In my opinion- no. Just because Sally had a huge party and invited the whole class, and your child attended, doesn't mean you have to invite Sally if your child decides to host a smaller party. You need to create a guest list that feels right-sized for your child and includes their closest circle of friends. And leaves you with a crowd-size that you feel equipped to handle maybe in concert with a few of your Mom-friends! If your child is in grade school, and your guest list includes all but of the boys in his class, I suggest you invite them as well.
I always imagine what it would feel like for my child if they were the one who was excluded from the fun. Err on the side of inclusion. The biggest challenge when it comes to picking a date for your party- is working around the sports and activities that kids enjoy in your town. You obviously don't want to plan a 2 pm party if most of the kids are at soccer or dance class at that time. I suggest you consult with the Moms of 1 or 2 of your child's best friends to make sure that you are selecting a timeframe that works for them, and then set your plans.
One of the biggest mistakes I think people make when planning a party is that they make it last too long! A good general guideline is 90 minutes or less for pre-schoolers, and 2 hours long for kids in elementary school. Right around when the kids start turning 8, the subject of sleepover parties starts to come up. And there are LOTS of things to consider when it comes both to hosting a sleepover party, as well as sending your child to one.
Further down you'll find a complete list of all of the birthday party themes we've hosted over the year- and if you click through, you'll find tons of details- ideas for invites, food, games, the cake, etc. But if you are finding this complete list of kids birthday party themes to be overwhelming… try clicking through to the lists that are segmented by gender or age!
Preschoolers are at such a magical age for throwing kids birthday parties at home! They love having their friends come over, playing games, and they are thrilled with the party food and cake! Click thru each image below to see the parties we've thrown for our kids as preschoolers! Click thru each image below to see the parties we've thrown for our kids as elementary schoolers!
Did you think your 11 and year-olds would be done with birthday parties?
Your teens? Think again! They still love to celebrate their birthdays with their friends- but this is when we usually start to narrow down our parties to smaller groups of friends. Click thru each image below to see the parties we've thrown for our kids as tweens and teens! I suggest planning out a timeline for the party starting with an opening activity that you can do as guests are arriving so that kids can easily join along as it is happening. Then plan games or party activities that will take minutes each.
I like to allow minutes for games, activities, and crafts, 30 minutes for food and birthday cake, and then plan a final activity that gets guests up and out the door and signals to everyone that the party is over. An outdoor scavenger hunt is the perfect party wrap-up!
My birthday party ebook This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. And be sure to check out my library of free printable party games for kids page that you can download and play at your kids birthday parties! If you are hosting a birthday party- know that most of the ideas below can be re-worked just a bit to fit any theme you choose.
Get creative with naming the game or activity- with the materials you use, etc. But above all- remember that it is meant to be fun for your guests- it doesn't have to be Pinterest or Instagram-perfect! Party decoration is an area that is so easy to spend too much money on- and truly- it doesn't add much to the party experience! Kids will remember the fun time they had with their friends, blowing out the candles on their cake, and laughing at the silly games they played- than they'll recall the fancy table settings!
So I highly recommend sticking to a big bunch of helium balloons that you can place in small groups on the party tables, and at the mailbox so guests will know they are at the right house. Add some streamers to the doorway, and maybe paint a banner on white butcher block paper that honors the birthday child. I suggest purchasing a sleeve of plastic table roll This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you.enter
Birthday Party Ideas for 11 Year Old Boys | Holidappy
It's much cheaper than buying individual plastic tablecloths. Cut out paper shapes using craft punches to create cute confetti for the tables, and just keep things simple! Amazon is a great place to score solid-colored paper goods and inexpensive balloons and streamers- you can check out my favorite party supplies from Amazon here This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you.
This is another place where you can spend a lot of money quickly- and truly you don't have to! Instead of ordering in pizzas for the kids, consider having them make these mini pizzas which you can bake while they complete a craft activity or a game.
The Birthday Number
Another idea that we have done many times is to set up a pasta bar. I'll make two different kinds of noodles ahead of time- and then give the kids the choice to top them with red sauce or cheese sauce, and offer toppings like shredded mozzarella and meatballs. I'll serve this with a side of garlic bread and a make-your-own salad bar.
It's inexpensive and the kids love it! If you are looking for some great easy birthday cakes that you can make at home, check out this post from Mom. Personally, I am not a fan of birthday party goodie bags filled with candy and cheap plastic trinkets. I know that my kids get excited about them when they receive them, but ultimately they throw away most of the candy, and the trinkets end up at the bottom of a toy bin.
They just seem like a waste of money to me. Guests don't know what they have ordered until it arrives. They get to order 3 times and by the third time all the kids have figured out what the items are and can order knowing what they will receive.
This is a fun way for kids to get to know each other and talk with the kids sitting next to them as they try and figure out what to order. The game includes a sample menu, but any food items can be substituted depending on what food will be served.
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Get help from older children or adults that aren't a guest of the party. There are 8 different Mall Scavenger Hunts and all include a free printable item list for the ones that require a list. Print out the free list and divide the group into 2 or more teams.
Most of the Mall Scavenger Hunts listed will not use any money to play. They can be easily played by taking pictures of the items that the teams find in the mall. The Freebie Shopping Spree has a great list of over 40 items that can be collected free at any mall. This is a fun mall scavenger hunt and will create great memories for the birthday group! Under the Mall Scavenger Hunt page you will find complete directions, set up and instructions on how to play all 8 of them!
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Give the teams an hour to find their items and then set up a meeting spot at a restaurant inside the mall to meet and compare item lists and choose a winning team! Informational - players search for questions about the mall how many stairs to the top floor?
How many elevators? How many shoe stores? This requires a little pre planning before the party so you can gather questions and the answers! One Color - Choose a color for each team or choose one color for all the teams!
2. Ball Pit
Players try to find as many items as they can in that 1 color one item per store! Scavenger Hunts Scavenger hunts are fun for eleven year old boys and girls. The Scavenger Hunt page contains many different ways to play a scavenger hunt. Free lists are available to print out also.
Scavenger hunt ideas and free lists to print out! Easy to play and all use household inexpensive items.
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