Last Friday my daughter who will turn 12 in a couple of weeks invited 16 friends over to celebrate her birthday. I wasn't too excited about having that many party guests, but I'd rather error on the side of inviting too many rather than leaving someone out.
I did a bit of decorating the day of the party by hanging paper pom poms up in our kitchen and decorating a tree branch in a vase with random pictures of Audrey through the years.
Audrey and I came up with a party agenda so that we wouldn't have that many girls with free time on their hands.
Here's a look at what we came up with for the party.
3:30 - 4:30 /// Snack Time and Swimming
I set out snacks (chips & salsa, fruit tray with this dip, lemonade and water) for the girls to munch on while they swam.
This was a pretty relaxing part of the party and it allowed the girls to all be busy while we waited for everyone to arrive.
4:30 - 4:45 /// Dry Off and Find Shoes
4:45 - 5:30 /// Neighborhood Photo Scavenger Hunt
Audrey really wanted to do a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood, but I didn't want to have to go around and set things up and then hope that they didn't get tampered with, so I came up with a photo scavenger hunt. (I'm sure this has been done before, I just haven't ever seen it.)
I walked around our neighborhood and typed out a list of things for the girls to find on the scavenger hunt. Each group had a camera (iPhone or iTouch) and they had to photograph the items with at least one person from their group in each photo.
The girls really seemed to love this activity. They were divided into four groups and were given 30 minutes to collect photos of as many items as they could before the time was up. The winning group was only missing two items on the list.
5:30 - 7:00 /// Swimming and Dinner
We hadn't planned on the girls swimming again, but after running around at the scavenger hunt, they were hot and wanted to get in the pool again. (It was in the 90's.) While the girls swam, my husband grilled burgers and I set out the dinner sides (veggies, potato salad and chips.)
7:00 - 8:00 /// Skits
Audrey really wanted to have the girls make up skits and they all seemed to love it. We divided them up into groups of four and gave them each a prop they needed to use plus two words they needed to incorporate into their skit.
The groups took about 15 minutes to put the skit together and then they preformed for each other.
As soon as they finished their first round of skits, they wanted to do another skit. So we divide up new groups with new key words to use and they made up more skits.
We videoed the skits to watch at the end of the party, but ran out of time to watch.
8:00 - 8:30 /// Cupcakes and Ice Cream Sundaes
I made the cupcakes with this recipe. I'm a pretty firm believer in only making desserts from scratch. Even though the recipe uses a cake mix, it's pretty amazingly delicious. I've made the recipe many times over the past 10 years and it's always good.
8:30 - 9:00 /// Opening Presents and Saying Goodbye
In case you are wondering, the hot gift items for 12 year old girls seems to be Bath & Body products and hair accessories.
As a little party favor, I wrapped up candy bars with paper and tags cut with my Silhouette.
This was such a great age because the girls were pretty independent, but still liked doing a lot of group activities.
What a night! I think I might still be recovering.