Party Ideas for Teens & Pre-Teens
Advice, discussions, and reviews from the
Parents of Teens weekly email newsletter.
Berkeley Parents Network >
Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults >
Party Ideas for Teens & Pre-Teens
My niece is turning 15 and loves fashion and food. Can someone recommend a cooking
program for about 5 girls or something having to do with fashion we could plan a birthday
party around, instead of the normal bowling, shopping, etc for teens. Thanks
Does your daughter watch ''Project Runway?'' I organized a ''Project Runway''
birthday party for my daughter a number of years ago. One t-shirt design challenge
(individual) and one party outfit challenge (teams with names picked out of hat).
Bought cheap plain t's and lots of fabric remnants. Added fabric markers, tape,
string, ribbon, safety pins, scissors, etc. Stuck the girls in the garage with
tables, chairs, and music, and they went at it. After time expired for each
challenge, we videotaped and photographed runway shows and group photos. The group
photos became party favors. It was a lot of fun, and the girls had a blast (even
those who didn't watch the show).
We just had a birthday party where we did a ''trashion show''. We gathered bubble
wrap, trash bags, aluminum foil, pie tins, rolls of TP, tape, and some blingy stuff
from yard sales. The girls worked in teams to sketch out, design and create high
fashion wear. Then we played music and had a trashion show runway walk. It was the
funniest and the girls had a blast.
I'm having a group of 11-14 year old boys and girls over for a movie night.
What should I show? I especially despise movies that are sexist, showing
girls disempowered. I need to have it rated less than (R), except perhaps
just for language. They don't want to see any ''old'' movies, either.
I've heard ''She's The Man'' may work. Your suggestions are greatly
I don't have a specific movie recommendation for you, but I thought
you might be interested in the website
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/. They provide information about
movies (and other media, books, games, etc.) in a whole host of
categories, including positive ones, and negative (language, violence,
drinking...), recommendations for which age group they are appropriate
for, descriptions, and so on. Might help you choose a film.
We love movies at our house, and it was difficult to think of any teen
films with relevant social commentary especially with strong female
roles, that were not rated R. Maybe Harry Potter?? ''She's the Man''
is a pretty bad movie, check out Rotten Tomatoes.
I think a choice of film really depends on the maturity of your group
not the rating system, which often seems irrelevant and misguided. Too
bad they don't want any ''old'' movies, because the 1980's sure had
alot of great teen films. Here a few that I thought of with my 14 year
Scott Pilgram vs. The World ...
Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist ...
Adventureland (this one is R) ...
500 Days of Summer ...
Howls Moving Castle (animation) ...
10 Things I Hate about You
good luck, it can be a hard group to please.
East Bay Mom
Our family, which includes a 13-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy
that seldom agree on anything, loves ''Napoleon Dynamite''
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374900/) and ''Dodgeball''
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364725/). I'm pretty adverse to violence
and demeaning depictions of girls and women, and neither movie
offended me in the slightest. Both flicks also feature plenty of goofy
comedy that has our kids roaring with laughter even after multiple
viewings over the course of several years (we finally broke down and
bought the DVDs for our movie library). Best of luck with your movie
My daughter (10th grade) suggests ''Mean Girls,'' ''Ghost Busters,''
''Hugo,'' ''500 Days of Summer.''
It's a Japanese movie about a very young nerdy guy who befriends a
beautiful girl on the subway when she's being harassed by an old
drunk. She sends him a thank you gift and many changes ensue as he
musters the courage to get to know her, with help from his anonymous
on-line support group.
I'm sure it could be described better than I have. It's wonderful,
innocent and sophisticated. Only downside is the subtitles. Might be
dubbed, but the vocal expression of the original is memorable.
Available on Netflix. Enjoy.
I like checking the Commonsense Media website...they give lots of
details about the movie in question, as well as what the 'red flags'
a mom who pays attn to movies!
My 10 & 13 year old boys LOVED The Descendants. There is language. No
sex or violence. Lots of laughs, good music & scenery, thought
provoking themes...really good.
I liked it too.
My son, a high school junior, is starting to emerge from his shell
and would like me to invite various nascent friends, and their
families, over for dinners. We often have dinner parties with other
families that we already know-- I am a single parent and this is fun
and helps create a little bit more of a normal social life for us.
In inviting over these new kids, most of whose parents I don't know,
it would be helpful to have some ice breaker activities for the
teenagers. We don't have videogames at our house and our ping pong
table got too wet in a recent storm and had to be trashed. My son
is quite intellectual, and I suspect most of the kids coming over
will also be rather intellectual, and nice. Any recommendations for
teen-acceptable board games, etc...things that are easy to jump into
when one arrives at a new home...would be much appreciated! The
kids will be fine making conversation but it'll help my son to have
some things for people to do at first.
We're a family of foodies so this suggestion is biased in that
We have a large family holiday party every year with friends and
extended family. When my son was a sophomore, he wanted to add to our
guest list some of his school friends and families we knew but had
never socialized with. He was excited to host the teens in a separate
area in our downstairs den but nervous as to how to get things rolling.
Our solution was to line up a series of need-to-be-prepped snacks for
the teens that they could put together as his buddies showed up. All
the party-planning books, websites and magazines have ideas for easy to
build party snacks.
