21 Fun Filled Tween Birthday Party Ideas And Games

Imagine your child walks up to you after a tiring, yet happy birthday party you have organized for him or her and says, “Thank you!”

Sounds ethereal, eh?

Well, you can make it real when you have some cracking tween birthday party ideas!

Tweens do not want to be treated as kids, but they aren’t mature enough to make decisions all by themselves. They are at an age that prods them to try something that they like, experience the freedom of choice, nurture their passions and of course, have a lot of fun. All said and done, a lot of research and planning goes into organizing a birthday party that is fun for tweens.

In this article, MomJunction gives you a list of the top birthday ideas and party games for tweens!

10 Best Tween Birthday Party Ideas For Girls And Boys

Why not try a themed birthday party that is reminiscent of your child’s favorite fictional character, color, superhero, singer, or subject? You can even plan a themed party that lets your child do what he or she loves to do the most. Check out these cool birthday party ideas that your preteen will fall in love with!

1. Pool Party

Where: At home or a hotel

You Will Need: Pool floats, swimming clothes (ask kids to get their own), lightweight balls

Fun games in the pool followed by delicious cake and snacks equals happy, smiling children at the end of the day.

Pool parties are just fun, more so for kids who love water. If you have a pool at home, organizing a tween pool party gets a lot simpler. Clean pool, decorations, pool floats, snacks, and cake are all you need to host a party at home. If you don’t have a pool at home, you can hire the YMCA pool or a hotel to host a poolside party for the kids.

Regardless of where the party is, ensure that the pool is clean and free of chemicals and other allergens. Most importantly, make sure that the kids are safe in the water, and your party will be a big hit with your child.

Pool Party


2. Pizza Party

Where: At home, in your dining or kitchen area

You Will Need: Flour to make pizza dough (or get pizza bases), pizza sauce and toppings, oven to cook (only adults will handle it)

Kids love pizza, so why not have a pizza party for your children? The fun part of a pizza party is that kids can make their own pizza together and eat it too! The party can take place at your home with minimal supplies like flour, pizza sauce, toppings, and cheese. Kids can design and decorate pizza pies as they want to, in teams, and share it with each other.

Plan it in such a way that kids have fun – you can get them all to make one big pizza, if you have the means or get them to make their own little mini-pizzas. Either way, they will leave the party with a full tummy and a happy face.

Pizza Party

3. Movie Themed Party

Where: At home

You Will Need: Ticket stubs, movie-theater styled popcorn tubs, 3D glasses

Here is another awesome tween party ideas! A movie themed party is fun, has popcorn, and sodas. If they have a favorite movie, his birthday party can revolve around it. Or, you can have a generic movie theme with fake movie ticket stubs, popcorn (real), sodas, and perhaps even fake 3D glasses for the fun of it.

You can plan this theme party a little early on and get custom invitations that look like movie tickets, which the guests should bring with them to enter the party zone! You can even plan the screening of a film that the kids might enjoy.

Fun, isn’t it?

Movie Themed Party

4. Get A Photo Booth

Where: At home

You Will Need: A rental photo booth, props like masks, hats, sunglasses, etc.

A photo booth at the tween’s birthday party will be a big hit. At their age, preteens just want to have fun, even if they have to be silly for it. And a photo booth will give them a chance to be just that – silly and cute. The photo booth just stands as an attraction, besides the cake and party games, and lets the kids have fun during the party.

Hire a photo booth well in advance for the event. Also, keep a few props like wigs, masks, hats, etc., which the kids can use to make funny pics. The pics also make excellent thank you notes.

Get A Photo Booth

5. Go On An Outing

Where: In the city

You Will Need: Camera for clicking pics, a map

Another cool way to celebrate your tween’s birthday is plan an outing for her and her friends. This idea, may not work for a larger group unless you have other parents to help you. Plan an outing on a non-school day and take the kids to fascinating places like parks, museums, malls, or amusement parks in the city.

Or you could bring them into a big city like New York City or Los Angeles, anything that is just an hour’s drive from your place. Plan to have lunch at a cool restaurant, buy them something nice at a mall, and more.

Go On An Outing


6. Garden Party

Where: At home

You Will Need: Lights for decorating the garden, tables, cushions, mats to sit, etc.

An outdoor party is more fun than an indoor one. If you have a garden with sufficient space, why not plan a garden party with outdoor games for tweens? You can have an evening party when the garden can be decked up with colorful lights. You can have tables and chairs for a party dinner, have a birthday bonfire with an S’mores station that has marshmallows, skewers, chocolate, and more. That, plus cake and maybe pizza, will make the party a lot of fun for your tweens.

