pirate Tattoos.
The great thing about teenagers and tweens is that they've reached an age where they can do more complex activities - still under supervision, of course. Throwing a pizza party is great fun and it results in lots of yummy home-made snacks.
Get the guests to form teams and design their fantasy pizza, using any toppings they like. Once all the pizzas are cooked, get everyone to try each other's - whichever team's pizza is voted the most delicious, wins.
A pizza making competition! You could also put together a quiz on Italy - the homeland of the pizza, or try blindfold pizza tasting to see who can guess the toppings.
Fill your party bags with food-focused treats, such as this Haribo Star Mix and Lollypop and these Vanilla and Ice Cream or Lemons and Limes Lip Balm Pots.
- Give them some space - early teens and tweens are at an age where they're going to want some privacy when they spend time with their friends. Make sure you're nearby and available if there's a problem, and pop in every now and again to make sure things are OK.
- Don't treat them like children - OK, so they're not grown-ups and still require a certain level of supervision, but suggesting children's games such as musical statues probably isn't going to go down well.
- Get an extra pair of eyes - monitoring a teen/tween party without making them feel babied is a balancing act. Make sure you have someone to help you - if you know a trustworthy older teen, they could be a great asset.
- Tailor the party bags - whilst there are still some fillers that will appeal to both genders, teen and tween boys and girls are often starting to have different interests. Cosmetic products or jewellery such as these Body Collection Bath Bombs or this Black Tassel Peace Bracelet are sure to be popular with the girls. For the boys, mischievous items such as Water Bombs, Whoopie Cushions, Fun Snaps and Rocket Balloons always go down well.
With the right theme and some tactful supervision, you can get the balance right at your teen/tween party.
Have you got any more ideas? Let us know in the comments.
Image by Anders Ruff Custom Designs