Birthday party ideas 4 kids
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2, 3 & 4 years

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Scavenger Hunts


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Tween Party Ideas

tween party ideas for 9, 10, 11 and 12 years old parties

Here's help for the "in between" years!  Fun Tween birthday party theme ideas for pre-teens. 
Great party ideas for tween girls (and boys) ages of 10, 11 and 12 years old.

We've listed our favorite party ideas and themes for tween parties.  These birthday ideas are a little more grown up then our kids party ideas and allow the 10, 11 and 12 year olds to socialize a little more. 

For more party ideas see our 

    Tween and Young Teen Birthday Party Games  

    Tween Sleepover Ideas  


Auction Party Theme
Fun birthday theme for girls and boys. On the birthday invitation ask each guest to bring a  "white elephant" (something that is in good shape but they don't want anymore) wrapped or a sealed in a paper bag.  Give the tweens $20 in play money and start an auction for the unwrapped gifts.  For fun add food and gag gifts to the auction items.  Keep the gifts wrapped and don't let anyone know what is inside until the high bidder opens the item.  At the end let them trade or buy each others' presents. With left over money let them bid on the first or largest piece of cake. 
Spa Party Theme
Ask the girls to bring their bathrobes and slippers to set the scene for this theme -  day/night at the spa.  Set out  different facial masks and peel masks - don't forget the cucumber slices!  Set up different stations for manicures, pedicures, facials and hairstyling.  Let the girls rotate to each station every 10-15 minutes.  Have a different color nail polish for each guest and let them try them all.  Or they can play nail polish spin  with all the different colors.  Give them colorful emery boards and toe separators along with their nail polish
for a birthday party favor

Free homemade spa recipes

Fashion Show Theme
One thing girls love to do is show off!  This fun birthday theme let's girls dress up in glamorous clothes and add in tiaras, sunglasses, necklaces, hats, scarves, boas, wigs
 etc. Set up a runway using a red sheet, paper or even a long walkway outside. Let the tweens  take turns walking the runway while someone takes pictures. Place pictures in a album for each girl or give them a CD as a birthday favor. Tip: check out thrift stores for great deals on dramatic clothes and accessories.

Polka Dot Party  
Everything polka dots and circles!

Send out round invitations with polka dot confetti.  Decorate with polka dots of every size and color and place them everywhere - on walls, furniture, fireplaces, floors, tables, counters, doors, driveway and mailbox. 

Serve round food - pizza, cookies they can decorate themselves, circle crackers and cheese, round pretzels, skittles etc.  Play karaoke and create necklaces with round beads.  Give away solid color beach balls - have them each sign with a permanent marker for a great keepsake of the birthday party. 
See more Polka Dot theme ideas

Make up Extravaganza Theme
Bring out wild and wonderful eye shadows, eyeliners, mascara, blush and nail polish and let the tween girls give each other fun makeovers.  Take pictures of the birthday party and place in an album for each girl or make a calendar for each one on the computer. 
birthday games like nail polish spin and crazy makeup.  Give small makeup bags for birthday party favors.  Tip: Check makeup counters in the mall and ask for free samples to use at the birthday party.

Minute To Win It Theme
Let the party guests compete with these fun Minute to Win It style party games!   There are 35 fun and challenging games to choose from - all are easy to set up and use common household items.    Set up game stations and give out prizes for the winners! 

Make this your Tween party theme or incorporate them into your birthday theme. 
Minute to Win It Party Games

Mystery Dinner
Fun and crazy birthday idea!  The tweens are served dinner - but don't know what they have ordered until the food arrives.   
Directions and sample menu
mystery dinner party

Scrapbooking Party Theme
This is a fun birthday activity idea for girls sleepovers or longer parties when you have time to develop and print out pictures.  Take lots of pictures of the girls at the party playing games, eating cake, being crazy etc.  Take the film and have it developed in 1 hour or print pictures off the computer if you have a digital camera.  Give each guest a small scrapbook and let them fill a page with the birthday party and one with friends.  Let them take home the book for a birthday party favor.   

Self Defense Birthday Party Theme
Some Karate businesses and gym's will teach self defense to tweens.   This is fun and something the they can use throughout their life.

Pizza party Theme
Every tween loves pizza at a birthday party, but at this party the whole theme is pizza!  Have a make it yourself pizza dinner - see our food ideas.  Play pizza related games such as: Pizza twister - set out the twister mat and have the red circles be pepperoni, green be pepper etc. and instead of spinning and calling out - right foot red, call out - right foot pepperoni.  Play relay races and have the kids carry a pizza box while they run or go through an obstacle course.  Make aprons or chefs hats for a craft.   Set out red and white checkered tablecloths and serve a large cookie cake decorated like a pizza. 

Scavenger Hunt
Birthday scavenger hunts can be fun  - especially the mall scavenger hunts!   The main idea of the scavenger hunt is to divide into teams then each tween team races to see who can find (or do) the items on a list first. There are 7 fun varieties of birthday party  scavenger hunts to choose from!  All the Scavenger Hunts have FREE items lists to print out!

