Younger children will need models like here in the graphic and on the page referenced above. Older kids can be challenged to create the most outlandish hats with the materials you provide. Feathers (large and small), paper flowers (large and small), fabric scraps, crepe paper, whatever you can think of. The idea here is actually NOT to make it easy- but rather to make it a challenge. This is no doubt more of a girl-thing than for boys.
I’m turning my usual gift suggestions around today– gifts FROM the kids to Grandma or Aunt. Or- from Dad/child to Mom. They’ll LOVE these custom creations based on their favorite child’s artwork. These are truly priceless, even if a tad pricey.
Hats Off to playdoughtoplato.com for sharing this terrific paper hat your can easily make for your party girls to decorate, model at the party and then take home as their party favor. All Things Fancy Nancy – Playdough To Plato.
All it takes to make these is white butcher paper, liquid starch and a paintbrush, and a ball to mold the wet paper to. A basketball is pretty big, but soccer balls are smaller and if, like me, you have rounded bottom mixing bowls, one might be just the perfect size. Judge by your own child’s head and choose accordingly.
Once the starch has dried and the paper formed, trim the hat rim round. You might choose to make the rims various sizes so all the party hats aren’t identical. Either trim with pretty ribbon hatbands/streamers, or if the kids are old enough, let them do that part themselves. Make one for each guest + the birthday girl, and you’re all set.
For decorations, you can go the craft store route for feathers and glitter and flowers, or stick to markers and paints, or provide both. Tissue paper flowers would make great less expensive adornments, and keep them busy a while longer making them (follow link for directions- just provide tissue paper that’s cut to a smaller scale for decorating the hats).
Do remember to take a picture of each girl wearing their creation. Take a snapshot of each along with the birthday girl in her hat, and send these pictures home as additional party momentos.
While this game/craft is really just an exercise in creativity, it’s ‘fashion’ theme makes it a better game for girls birthday parties than for boys. I always love games and crafts that have the kids use their brains and their imagination, and this one does it well.
The purpose here is for small groups of your party kids to take a bag of ‘stuff’ and turn it into an outfit that one in each group will model at the end. Divide your kids into small groups of three to five, or even two’s if it’s a smallish party. Know your numbers so you prepare one bag of ‘stuff’ for each group ahead of time.
Here’s some good ideas for the ‘bag of stuff’ they might use to come up with their creations (thanks to a factoidz.com article for these suggestions): a roll of tin foil, a roll of toilet paper, four or five paper plates, a pair of scissors, a roll of tape, markers and construction paper. Here’s some more ideas: rolls (or partial rolls) of crepe paper, newspaper, curling ribbon spools (from the cheap store), bows from that bag of overused Christmas bows in the attic, and paper towels are cheaper than tin foil. I’d also recommend having a stapler or two handy for them.
Give them 15 or so minutes to make their creation, then orchestrate the fashion show. You can have the other teams judge each creation on a scale of 1 to 5 and have a helper keep score. Don’t forget to take pictures!
If its a slumber party, give them more time as you’ll have them with you for a good long while.
Creativity and imagination are two hallmarks of childhood; many of us adults lose a lot of what we had as children, so any game that encourages these skills is a winner. And kids like to exercise their creative sides, so they’ll enjoy this game.
There’s very few preteen girls that I know that wouldn’t love to wear this fashionable headband, so why not keep them busy making their own to take home from your slumber party? They can chat and giggle and snack while they create and have a delightful time.
There’s even a tutorial showing all the steps to make it that you can just have on a laptop for the girls to watch before they start creating. Let’s give a shout out to Melissa Stapleton for putting this online for everybody!
