So my 11 year old is one of those people who loves everyone and everything. She doesn’t want a theme or a plan, but I know we need one anyway, so I searched the net for “11 year old birthday party ideas” and picked a few, just to be ready, because even these girls can’t talk forever.
She wanted to invite ALL of her “friends” which, to her, includes just about everyone that she talks to on any sort of regular basis (that’s A LOT of people). Her only request was that it would be a slumber party which, for me, meant a limit. She over-invited, then that 30% that usually can’t come, came.
Lesson #1: Ten is too many (for me, at least).
If it’s a roller skating party at some local rink somewhere else (meaning, not every coming to your house), then ten might be great. For a slumber party, not so much. The problem with ten is that it isn’t cohesive and these girls come armed with technology. Over half the girls came with either phones or iTouches. Two asked for our wifi password. I found one on the basement stairs with a bag of chips and her device “waiting to see how long it would take for them to notice [her].” Two others were huddled together talking on the phone and texting photos to the 15-year old boyfriend (ew). A couple others gathered talking about the Hunger Games with their devices (my girls aren’t allowed to watch that). About 5 were together, but with that many girls and that much technology, cohesive wasn’t going to happen no matter what I planned. From now on, the limit is 5 and I’ll pray for 4 or less.
Lesson #2: Darts are surprisingly entertaining when Bieber is involved.
Odd, yes, but this was the most unified the girls were the entire night. They all LOVED Bieber-darts. One poster, a cardboard box atop an old table, a background that couldn’t get hurt too badly, and a set of plastic tipped darts = a solid 30+ minutes of fun and hysterical laughter. The only awkward thing about this game was the fact that the poster was not just of his face (that would have been better) and I was not prepared for the uproarious laughter that ensued when a dart would hit his, well, more “personal” region. These are moments I’d like to put my girls in a bubble. *Sigh
Oh my goodness! This is so easy and the girls were so completely thrilled with it.
Supplies: An assortment of Gummy candies in an different sizes, shapes, and colors, wooden skewers, a small hard candy like Skittles, a block of dry floral foam to fit your container of choice (a flower pot would work), and foil to fit the foam.
- For pretty skewers, soak in a water colored with food coloring for a few hours or overnight. Allow to dry completely before use.
- Push gummy candies onto skewers, folding long ones and pulling them out a bit to fill more space.
- Cover your floral foam with foil and place into your container. I used a small ceramic bowl and fit the foam in snuggly so it wouldn’t wiggle. Leave at least a 1/2″ space between the top of the foam and the top of your container.
- Arrange your skewers into the floral foam.
- Top with small hard candies like Skittles.
It won’t last long. :)
Lesson #4: Surprises make everything more fun.
These cupcakes were devoured so quickly that the only photo that I have of the inside is on my phone. The girls LOVED these. I did ask that they not walk around with them for obvious reasons, but it was a hit.
To make nerd filled cupcakes, bake your cupcakes as usual and allow to cool, then core them, leaving the bottom intact and saving the top part to put back on. Fill the hole with nerds (or other small candy), replace the small top, and frost as usual. This works with standard sized cakes as well and is absolutely delicious and FUN!
Though Miss Eleven didn’t want a theme, a plan, or any sort of craft, I knew enough that any number of kids could get “bored” and look for something to do, so I wanted to be ready. I have a “party stash” that I keep on hand and restock. If something gets used up, I’ll replace it with another activity for the next party. If something doesn’t get used or is reuseable, I’ll save it for the next as well. That way, I am ready to deal with Boredom if it happens and the girls have choices to fit their personalities. Not everything requires a “stash” either, but sometimes seeing a visual list is fun for the girls and gives them ideas too.
For this party, we did not make masks or do tie-dye shirts (too many kids for tie-dye), but the girls did make earrings and stress heads and did some goofy poses for photo ops too.
I ran out of time, so bought these, but the girls loved them too. I set out a couple feather boas from our dress-up bin and all the old plastic sunglasses and old 3D glasses we hat, then put out these store bought things, then stood there with my camera and clicked away while the girls posed, made silly faces, and got silly. I’ll put the best photos on a disk and include them with their thank you cards. It was so much fun for them that I’m going to get some small sticks like these and them make my own. Mustaches and beards (oddly enough) are still the most popular.
This is SOOOO easy, incredibly inexpensive, and all of the girls enjoyed it. You need flour, a funnel, and a latex balloon. Sharpies are optional. Allow the girls to fill a latex balloon with all-purpose flour. A funnel will save your tabletops and floors from a mess and make it easier for the girls. When it’s full (not blown up, just filled with flour), knot the end like you would after blowing up a balloon, then decorate it with sharpies. It’s fun to squish and feels like a real stress ball.
Making earrings and bracelets:
For the earrings you’ll need: French hooks ear wires, head pins, beads, wire cutters, and needle-nosed pliers.
Allow the girls to choose beads and arrange them onto a head pin allowing 1/2″ at the top for the loop. Bend the empty wire at a 90 degree angle. Clip off anything more than 3/8″ – 1/2″ and discard, then use your needle-nosed pliers to carefully make a loop tucking the ends of the wire into the top bead. Use your pliers again to open up the loop on the French hooks and close again after you’ve attached your earring. I usually allow the girls to make as many earring sets as they want (and as I have earwires for ), then I sit there and put them all together for them.
For the bracelets, you’ll need: Inexpensive metal bangles (I found some for $.50 each at my bead shop), embroidery thread, thin wire in any color, beads.
Tie a knot on your bracelet with embroidery thread, pull the end down and begin wrapping the long piece around the entire bracelet until it’s covered in an even layer of thread. You can use one color or tie multiple colors together and use several. Knot the end. Take a piece of wire and wrap it around the bracelet adding beads if you’d like. I added a bead on a loop when I was completely finished.