No matter where you live, winter weather can be unpredictable. Having a winter birthday often limits you to an indoor party, and your tween might enjoy a snowball-themed party at home. Plus, the intimate setting of a home party gives you a chance to know your tween’s friends better.
Invitations - Purchase cheap white T-shirts from a craft store. Write, “I had a ball at (Insert Birthday Tween’s name) party” on the shirt with permanent marker or have it screen printed. Wet the T-shirt and ball it up tightly inside a plastic bag like a snowball and place in the freezer. When the shirts are frozen, attach a party invitation to the bag with a ribbon, asking the guests to wear the shirt to the party. When the girls arrive at the party with their defrosted shirt, they can decorate and sign the shirt with fabric markers.
Decorations - Turn your party space into a winter wonderland. Give the room a soft glow using white mini lights strung around the room. Create instant snow by stringing several different-sized cotton balls at various lengths on fishing wire. Hang along walls or from the ceiling and doorways to give the room the illusion of snow falling. For the table, fill jars a 1/3 of the way with Epsom Salt and place a battery-operated tea light inside. Spray tree branches with silver glitter spray or artificial snow spray and display in vases near tea light jars.
Games - Games encourage interaction between the guests who may be shy and stirs up a little friendly competition. Create your own version of Jeopardy by asking winter-themed trivia questions. It is also fun to include categories about the birthday girl. Minute to Win It is a fun game for a tween group. Teams complete tasks with simple household items in less than a minute. Many of their games include ping pong balls, which go nicely with your snowball theme. For Minute to Win It how-to game instructions, visit www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how-to.
Crafts - A great winter craft for tweens is to make frosty vases that they can display in their room. To make the vases, you need small glass bud vases, Epsom Salt, blue food coloring, paper bowls and plates, paint brushes, crafting glue and clear gloss sealer. Mix half the Epsom Salt with a couple drops of blue food coloring and leave the other salt white. Paint the outside of vases with glue and then roll the vase in each color salt until coated. When completely covered, let dry and then spray the vases with the clear gloss sealer. Before the girls go home, add a white carnation to complete your snowball theme.
Food and drink - Instead of serving the customary birthday cake, why not try something different? Serve a white chocolate fondue instead. The perfect white dippers include angel food cake, marshmallows and bananas. Snow ball cookies are another idea. Crush one 16oz. package of Oreo cookies and blend with 8oz. of softened cream cheese. Roll into walnut-sized balls and chill for an hour. Roll chilled cookies in melted white chocolate bark (24oz. package) and allow to harden on wax paper. For a fun, festive drink, pour sparkling cider or lemon-lime soda into a glass rimmed with blue and white sugar.
Movies with a winter setting - To calm everyone down at the end of the night, put on a winter-themed movie. If the girls enjoy true stories that tug at their heartstrings, rent Big Miracle, Eight Below or Miracle on Ice. For a little lighter atmosphere, try a comedy like Ground Hog Day or Snow Day. Serve homemade popcorn balls (12oz. melted mini marshmallows and 12 cups of air popped popcorn formed into balls) or plain popcorn for a lighter fare.
Goodie bags - No party is complete without a goodie bag. A winter-themed bag for tweens should include Sno Caps candy, hand warmers, inexpensive texting gloves and lip balm. Attach a note that says, “It was so ICE of you to come to my party!”
Pam is a freelance journalist and mother of three. Pam and her family love hosting themed parties for any occasion. With two winter birthdays in the family, they know how to throw a winter party!
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