As adults, it can be tricky to figure out what teens will consider fun or cool. You may find yourself stumped when it comes to ideas for your older child’s birthday party. And who’s got time to search through a sea of Pinterest photos and parenting blogs?
Here are five party ideas that won’t make teens roll their eyes.
Let’s face it: Glow-in-the-dark stuff just looks awesome. It sets the tone for a fun party. Items like glow sticks are really easy to buy in bulk, and you can do so many different things with them. There’s also glow-in-the-dark paint, which provides so many creative ways to light up the room with painted accessories.
This Sweet 16 party by B Lovely events uses glow sticks as part of the table setting and general décor in addition to handing them out as party favors. They even suggest sticking them in balloons to make them glow.
Need a game to keep the teens busy? The blog Let’s Get Together suggests glow-in-the-dark capture the flag. The same rules apply, except the teens are playing in the dark and going for glow sticks instead of flags.
For a unique cake that matches the colorful theme, check out this neon splatter cake featured on Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island Blog.
It seems like today’s teens and tweens always have their noses buried in a smartphone screen. Image-heavy social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram are highly popular with this age group. Since the Instagram logo is colorful (it has red, yellow, green, and blue in one corner), it makes a great decorative theme.
Kara’s Party Ideas include several ways you can bring this theme to life, from ready-made items that can be purchased to easy DIY projects. Pictured is an Instagram piñata, camera lenses made with Oreo cookies, Instagram rings, party favor boxes, and more. Also check out Anders Ruff for even more Insta-goody ideas.
For the ultimate “selfie” experience, create a photo booth with props kids can use to take fun pictures together. Janis, blogger at All Things Beautiful, shows examples of props with instructions on how to make them yourself.
Come up with a few fun hashtags for the party, like #birthdayselfies or #Lailahs16birthday, so the kids can tag their photos once they post them on Instagram.
Mall Scavenger Hunt
Remember the mall? It doesn’t seem to be that much of a staple in teenagers’ lives these days, which is why today it makes for a unique party setting.
The mall also makes a great place to host a scavenger hunt. There are tons of things the teens can find, and you don’t have to hide any of them.
Provide each party guest or team with a bag and a list of items to collect. You can find several ready-made lists online. Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids has eight different mall scavenger hunts you can download and print. Some require a few purchases, and others are designed to be totally free.
The first team, or person, to return with all of the items wins the game!
DIY Beauty Supply Sleepover
YouTube is full of skin care and beauty videos, many of which are by and geared toward teenage girls. Instead of watching videos, let your teenage daughter and her friends create their own beauty supplies.
Host a DIY sleepover where the girls can bond over crafting. Choose one or two items to make, depending on the difficulty level. Once you give the girls instructions, you can throw on some music and let them go to it.
Here are some suggestions on what to make.
- two-ingredient lip gloss found on Parent Club
- 10-minute DIY pumpkin spice soap found on Happiness is Homemade
- homemade lotion found on Little House Living
- homemade chapstick found on Little Home by Hand
- peppermint body butter found on My Frugal Adventures
Remember to buy small individual containers for the liquid items like lip gloss, lotion, and body butter. The girls will have made their own party favors, so there’s no need for extra shopping!
Movie Under the Stars
Movie themes are great because they work for teen boys and girls. You can go with the classic Hollywood theme or let the birthday boy or girl choose a movie genre.
There are tons of ways to customize this party, from invitations to a snazzy cake. Etsy is filled with party invitations that are made to look like movie tickets. Check out this Hollywood cake on Catch My Party for some inspiration.
Give the kids a unique experience by creating your own outdoor movie theater. Becca, blogger on My Crazy Good Life, outlines how she set up a projector, sound, and outdoor screen. She even links to a tutorial on how you can make a projector for your smartphone.
Of course, if you don’t have the outdoor space, or the weather in your area isn’t permitting, you can always keep the party inside.
Don’t forget the popcorn!