You want to make your child’s birthday special, no matter how old or young they might turn. My wife and I are no different. However, we also have a budget and don’t just splash out on insane Sweet 11th kit; professional dancers, DJ, party decoration, catering, etc.
Nope – we go the DIY family realistic budget route instead, doing a lot of the activities and food ourselves. We generally stay away from crafting our own decorations, mainly because I tend to cut the pieces too small or get frustrated and tear them all up again!
Our daughter recently turned 11 and as she decided to invite her closest friends over for a sleepover. I assumed it would be 2 girls, but somehow we ended up having 5 girls volunteering to celebrate our daughter.
Not a big problem really. We have a nice big basement, and we simply needed to prepare it by getting rid of the biggest spiders and tidy up the toys that had been scattered around by our 4-year-old wonder kid.
- Outdoor Christmas lights does wonders to any room
- Party City has some good cheap paper decorations
- Christmas table-cloth looks good on any occasion
- Praise the plastic cup and paper plate inventors
- iMac in the corner pumping out Now! 53 tracks, with screen saver, kick-starts any pre-teen birthday party
Within a few hours, the basement looked pretty awesome if I had to say it myself. All we needed now was the screaming pre-teen girl invasion.
What do you feed a horde of 5th grader girls? Easy guys!
It turns out that the snacks were extremely popular, and within seconds of putting the bowls on the table, a hurricane of fingers started to dig into the snacks – picking the bowls clean, and asking for more. I have been to the reptile section in the zoo seeing alligators rip into their meat lunch, but nothing compares to pre-teen feeding frenzy.
The girls headed back into the basement after dinner, and started to listen to strange YouTube video/songs, screaming about cute kittens, and singing along to the new Annie movie. It was awesome to see how these girls had so much fun, but scary that I could not hear anything for several minutes after emerging from the basement.
That evening we had our very first outdoor camp fire with the girls, while roasting marshmallows. We had to keep feeding the sugar rush and the girls loved sitting outside chatting (giggling) about awkward potential boyfriends – or just talking about who the other girls liked.
Bedtime was approaching, mine that is, and I was hoping the girls would turn down the music humming from the basement. My eyelids were getting heavy when relaxing on the sofa, and it was only. 10.30pm.
I’m not too sure when the girls finally collapsed, but I do know that my wife was awoken around 1am by two girls suddenly standing in our bedroom saying they couldn’t sleep. I’m confined my wife thought it was the ghost from ‘The Ring’ standing in our bedroom, and I’m sure she screamed, but I slept right through that event.
Another early morning, as I had to prepare breakfast for the masses, consisting of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and juices. Sounds easy, but not when you have to feed an army of kids.
Then they went hiking in our little forest and visited the neighbor’s farm, bringing back all kinds of lovely smelling animal sent and poo footprints on the tile floor. Oh well, they had so much fun and that’s what matters the most. I had warned all the girls that they might step in dog poo, and to be careful, but somehow that advise was completely ignored within a few minutes.
I think they have agreed to make this a regular event, so have to prepare mentally for the next sleepover party.
… I’m too old for this shit!