Too old for a game of pass the parcel, but too young to be left to their own devices, tweens are in a tricky category when you’re planning to host a party.

They still want to play and have fun like the ‘little kids’, but their eyes are firmly set on being one of the ‘big kids’. The key to planning a party for this age group is hitting just the right balance.

Choose the perfect location

Tweens may wish to invite the entire class from school, or only three or four of their best friends. Either way, choose a primary party location in your home that won’t feel too big or too small for the group. It’s important for tweens to feel independent, so when you get the location right and fill it with fun activities, you can supervise from afar and the rest will take care of itself.

For example, for a small group of girls, decorate the kitchen, dining or lounge room, and plan arts and crafts activities, movies, food and games in that area. This way, you can leave them alone for the most part, so they’ll feel like teenagers with the house to themselves, but with plenty to do.

For a large group of 20 or so, chances are your house will take a battering if the kids are given free rein. Set up tables, chairs, activities and themes in the backyard or the garage, so there’s heaps of space to run around and less reason for them to wander indoors (where you’ll be with a nice cup of tea!) 

Make catering easy and fun

Tweens love to feel like they’re making their own decisions, so rather than rounding everyone up for a sit-down meal, opt for fun event catering in Sydney. A hot dog stand is a perfect option – your tween guests will get to feel like grown-ups as they order their own hotdogs and choose their own toppings from a mess-free dispenser.

To make life easy, include drinks with the catering service. Or, stock the fridge or eskies with soft drink cans and juice bottles, so you don’t have to worry about running out of paper cups or washing up.

For an outdoor party with a large group, keep dessert simple with bowls of lollies or chocolates, lollipop stands or individual jelly cups. If you’re indoors, make dessert part of the fun, by allowing each guest to ice and decorate their own cupcakes. 

Set the scene for fun

Given a few props to help start the fun, tweens will usually run with it and occupy themselves. For example, if you have a large backyard and a big guest list, gather tents from all the parents for a camping party. On arrival, everyone gets to set up their own tent and bedding, ready for a fun night in the great outdoors.

Tweens absolutely love to watch their favourite movies, especially if they’re funny or scary. Create a movie theatre in your lounge room, or set up a projector in the backyard and hire or borrow beanbags for an outdoor movie night.

No matter what theme you choose, tweens aren’t too old for games, and truth or dare is always a big hit. Collaborate with your tween for fun questions and silly dares.

When you give tweens enough freedom to assert their independence, while surrounding them with things to do, the party will be a hit they’ll remember forever!