Help me plan the best seventh birthday ever.
August 27, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Help me throw an awesome birthday party for an about-to-be seven-year-old.

The parents of the little girl I babysit have asked me to plan and run her seventh birthday party. They both work in academia and are going to be swamped around her September birthday, so I'm handling cake, decorations, entertainment, and party favors. They're providing the food. There will be about 10 kids (boys and girls) and 10 parents present.

Little girl has requested a 'dance' theme, face painting, and a cake that looks like a stage. I think I've found a bakery that can handle the cake. I've covered chair rental and bought the Klutz face-painting book. I made invitations that look like tickets. I'm planning to buy thrift-store sheets and rig a 'stage' area on their back porch. We're going to play freeze dance (music recommendations that adults can tolerate much appreciated).

What else can I do to make this party awesome, fun, and memorable? I would particularly appreciate ideas for art projects kids can take home that will make good party favors-- neither the parents nor I want to buy a bunch of crap from Oriental Trading.
posted by nonasuch to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As for the craft that kids get to take home: Let them make their own disco balls (using aluminum foil).

Your party sounds awesome and you sound like the best babysitter ever, BTW.
posted by jbickers at 12:57 PM on August 27, 2012 [5 favorites]

How about teaching some group dances to the kids.

Electric Slide
Hokey Pokey
Chicken Dance
The Hustle


Perhaps a DJ to play the music that's fun to dance to. Or a good iPod list.

Be sure to get the clean versions of the songs.

Another option would be to set up a game system with Just Dance on it. That's always a good time!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:57 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Two words for the 7 year old set.

Disco. Ball.

Unless she's thinking ballet. Hmmm. Get clarification on that.

Piñata, which handily doubles as activity and favors, just have some bags on hand for kids to stuff candy and small toys into.
posted by bilabial at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

-Buy or make a boom box piñata
-Add beads to earphones (craft)
-Pretend like pixie sticks are glow sticks and serve them right beside the dance floor area or even better, have both pixie sticks and glow sticks
-Buy a dance shoe cookie cutter, premake the cookies, and allow the kids to decorate them and take them home as a treat
-Create a mix cd with album art which can be given as a thank you gift a week later to all of the girl's friends. Take a photo of the party setting, the kids enjoying themselves during the party, and include a thank you note as part of the booklet (have the birthday girl write it though!)
posted by livinglearning at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

She's been watching a lot of Jem and the Holograms, so I don't think she means ballet. I plan to learn to do Jem-style makeup with the face paints.

Disco balls and pinatas are both great ideas. I wonder if I can make a disco ball pinata...
posted by nonasuch at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2012

As the parent of a seven year old (who also dances) I would say not to sweat it too much; at that age they will enjoy almost anything. Some advice from experience: be on the lookout for kids who aren't engaged and try to draw them in if possible (although it sounds like most of the parents will be there). Also, don't go overboard in planning activities. If you babysit a seven year old I'm sure you can see how a group of 10 will take longer than expected to do anything.
posted by TedW at 1:30 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

I used to be involved with planning activities for girls this age. It would go over well when a high-school-age girl with cheerleading or pom experience would choreograph a short, simple dance to teach the girls. Maybe you know a local teenager who can help you out with this?
posted by TrarNoir at 4:04 PM on August 27, 2012

My daughter's friends LOVED decorating their own cupcakes.
posted by yawper at 4:14 PM on August 27, 2012

I don't have any specific party suggestions regarding dance, although I do like the idea of teaching them the Chicken Dance!

I did ask a question about face painting once if that helps
posted by radioamy at 7:01 PM on August 27, 2012

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