Simple tweenie party

The little lady is turning eleven and as much as I love to celebrate thoughtfully – heart shaped sandwiches in her packed lunch! – I don’t really love splashing out beyond what feels comfortable.

Here’s how parties look around here…


More seems to be more for a tween, so a spree in the pound shop goes down well.

I look out for sale goodies in pricier shops and throw in lots of sweets too.


I found all the pretty bits for this sleepover party at Hema.

Their stuff is super-trendy and reasonably priced and – most importantly – they deliver to our little island!

Balloons pack an awful lot of punch for their price, so I blow up about a million and put them all round the house.

Limiting the colour palette can be a good idea to avoid that primary-coloured, younger birthday party vibe.

Activity areas

What seems to work well for us, is to set up little activity areas where everything is to hand for the girls without any adults needing to be involved.

I’ve strung a gold foil curtain over a door for this selfie area and set up a basket containing props and the camera.

We’ve also got the beauty area…

A cookie decorating spot…

… a movie area, with throws, sweets and popcorn

… a games spot

… and of course, a craft table.

I’m not sure what the girls will do with these little books, but I’m sure they’ll soon be beautifully decorated!

My ‘home time’ treat bags are very simple: one bath bomb each, a balloon and some chewy sweets.

Food is kept very simple: frozen pizzas, garlic bread, fizzy drink and ice cream for pudding.

All kids seem to enjoy that sort of tea and it’s super easy for me – ahem, the husband – to throw together.

For bedtime, we throw our camping mats onto the floor and ask each guest to bring her own pillow and sleeping bag.

I round up as many blankets as we have and try and make the room a little bit homely, in an attempt to stave off possible homesickness!

The key for me, is keeping the guest list very short (we’ll have 6 girls in all) and making sure everything is good to go, so that we can pretty much leave them to it.

We pop music on, switch on all the fairy lights and then go hide in the Rev’s study…

… where I’ve tucked a few mummy-treats of my own.

Hey, I may as well make the most of a (not so quiet) evening in!

7 thoughts on “Simple tweenie party

  1. Our favorite birthday with DD 31 was her 15th. Four extra girls, DD’s Auntie and godparents and Mom/Dad – all doing karaoke and old fashioned games from harvest time… bobbing for apples, donuts on a string, etc. The photos are sure to set us giggling 😉

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  2. Ah, that does sound wonderful! Sometimes the small, low-cost activities leave us with the best memories!

    I remember going for a picnic on the beach each year for my birthdays… my Nan came too and it was a real treat as it was a bit of a drive to get there. 🙂

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  3. Tina Dudelson

    Can I come to the party? It sounds wonderful!! Some of my most fondest memories are of the sleepovers I had. The best times were of all of us girls singing into my cassette recorder (do you remember those?) emulating our fave group, the Osmonds. We also came up with dance routines. Such fun…

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  4. Ginny Callahan

    I’ve survived lots of sleepovers with 2 daughters & a granddaughter! The best one was when I had unexpected surgery & Daddy said he could handle it! Oh my, those girls had so much fun & poor Daddy talked to himself for days after!

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  5. Oh, cassette recorders! Yes, I remember lying on my tummy in my bedroom trying to record the pop music chart from the radio, editing out the adverts by holding the pause button!

    We used to make up dance routines to Abba: our poor parents were forced to watch very lame routines that were incredible in our little heads 🙂

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