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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Planning a birthday party for your child can be a little stressful. You want the kids to have a great time, but you also want them to be safe. Avoiding the tired games from parties past is on the top of your list, and that might leave you searching for fun ideas. Here are a few options you may not have considered yet.

Glamour Tea Party

If your little princess is celebrating her big day, consider planning a lovely tea party for her and her closest friends. Leave the crepe paper and usual party favors at the store. Instead, take a trip to the local thrift store and buy a collection of pretty party dresses for the guests. The cost will be about the same, and the girls can take their chosen dress home with them. Serve tea out of a lovely teapot, finger sandwiches on a crystal platter and delicate little cookies on a doily liner. The young ladies will love having a chance to be as girly as they want, and the party will be something new and different.

Race Car Driver

This theme will work with any favorite career that has a recognizable vehicle, like police or firemen. Ideal for little boys, it can also work for the tomboys in your life. Start by getting some boxes that are large enough for the kids to wear them like cars. Before the party, cut holes in the boxes for the head, body and arms. The decorating, however, is up to the kids. Have markers available for them to color their “cars”, and a collection of tires should be available for the finishing touches. Once the cars are assembled and ready to go, take them outside and have them race each other around a course. It’s entertaining, it’s different and they’re sure to have a blast.

Hawaiian Luau for the Older Kids

There comes a point when your child isn’t interested in birthday parties unless they’re hip and cool. Whether you child hits that point at 12 years old or 17, they will be thrilled when you offer them a fun luau for a party. Pick up grass skirts and leis as party favors, and be sure to sprinkle island decorations around the party area. The real action, however, will arrive with the entertainment. Hire a dancer in your area who can do the hula. Ask if they’re willing to give a lesson to the kids, so they can get up and learn something new. If you’re entertaining an older crew, consider pumping up the action and excitement with a fire eater. The party will be a huge hit, and your family will remember it for years to come.

Go Retro

It doesn’t matter which decade you choose, the kids will get a kick out of the blast to the past. Not only can you gather some cool duds from the thrift store, but you can also break out the party games you played when you were a kid. Match the music and décor to the era, and don’t forget about the funky hairstyles that your kids and guests can have fun with. The perfect idea for a teenager’s party, you can even bring in a DJ to provide the tunes.

Whether your child is just entering grade school or preparing for college, providing them with a memorable party is an excellent gift. There’s no reason to pull out the same games that have been played for decades when you can get creative and offer something different. Your child will love the activities, and the party will be a hit with guests of all ages.

Nancy Jenkins is a blogger who focuses on events and entertainment. She writes about entertainment production and ways to develop events for children that include unique ideas like using fire eaters.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to throw awesome birthday parties.

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