Ideas for the Party Human

Parties for Older Kids (13 to 113)

Posted on: November 2, 2009

            The partying sector of society over twelve is probably the one most guilty of losing the art of throwing a party.  It is from this group that the image of the “party animal” originated, and yet this age-group is the one that can most benefit from partying like human beings.  Following are a few tips on giving parties for teens or adults, beyond the information discussed in my Party-Planning posts.  Later I will describe many actual parties (both Indoor and Outdoor) in detail for you to copy, or simply to use as a jumping-off point for your imagination.

 1.         When giving a party for your teenager, be cautious.  Depending on his or her personality, you don’t want to push your ideas too much.  Kids want to make sure they’re doing what they want to do and only that!  Make a few suggestions; perhaps have him look at this blog, and then ask him to make the decisions.  Give him a deadline, or he may not give you time for the necessary preparations.

2.         When your teen gives a party, take a back seat and let him or her be in charge.  You can be a shadow putting food on the table, or, if she wants, you may play a role of some sort–but never try to control the party.  A few whispered suggestions to your son or daughter when you see problems arise should be sufficient.  However, you must be there as a chaperone, in case you’re needed.  Never let a youth party take place when no adult is present.

3.         Make use of your public, school or church library when developing your theme.  It’s a wonderful resource for ideas and props.  Check books, tapes, pamphlets and magazines.

4.         Invite whom you want to your party.  Be a friend to everyone there.  If all the guests do not know each other, use mixers and icebreaker games to get everyone acquainted.

5.         For birthday parties in this age group, be sure to print on the invitation “No gifts please” or “Gag gifts or white elephants only.”  It is generally not appropriate for teens and adults to have to buy nice presents for a birthday party.

6.         You may wish to start a file or notebook of favorite party ideas.

7.         Be enthusiastic about your party and the things you have planned.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  Your guests will catch your excitement, and it will add a great deal to the success of the party.  Be confident; hesitancy foretells failure.

8.         Sometimes with teens, giving prizes to the winners of games may cause too-intense competition, loss of perspective, or other problems.  One way to get around this and keep an “all-in-fun” attitude among the guests is the old-fashioned practice of redeeming “forfeits” from losers and giving “recognitions” for winners of games.  Some ideas for forfeits might be to require the losing player to do some seemingly impossible task, such as sit on the ceiling using only a pencil and paper (the answer is to write “the ceiling” on the paper and sit on the paper); or to dramatize some action, such as catching a fly ball or painting a fence; or to act out a nursery rhyme or well-known proverb.  Some ways of recognizing the winner of a game might be to name him or her as the leader in the next game, to give the winner a round of applause, to ask the other guests to stand up and curtsy or salute to the winner, to pin a blue ribbon on the winner, or to ask the winner to be the judge to call for redemption of forfeits.

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