My daughter and I thought long and hard about how to celebrate her 12th birthday with her friends, yet stay within a reasonable budget. We moved her birthday up a few weeks to take advantage of the warmer weather and planned an outdoor movie night.

I love home birthday parties
There is just something about the planning and getting it all together in the “home” that reminds me of when my mom had a couple parties for me, when I was young. Of course back then I think I only had 2 birthday parties. We just did not have a party every year …

Party Favors
Each girl who was invited was asked to bring a blanket and a standard-size pillow. Although I’m not a big fan of “party favors” (After all, aren’t guests invited to come and celebrate the birthday girl? Why do we have to give a gift back?), my daughter and I shopped at Ross and TJ Maxx for silk pillow cases ($2.50 each), and had our friend Hoppi sew each girl’s name on them. They were a hit!

The Eats
We served a mini burger bar with individual mini-fluted cakes for the eats!

I think the games were the funnest part of the evening! The girls had a blast.

Relays using feet
Line kids up into two teams. Having the same items in the beginning of each row (ie, lemon, DVD, pen, bottle of lotion – all fairly light items totaling 10), on the start of “go” the girls have to pass each item back using their feet only, all the way back to the last person.

The team who gets all the items to the very end first wins!

Russian tag was a favorite
The kids lie in a circle, teamed up with a partner (heads to the center). There is a runner and a chaser.

The chaser has to chase the runner, and can cut through the middle, but the runner always has to run outside the circle. It doesn’t matter what directions the runner goes. The runner’s goal is to lie down next to a person, and the person on the end gets up and runs, becoming the new runner. If the runner is tagged then chaser becomes the runner and the runner becomes the chaser. It really is fun! Have you ever tried playing this?

A 99-cent ball
Good old-fashion fun with a ball. Let the kids make up their own rules and fun!

Freeze dancing could go on for hours
Play fun, lively, dancing music. The kids dance and when the music is turned off, the person who is moving is “out.” You eliminate a girl each time you stop the music, and end up with one winner.

Trying to keep it all together (me!)

16 girls who are bright spots in my daughter’s life

Girls do just want to have fun. They really don’t even need much entertainment – they can make their own! They had so much fun with games and just playing, that we could have even done without the movie. We could have invited many more friends – but since I ran the party by myself, we had to have a cut-off point. That was not easy (future post!)

Next post – the “Eats” and how we did “Outdoor Movie Night!” And if you want to read about past birthday parties, you can read about my ICE CREAM TROUGH, here, SOOO GOOD!