He chose chips with a dip that needed mixing, chicken wings that needed
warming (from Trader Joes), and easy fruit ''kabobs'' that needed
skewering (we prepped the fruit early so it was ready to go). In
addition, I left some last minute set-up tasks (napkins out, ice in
buckets, etc.) for the teens to help me with as they arrived so they
were immediately thrown into the mix. It worked like a charm. Not only
did everyone have a great time, they were all comfortable flowing from
upstairs to down and back throughout the evening.
Now when we have family-style dinner parties, I always leave some
appetizers to be assembled by the teens and give them permission to
take some away to the den before our meal. I find that breaks the ice
with a common task then they figure the rest out. Sometimes, they never
even get to the den and end up inventing some new appetizer concoction
It works for us.....good luck!
The party always starts in the kitchen!
A fun, challenging, competitive board game that crosses age boundaries
from 9 to 99 is 'Settlers of Catan'. It is Monopoly-like with a bit
more complicated rules. Takes a few hours before a winner emerges.
Can be played with as few as 3 people. If a larger social group, I
suggest teams so that individuals can leave and re-enter the game over
the course of play.
My 16-yr-old son really wants to have parties,and has had a
few. We have a good house and he and his friends have been
very responsible. However, they have all grown too big,
with too many extended friends, etc. Has anyone had any
success with controlling these parties or do I just have to
say NO. The kids really need a place to go, but at the
moment I must say no since they are too hard to control.
He's pressing me to have an after-prom party and I can't do
it...I wish there was something to suggest...!!! Any ideas
for alternatives? Thanks for your help, I need it here.
I suggest you contact the parents of a few of your son's
friends and together rent a space and host and chaperone
the party. Just last night my 13 year old son attended a
wonderful party held at a Yoga studio in Albany (can't
remember the name) on Talbot near Solano -- behind a little
house. The space was perfect sized, and had a little
enclosed yard out back. There was only one entrance, so it
was very easy to monitor -- with an adult posted at the
gate. The food was soda and chips -- and a ''DJ'' played
tunes (and also was a set of adult eyes in the room,
unobtrusive but definately there). The adults kept their
distance -- sitting in the yard near the entrance -- but
the kdis knew they were there. If you can find this type
of set up and split the cost -- and responsibility -- with
other parents, it seems ideal. You should also generate
real (paper) invitations so that the party does not
become ''open.'' I agree that kids need good places to
congregate, celebrate, dance and flirt. If we don't
provide well monitored, safe places for their normal
adolescent activities, they will surely find other places,
unmonitored, on their own. The cost in time and money is
more than worth it! Plus, it's kind of fun.
Former Party Girl now Vigilant Parent of Teens
My 13 year old son would like to host a Halloween Party and invite 30+ friends-both
boys and girls. Of course my husband and I will be present the entire evening. There
will be food, music and dancing. My son had demonstrated very responsible behavior
and has never given us one reason to worry about the choices he makes. We like his
friends and he is very social. It's the other kids I worry about.
Should we allow him to host the party and if so, what kinds of activities should we
provide to keep the party on the straight and narrow. I'd love to hear from anyone
who has allowed (or not) their child to host their first boy/girl party. I'd also
appreciate any tips to keep party running smoothly.
I don't have advice specifically about activities for the
party but just wanted to advise you to make sure the party
has a definite ending time and that the kids' parents know
what the ending time is. We've had a couple of parties
that were supposed to end at a certain time and I still had
kids hanging around for hours after because they ''forget''
to tell their parents when to pick them up or their parents
couldn't come then or some other lame excuse. I don't mean
to sound like a party pooper, but believe me, the frantic
energy generated by groups of kids this age is exhausting
for grown-ups, and when this party is over you will want
them all to leave!
My daughter had her first co-ed party for her 12th bday.
I said she had to invite about the same number of boys and
girls so it wouldn't be just a few boys (in her case).
I think 30 is too many. We had about 15.
Party was from 6-10. That was plenty long enough. I would
We had lots of activities planned. They only did them for
about 5 minutes each, but it was helpful to have them,
because when I saw they seemed to be at loose ends I
introduced a new activity.
And of course for a while the girls danced and the boys watched.
We (parents) stayed in our bedroom and made periodic sweeps
through the party.
Everything went fine!
My pre-teen daughter is interested in hosting a murder mystery party
for Halloween. I've seen lots of ''kits'' available online but I don't know
how to tell which ones are good. Has anyone out there ever done this
sucessfully? Any recommendations on kits or formats? Any tips to make
sure everyone has fun?
Thanks for the help!
Needs A Clue
I've been to four or five (adult) murder mystery parties and
have always had a great time. My friend (who has hosted all
of the parties) finds the boxed versions at garage sales.
They've all been a little corny, some better than others,
sometimes the cornier the better. But, the quality of the
story doesn't seem to matter much. What has been great fun
is that people have worn costumes (sometimes just a ''hint''
of one), taken on an accent, and otherwise tried to get into
character. I don't think it's as much fun to be an observer
(i.e. more guests than characters in the script) but I have
done that too.
I found this link on-line which, though a little pricier
than a boxed version, sounds great. It would be helpful to
have someone else accomodate the number and gender of the
guests. (My friend would usually try to do this.)
Sounds like a great idea for a party for pre-teens. You
might want to have some costume props available for those
kids who might not otherwise get into it.
this page was last updated: Oct 25, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network