Kids Birthday Party Ideas for Pre-Adolescent Years 8-2

When your kids had only three or five candles on their birthday cakes, planning their birthday party was easy right? There was an abundance of choices, everything from magicians, to puppet shows, to Cinderella characters who swept into your living room, waved their magic wands, and transfixed a roomful of birthday party guests.

Now that your little ones have reached, or are heading toward, those pre-teen and adolescent years, birthday party planning takes on a whole different ball game. 8 to 12-year-olds have very definite ideas about how to celebrate their birthdays. Your youngster’s choices will be influenced by several factors ? including what kind of parties their friends are having and their overall developmental level and degree of maturity.

Parents must consider several basic issues while tying to plan a successful birthday party. Who is your child, and what will make her happy? Who are your child’s friends? And, perhaps most importantly, what are you willing and able to handle? The last question forces you to look realistically at your resources ? including the size of your budget and the amount of space you have available if the party is to be held at home.

Pre-teens have a variety of interests and hobbies and enjoy doing activities that help them to attain a sense of mastery. Often kids of this age cling to vestiges of childhood before their leap into the great unknown of adolescence. Many pre-teen girls still enjoy having themed parties, where characters such as Pooh and Elmo are used for party decorations and favors. Some of the favourite parties for girls of this age include:

Hoop Dance Parties

Hoop Dancing with sparkly, shinny, colourful hoops to the latest dance music for kids is ideal for birthday party participants to discover the fun loving nature of Hula Hoop Dancing.

“Glamour Girl” or “Day of Beauty” Parties

These are held either at home (in which a make-up/hair consultant is present) or in a beauty salon. Girls get their hair and nails done, and may experiment with make-up application or a variety of skin-care products.

Sleepovers Kids Birthday Parties

Usually begin after dinner, although sometimes they are held after an afternoon at the movies or a sporting or gymnastics event. May include anywhere from three to as many as 10 or 12 girls. Some parties are loosely structured, with perhaps some rented videos being the only “planned activity”. Others include some craft projects or organized games. Refreshments are an integral part of the party, with pizza, make-your-own taco food bars, chip ‘n dip and nachos being favorite foods. Instead of (or in addition to) a birthday cake, many sleepovers include a make-your-own sundae bar, and of course, bagels, cereal and plenty of orange juice, essential for the morning after.

Kids Aerobics Party

Parties for 8-12 year olds tend to be centered around sports-related themes, aerobics party can be held at a dance studio.

Kids Sports parties

Everything from basketball, miniature golf and soccer, to roller hockey and bowling. These can be held in a specialty facility (like a bowling alley or roller rink), but are increasingly held at large, multi-sports complexes where party guests can participate in a number of different activities. Many facilities provide instruction and organized games, such as relay races and obstacle courses, as well as allowing time for “free play”. Some of the traditional activities such as bowling may have a “new wave” twist created by the addition of extras such as “glow in the dark” pins and balls, laser lights, or disco music playing in the background. Several specialized facilities offer rock climbing with instruction on both indoor and outdoor climbing walls. Karate and tae kwon do parties are also popular with this age group

Kids Hi-Tech Parties

Where activities include laser tag, hyperspace simulators, virtual reality games such as virtual skiing or motorcycle racing, and video games such as Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis, as well as the more classic arcade games such as pinball and skeeball.  Speciality parties might include a trip to the local games arcade on our Northern Beaches or an interactive, hi-tech party at a computer center.

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