You’ll need to provide the girls with the following materials, which shouldn’t add up to much expense:
1 wide headband per girl
sheer fabric in various colors- 1/4 yard of 4 or 5 complementary colors (so they can mix things up) should be enough
felt (probably as close in color to the headbands as possible)
needles and thread
You should print out several of the templates (there are three sizes – all available on the tutorial page) on cardstock that the girls can then use to cut their flower forms. Do this ahead of time. I’m thinking it might be a really good idea to have the fabric pre-cut as per the templates, enough of all the colors for all the flowers for all the headbands, but this will take you some time. And do be prepared to lend a hand and – or some explanation of how it all goes together, but it’s always nice to be needed.
Some good nibbles, music in the background and a work area set up either at a big table or just on a sheet on the floor, and they’ll be all set to start gabbing while they work, once they understand how the headbands go together. It’s probably smart to give them a place to put all unused sewing needles and to remind them to be careful with them and remind them how much it hurts to get one stuck in your foot if they’re not careful with them.
Like all good party crafts, making these flower headbands will keep them happily busy for some time and they’ll have a highly fashionable take home party favor when they’re done.
For all the BFF’s at your next girls birthday party – here’s friendship bracelets to make the EASY way. Here’s an easy to implement technique to make a friendship bracelet that will allow the girls to do it without getting frustrated and while chatting together.
Simply put, they also make a cardboard ‘holder’– all it takes is cardboard such as an empty cereal box and scissors to cut some slits to hold the yarn or embroidery floss while they braid it.
Give each girl 7 pieces of colorful yarn 2 feet long and the materials to make their braiding disk- no other supplies are needed for this craft. Follow the very simple instructions you see on link above, and demonstrate to the girls how to proceed to braid their bracelets. I recommend having plenty of extra yarn as I’ll be they each want to make several bracelets.
And Stephanie over at homemade-gifts-made-easy.com also has eight different braiding designs included in her instructions for how to make friendship bracelets (NOTE: this is a different link to a different page than the link above). If the girls are old enough to follow these more intricate patterns and instructions, have a laptop and this website available to the group so they can try these out as well. For these more advanced bracelets you’ll need to provide the girls with embroidery floss, and you’ll see some good sources to get it inexpensively on the link page.
Clearly these bracelets are a great kids activity for girls any time, but they’re also just the perfect craft for a slumber party where this gives the girls something fun to do while they sit around chatting and snacking. They’ll have also created their take-home party favors for you!
This ‘craft’ can be your party for your next preteen or young teen girls birthday. They’ll be busy for at least an hour creating, chit chatting, modeling, then doing it all over again only better.
Get your hands on this instructional book or learn how to make transformed t-shirts from the various You Tube videos you can find when you google “how to make cut and tie t shirts”. Just one example of a transformed t-shirt: Cut up the side to the sleeve, then make 1 1/2″ to 2″ diagonal cuts on each side of that first cut to create strips front and back that can then be tied together to make a cool, form fitting shirt.
There are almost endless other things the kids can experiment with to create new, custom designed shirts and have a blast doing it at your party. I suggest you make three or four examples to get them started, print off pictures of some others from the book or the videos and let them figure it out.
Have each guest bring 3 or 4 of their old t-shirts and a pair of nice sharp scissors (labeled with their name) to your party. And caution them in the invitation to bring t-shirts that are big – the alterations will generally make them significantly smaller.
Put a decent sized mirror in your party room so they can try things on and see how their creations look. You can have sequins, fabric glue, fabric paints, any decorative stuff from the craft store that they can add on to their creations. Have tunes playing and snacks around.
T-shirt transformation would be the only game you really need for this girls preteen or teen party, so it makes for a very easy party plan. And this instructional book would also make a great birthday gift for the fashionable girl that enjoys craft activities.
My girls made a million of these altered t-shirts back in the day, but no photos have survived to show you the fun things they can do. If you’ve got any photos of these, please add them in here for others to see.
A great way to ease on into the co-ed parties that preteens and teens want is with a luau party. Hidden behind what looks to them like a pretty grown-up theme you can have games and food that keep them busy and out of trouble.