Mall Scavenger Hunts
A fun way to combine two of tweens favorite things - friends and shopping.  We've listed 8 fun mall scavenger hunts - complete with free scavenger hunt lists.  Most require no money and there is one that lists 40 things they have to bring back that are FREE.  After the scavenger hunt meet for dinner or dessert at a mall restaurant and let them tell each other about their crazy adventures.    Mall Scavenger Hunts

Animal Lovers Birthday Party Theme
This is a fun and helpful birthday party theme that all animal lover's will enjoy!  Instead of bringing a present to the birthday party ask your guests to bring a bag of dog food, cat food, treats or pet toys.  Head out to your local animal shelter (make sure to call ahead first and set up a good time!) and give the food, treats and toys to the shelter.  Some shelters will let the preteens walk and feed the dogs / cats, clean out cages and bath the animals.   Make sure to meet with the shelter management before you go so they will be expecting you.  You can also use our Animal Shelter Helper Scavenger Hunt list and make a fun party game out of collecting items from around your neighborhood that would benefit your local animal shelter. 

See our Animal Shelter Scavenger Hunt for a free item list .   We also have a huge list of ideas under
our Animal Shelter Helper party theme page for invitations, decorations, party food and more ideas. 

1 Color Party Theme
Easy and fun tween birthday party theme!  Pick one color and make everything in shades of that color.  If pink is the color then make the birthday party invitations on pink paper with dark pink writing and envelopes.  Tell everyone in the birthday invitation that they are to wear only pink.  Birthday party hats, noisemakers, plates, napkins, cake, utensils, decorations, balloons, crepe paper, gift bags, prizes, food - EVERYTHING PINK!  Simple birthday theme idea, but the guests will always remember it!   For more ideas including invitations, decorations, games, party food and favors see our One Color party theme page.

Crazy Sock Exchange
This idea is best for an all girl  party.  On the birthday invitation ask guests to bring a wrapped pair of new crazy socks.  Buy and wrap a few pair of extras in case someone forgets. Write down numbers (however many guests there are) on pieces of paper, fold them and and place them in a bowl.  Have each player pick a number.  Sit in a circle and the person with the number 1 goes first, picks a present, opens it and places the socks at her feet.  The girl with the number 2 can either pick a new package or take the socks of number 1.  If she takes the socks of number 1 then number 1 gets to pick a new package and open it.  Continue around the circle - each tween can either choose any socks that have been opened or open a new package.  At the end #1 can exchange her socks for anyone's in the circle.  Fun to play with socks, white elephants, small gifts and birthday party favors.  

Murder Mystery
You can buy birthday theme kits on the internet or at most party stores for a fun murder mystery theme for your tween party.  Serve a Mystery Food Dinner and hand out small magnifying glasses as a treat! 

50's, 60's  70's or 80's  Theme Party
Decorate and serve food from your favorite decade of the past.  Have the invitations tell the tweens to dress in clothes from the decade you choose.  50's - poodle skirts and rolled up jeans.  70's - bell bottoms and funky clothes.  80's - big hair and big shoulder pads.  Play fun music and teach the dances from that period.  Karaoke is fun with oldies music!  For more ideas including decorations, invitations, dances, party food, games
and more see the 60's party theme, 70's party theme
and 80's party theme pages.

Luau Party Birthday Party Theme
Decorate with palm trees, pineapples and tiki's.  Research guests names to find their Hawaiian name and use it to decorate cups.  Play limbo and rent a dvd that teaches how to hula dance. 
Grass skirts and lei's are a fun party favor.  Little umbrellas in their drinks will make everyone smile!  See our huge list of great ideas for a Luau party including ideas for invitations, decorations, party games, party food, activities and more! Luau party ideas

Wacky Party Theme
For this birthday party theme give the tweens a crazy wig, hat or glasses to wear.  Play your games backwards and make crazy videos! 

Tween Idol Theme
Set up a karaoke machine with a good CD of popular songs.  Tip: You can find great deals on used CD's and karaoke machines on Ebay.  Ask which of the guests wants to be a judge and set them up at a judging table.  Then have the performers come out one by one and sing their favorite song (like American Idol).  Vote for the favorites and have another round each time eliminating one of the performers until you have a winner. 

Pool Party Theme
Fun ideas for tween pool parties!  See our expanded ideas on the pool party theme - complete with invitation, decoration, pool party games, activities and more!

Mardi Gras Party - Fun ideas for a Mardi Gras party!

Masquerade Party - Tween party ideas for a Masquerade party!

More party theme ideas for preteens 10, 11 and 12 years old are listed on our party themes page.

Share your ideas for 10, 11 and 12 year olds !



Party Ideas

Candy Buffet

Goody Bags

Party Favors


Party Activities

Sidewalk Chalk

Water Balloons

35 Minute to Win It Games


We've listed our favorite kids birthday party ideas, tips, cool party themes,
bday party celebration ideas and advice for kids birthday parties sent in by parents with years of experience - we refer to them as the experts! 
Fun birthday party, party planning and ideas that are affordable and really work for boys and girls, kids, tweens and teenage parties. Kids games, Real simple and cheap birthday party ideas for kids for home parties.

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