How to Throw an Awesome Birthday Party for a 12-Year Old

by Erica Loop, Demand Media

    As the last year before the official start of the teens, 12 is an in-between stage in which your child is way too old for the pinata and pony parties of the past, but still too young for a more mature shindig. Throwing a truly awesome birthday party for your 12-year-old involves planning, preparation and patience. Involve your tween in the decision-making process and get ready for an amazing time.

    Party Planning

    Step 1

    Choose a tween-friendly theme. Base the specific selection on your child's gender and interests. Girls may enjoy a celebrity theme (such as Justin Bieber), a party fashion show, spa bash or make-up event. Some boys may enjoy a sports theme or even rock band party. For a co-ed party, try a decade theme such as the disco 70's or awesome 80's.

    Step 2

    Find a suitable location. An in-home party may save the most money, but you may need to opt for an outside location. For example, it is fairly easy to throw a celebrity-themed bash in the house, but a spa or beauty themed party may need the amenities of a real salon. This is not to say that your house can not be transformed into any venue needed. Assess what you will need, and weigh your options before deciding on the venue.

    Step 3

    Create your invitations. Instead of 'little kid' looking pre-made invites, design your own on a free printable website or send out eco-friendly e-vites. Make the invitation simple and elegant. Try using your child's favorite colors or a basic pattern.

    Step 4

    If you are throwing an at-home party, decorate the house. Instead of plain streamers and balloons (which may be too young for your tween), opt for more mature decor. Decorate according to the theme. For example, if you are throwing a 70's themed dance party, hang a disco ball and posters of famous musicians from the decade.

    Step 5

    Plan a themed menu with a variety of tasty treats. Try the traditional bowls of chip and dip, but also include special items that match your party focus. Create or buy a cake that goes along with the other items. If you are having a make-up party for your tween, find a lipstick-shaped cake, design a football-shaped cake for a sports bash or have a baker transform a photo of your child's favorite celebrity into a fanciful cake topper.

    Step 6

    Decide on activities and games. Your 12-year-old and his friends may not enjoy the same crafts and projects that a younger child would. Instead, engage the kids in older party favorites such as karaoke, competitive sport games or a dance contest.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Set ground rules before the party. Make sure that your child and the guests understand them.
    • Help your child select the guest list. The theme might depend on this. A co-ed party will look very different than a girls-only or boys-only gathering.
    • Always supervise the party. Even though your tween might seem like a young adult, a 12-year-old's party requires a constant adult presence.

    About the Author

    Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images