3. Favorite Childhood Parties -- Updated
Modern: Extreme Sports
Plan It: Invite your child?s buddies to bring their skateboards and scooters (protective gear too, please!). Give them free time to practice maneuvers and compare cool tricks. Move on to quieter activities like decorating stickers for their boards. Serve up an "extreme float" made with ice cream, seltzer, and a colored sports drink.
Plan It: Host this party outdoors and have the girls decorate headbands with ribbons and artificial flowers. Face painting is a must -- use eyeliner to draw on swirly designs and body glitter for extra sparkle. Send them on a hunt through the backyard for pretty jewels, then serve fairy juice and magic cake.
Classic: Arts and Crafts
Modern: In the Garden
Plan It: Have your guests paint small terra-cotta pots as soon as they arrive, then teach them how to plant flowers in their pots (marigolds are a smart choice). Serve lemonade and cupcakes decorated with ladybugs. Send guests home with wildflower seeds along with their potted flower.
Classic: Puppet Show
Modern: Original Movie
Plan It: Make this party a full production. Have your guests make up their own script and choose props and costumes. Capture their performances on video and host a screening later on -- complete with bowls of popcorn and an awards ceremony.
Modern: Project Runway-inspired
Plan It: Give each girl a plain T-shirt, denim skirt, or beach cover-up (check eBay or thrift stores for bargains). Make sure there's plenty of fabric paint, glitter glue, rhinestones, and trim for everyone to share. When everyone's finished, have them model their designs for judging. Pass out ribbons for a job well done.
Classic: Petting Zoo
Modern: Animal Charity Event
Plan It: Instead of a traditional party, have your child and her pals do something special for abandoned pets in need. Set up a lemonade stand or a bake-sale table in the front yard. Let the guests make signs and sell for an hour or so, then serve refreshments. Donate all the profits to a local animal shelter.
Classic: Tea Party
Modern: Let Them Eat Cake (and Tea)!
Plan It: Give the old-fashioned tea party a Parisian twist. Partygoers make giant paper flower blossoms to tuck into their hair, and then pile on strands of plastic-pearl necklaces and bracelets. Hand out paper fans, then serve tea and petit fours.