A very easy and fun activity is the luau fashion walk. Have all your guests come dressed for your luau – Hawaiian shirts from dad’s closet or the thrift store, the girls in their sarongs or grass skirts and bikini tops, or whatever else they dream up. [see about sarongs in our 4-26-2010 blog post]
After everyone has arrived, start your luau party with the fashion walk up or down your entrance way. Line your front walk (or wherever your going to put your runway) with luminaries- votive sized candles in paper lunch bags weighted down with gravel or sand. If you’re inspired to cut out palm tree or shell shapes from the bags, so much the better, but it’s not necessary. Use a mat knife and a clip art template to make it as easy as possible to make these cut outs. Obviously, the luminaries look best in the evening and semi dark, but they’re still fun in the daytime IF they have a cut out or are the bags are gaily colored.
Have three adult judges that you’ve equipped with the large sized index cards numbered in big font 1 through 10 and put together through a corner. Just like in the Olympics, as each guests walks your luau walk, the judges will raise their card to rate the outfits on the 1 to 10 scale. You need a scorekeeper, and prizes for the male and female winners. Hand your winners their fruit punch drink with the little umbrella in it or go all out and give the winners a Hawaiian shirt and a sarong.
I’m most definitely NOT a fan of gift cards- especially now that so many of them actually lose value over time or even just plain expire. HOWEVER, they do have their place and I find them most valuable for party gifts for hard to please teens and preteens.
I won’t speak for you, but I would no more attempt to choose the music my kids want to listen to that I would fly to the moon, so the iTunes gift card is a perfect gift. No iPod necessary; the music can be downloaded to the computer and/or burned to CD and/or put on the iPod if they have one. With most songs at 99cents, the available $15 and $25 gift card denominations go a long way!! You can order the plastic gift cards online with various graphics you choose from or even download and print a paper certificate for immediate giving if you’re in a time bind.
For teen or preteen girls, if mine are any indication, anything from Victoria’s Secret is a gift success so their gift cards are also a perfect girls birthday gift solution. While they don’t offer an immediate print out option like iTunes, you can send your gift certificate by email and then make a paper gift card that can be boxed and wrapped for the party. Victoria’s Secret also makes plastic cards with various graphics available, and they all get sent to your recipient in their own gift box for a pretty presentation (think ahead and have it sent to your address to have to take to the party).
Lastly, any local store that’s a big hit with the kids, be it clothing or cosmetics or candy, probably have gift certificates too that can make a nice gift.
For hard to please teens and preteens, gift cards can be the perfect solution to the kids birthday gifts dilemma. For your further reference on these gift cards, check out the iTunes and Victorias Secret website gift card pages.
Girls generally love fashion, and love to make things, so putting the two together for a birthday party has GOT to be a winner. Have your pre-teen middle schoolers not just model their clothes, but give them a chance to design AND create their fashions, all within the time constraints of your party just as they do on Project Runway.
No expensive fabric required– they’ll be making newspaper fashion. With piles of newspaper, masking tape, scissors and a stack of fashion magazines to get their creative juices flowing, they’ll have everything they need. You can find extensive instructions for the how-to’s for this great party theme at Suite101- supplies list, preparation, set up, judging the results, and other tips.
I would add 5 things.
Take lots of pictures for take homes.
Have samples of the pleated, scrunched and braided paper for them to see, plus suggestions for how to use these as embellishments (as described at the end of the article).
Have a pile of hats, necklaces, earring, bracelets, belts, shoes, whatever you can get together for them to wear with their creations when they model.
Have fun and colorful makeup, combs and brushes and hairspray for them to complete their runway looks.
Have a big clock obvious to the girls so no one gets ‘caught’ moving too slowly. Remind them every so often that they only have X time left.
You’ll have to decide, based on your group of girls, how many per team or whether every girl will want to design/make/model their own outfit.
A great ending to this party would be the runway walk for all the parents, but then be sure to have enough cake and ice cream for all.