Tweens from 10-12 of age are different. They are not all grown up yet but they are not children either. They are often referred to as “tweens” which is a term comprised of “teen” and “between”. It is one of the most challenging periods in a person’s life, just because it requires enormous mental and emotional strength to get through it. After all, tweens are in the turbulent transition mode, when they start looking for independence and form their preferences, but still need a lot of parent’s attention and connection to their family members.
Successful celebrations for tweens, therefore, create a strikingly beautiful balance between fun and seriousness. What makes tweens so different is their deep desire to imitate the adults but the absence of a necessary coping mechanism to do it all on their own. They also still very much enjoy childish play and being active.
Apparently, tweens are special, so if you want them to remember the celebrations, make sure to follow these invaluable tips:
- Be considerate of who you are inviting
By the age of 10 your tweens already formed a close circle of friends, and while they are eager to meet new people, they also want to feel comfortable at their own birthday celebrations. At this age they are already very much aware of the social norms and having total strangers at the celebrations will leave them feeling restricted. Be sure to consult with your kid on the list of guests. You might feel tempted to invite some tweens whose parents you are friends with, but tweens know that the celebrations is thrown in their honor, so they are unlikely to tolerate people they don’t like.
Another problem that many parents face is the school rules. Some schools would not allow for celebrations invitations unless the whole class is invited. But it is understandable that only a few families can afford a celebration for 20 people. However, there is a way to get around it. Instead of giving out invitations at school try posting them or send an email invite. Talk to your daughter about the celebrations and discourage her from celebrations talk during the school day. Be mindful of uninvited guests feelings and teach your kid some etiquette manners.
- Be mindful of their interests
During these years, tweens start to develop their sense of identity. While they are not yet a fully formed person, they will try to explore different hobbies and interests to figure out who they truly are. At this age, they constantly change passions depending on their own intrinsic values but also following the increasing social pressure that they face at school. One day you may find your kid listening to R&B because the most popular tweens do, but then another day she might be reveling in jazz music. So, before you throw a soccer celebration, make sure to check with your kid on his current hobbies. You might be surprised at how diversified her list of hobbies is and avoid the disappointment.
- Consider adult life imitating themes
Tweens have moved beyond Disney princesses and superheroes but they are not ready for cocktail celebrations either. They still like to have great fun during the event and enjoy making decorations. So what options of celebrations themes do you have? Remember that tweens of that age admire adults and would like to be seen as ones, so themes that imitate popular adult projects and hobbies are a great choice. Also, consider literary themes such as Harry Potter and Hunger Games since they tend to be popular among tweens of that age.
- Craft making
Allow your tweens to try their hand at a new hobby and exploit their creative skills with arts and crafts celebrations theme. You can decorate the room with canvases and famous paintings and pretend to be artists for one day. Some projects to include into the celebrations are canvas painting, candle making, jewelry making, gardening, and cooking.
- Spa day
Having seen her mother at the spa getting a manicure or massage has surely made her jealous and wanting to pamper herself too. Well, give her that chance by organized a spa day celebrations. Get sweet smelling lotions and creams, nail polish, tissues and towels and plenty of candy and green tea.
- Sleepover celebrations
The all time tweens favorite, sleepover celebrations can be a great choice of a theme. It is relaxing and comfortable and creates a perfect atmosphere for making new friends. Pick up a few movies, buy delicious snacks, buy same style pajamas and watch as your tweens wallow in the piles of pillows and discuss the latest school gossip.
- Dance class celebrations
If your kid is into dancing, you can organize for her to teach her guests. But don’t be discouraged if your kid is not a dance genius. You can always learn some new dance moves on Youtube.
- Sports celebrations
This theme is especially suitable for boys. Soccer, basketball, baseball, cycling, tennis, and gold – all make up for a perfect celebrations theme. Sports based themes encourage tweens interest in physical tasks and allow them to showcase their achievements to the peers.
- Rope obstacle celebrations
At this age, everything that screams adventure gets them super happy. Try some adrenaline-inducing but perfectly safe pursuits such as tweens rope obstacle course. The course reinforces confidence and curiosity towards constant learning.
- Involve them at each step of celebrations planning
Having seen many celebrations organized with minimal involvement on their part, at the age of 10, they start questioning your choices. This is a perfect time to get them involved and turn this birthday planning into a learning experience.
Planning a tween’s birthday is a serious business, and your tweens should know that choosing a theme is only a small part of it. Keeping the tween involved at each step of the way will help him learn planning, managing and executing skills. By taking a celebration from a vague idea to the real thing, they will start to appreciate hard work, exercise their attention muscles, and learn to set a clear vision and goals. All these can drive things forward. They will most likely be excited to come up with suggestions and reluctant to do the nitty-gritty work, but you need to make sure they are making their little contribution each step of the way. Here are several ways to get the tweens involved:
- Have them research the themes and come up with suggestions for decorations
- Invite them to list their favorite happenings and learn the rules. Have them practicing explaining rules to the guests
- Writing and signing invitations is an arduous process for the parents but it is an exciting activity for the tweens that make them feel important
- If you are hosting a celebration at home, tweens can also help with food shopping and preparation.
- Take them to your planned celebrations venue so that they can see the setup and help with decorations.
- Less structured celebration
Try to keep a good variety of physical and intellectual birthday bash. Tweens are still very active but the range of their interests vary significantly and they can also be enjoying calmer, educational pursuits, such as reading, card games and scrabble.
They also don’t like to be controlled that much, so don’t get too detailed with the plan and be prepared for the celebrations to not go as planned.
- Restrict mobile and social media use
Last but not least, make it a rule to restrict the use of mobile phones during the event.
At this age, tweens are introduced to the online world and they probably enjoy it immensely. A celebration with a bunch of 10-year-olds staring at their screens is a far cry from a perfect and memorable birthday celebration. Hopefully, the birthday celebration will be so entertaining and engaging that you won’t have to watch out for antisocial behavior. Imposing strict no mobile phones policy will likely have an adverse effect, but a simple reminder of the meaning and importance of the occasion from the very start will work wonders.
Tween’s celebrations are just like any other celebrations: fun, full of laughs, memories and crazy pictures. Only they are the same but different with tweens wanting more and more personal space and ability to make their own decisions. Get the tweens involved, do an extensive research and support them every step of the way, and your celebrations will have no rivals!