Planning a party for your teen doesn't have to be stressful or expensive. There are plenty of ways to celebrate at home. Involve your teen in the planning process and take her opinions and requests seriously. Work together to make your decorations, favors and party food for a successful homemade party.
Food is probably the most important thing to consider when planning a teen birthday party. Be sure you have enough food to feed your hungry crowd, and make the food easy for guests to eat while mingling. Finger foods such as quesadilla wedges, mini pizzas, and chips and dip can be made at home ahead of time, then warmed up before the teens arrive. Sliders, mini hamburgers or pulled pork sandwiches are easy to make and fun to eat. Fruit skewers, fondue, and chicken on a stick can also be eaten easily. Don't forget the desserts--mini cupcakes, popcorn and candy trail mix, or make-your-own sundaes will all be big hits. Involve your teen in choosing and preparing the foods.
Decorations made at home can be inexpensive and festive. Make happy birthday banners, posters and signs using poster board and paints or markers. Have your teen help you make tissue paper flowers to set out in vases, or tissue paper pom pons to hang from the ceiling. If the party is outside, paper or soda can lanterns are easy to make and can light up the yard. Use colored butcher paper to make decorative murals, setting the scene for the party's theme. Collect items such as shells or colorful beads and fill glass vases as centerpieces.
Entertainment is important at teen parties because music and games help break the ice. Enlist your teen's help in making a mix on his MP3 player to play during the party. You teen will most likely want to choose his favorite songs, or you can choose songs to fit the theme. Teens may also enjoy giving each other henna tattoos. Mix henna ink at home using henna powder, lemon juice and sugar. Make a trivia game using questions you and teen have come up with together, and play the game in teams during the party. Create a scavenger hunt by writing clues on slips of paper, leading the guests to different locations where they'll find bags of candy.
End your homemade party by sending guests home with a favor, such as a mix CD. Send guests home with a CD of the party tunes you played that evening. Alternatively, decorate a paper bag for each teen beforehand, and have a table set up with candy in different containers. Have the teens fill their own goodie bags. If you and your teen are feeling crafty, decorate some photo frames together and pass them out as favors. Send a photo of each guest at the party with your thank you card to fill the frame.
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