Garden Party

7. Rock Star Party

Where: At home

You Will Need: Microphone and sound system

If your tween loves music, a rock star party can be a cool birthday theme. Kids not only get to dress like their favorite rock stars or singers, but also get to showcase their talent and sing their favorite numbers. Besides the decoration that goes with the theme, you will also need a microphone and a simple sound system to make the party musical and fun. Kids can pick their favorite songs, not necessarily rock, and sing one at a time or as a band while the others enjoy the cake.

End the party with a dance floor in the living room where the kids can dance and sing to their heart’s content.

Rock Star Party

8. Let’s Get Artsy Party

Where: At home

You Will Need: Art supplies, paper, sheets

Tweens like to be creative, so why not have an art party for their birthday? An art party is more than just a few crayons, sketches or sheets of paper. If you want to make the party memorable, let your kids learn art in a fun and interesting way. You could find ways to teach them about it yourself, or hire a professional who can teach the kids to draw or sketch in simple ways that they can remember.

Let’s Get Artsy Party

9. Party at The Spa

One of the fabulous birthday party ideas for tween girls to keep them entertained! A slight touch can make them look gorgeous.

Where: At home

You Will Need: Makeup kit, nail polish, etc.

One of the best spa party ideas for tween girls! Turn your home into a spa for the evening, where your tween girl and her friends (not just girls) have an appointment to get pampered in luxury. With the help of a friend or another parent, you can give the kids a manicure, feet massage, paint their nails, and even style their hair. You can go up a notch by giving them a facial with a natural/organic face pack. You can make the party fun by letting them apply the pack themselves, and rest for a bit with cucumber slices on their eyes!

Party at The Spa


10. Candy Shop Theme

Where: At home

You Will Need: Different varieties of candy, jars, or bowls

Tweens may not exactly be kids, but they sure do love candy. A candy shop themed birthday party will never be a bore for them. Plan a party where kids get to choose any candy they want to eat. Deck the party area with candy colors – pink, light blue, green, red, and white – place the candy jars (see through) or bowls on the table and let the children help themselves. You can also order a candy themed cake to go with it.

A word of caution – children can get carried away and eat more candy than they can handle. So keep an eye on the kids and do not let them over-indulge.

Candy Shop Theme

11 Amazing Tween Birthday Party Games And Activities

No tween party is complete without games. To make the party exciting and entertaining, try these games to play at a birthday party– your tweens and their friends will have a grand time!

1. Marco Polo

Are you searching for pool party games for your tween and her friends to have fun? Marco Polo is an enjoyable game that you can get the tweens to play during a pool party.

Number Of Players – 10 or more

You Will Need: Swimming pool, cloth for blindfolding

How To Play:

  • Choose one person to be “it”.
  • He or she is blindfolded and has to tag other people.
  • ‘It’ calls out ‘Marco’ and the players have to respond with a ‘Polo.’
  • If ‘it’ succeeds in tagging a player, then that player becomes ‘it’.
  • You can play this game for as long as you want.
Marco Polo

2. Back to Back Water Balloon Race

Back-to-back games are fun as it is. But what if we throw a water balloon into it? Try this fun tween birthday game and find out.

Number Of Players – 10 or more

You Will Need: Water balloons

How To Play:

  • Divide the kids into teams of two. You can pair them according to height, for ease of playing.
  • Give each pair a water balloon.
  • On “Go”, the pair has to pick a water balloon, hold it between their backs – without pressing it too hard – and race towards the finish line.
  • The pairs have to reach the finish line without bursting or dropping the balloon. If the balloon bursts, they have to go back to the start, retrieve another balloon, and begin all over again.
  • The pair that finishes first wins.
Back to Back Water Balloon Race

3. Line Up

Line Up is one of the best birthday party games for tweens. It is a fun energizer that you can play on the lawn or a room with ample space.

Number Of Players – 10 or more

You Will Need: A lot of space

How To Play:

  • Ask all the tweens to stand in a random order at first.
  • When you say “Line up in the order of…”, the kids have to rearrange themselves quickly to form that order. You can ask them to line up according to their height, alphabetical order, the number of siblings, age, birthday months, and so on.
  • Give them only a minute to rearrange themselves – that makes it more fun to play.
  • It also forces them to think fast and have fun – when they do arrange themselves – let them cheer for themselves and reward them with cake and treats.
Line Up


4. Knight’s Tale

Knight’s Tale is a role playing game that takes the tweens back into the medieval times.

Number Of Players – 10 or more

You Will Need: A lot of space, with hiding areas

How To Play:

  • Pick a few kids to play the role of knights, princesses, shield, and wanderers. Do not reveal the identity of the princesses to the knights.
  • You will need two princesses, four knights, and one shield. The remaining players are wanderers.
  • The two princesses have to hide from the rest of the players, especially the knights, who have to find them.
  • If a wanderer finds a princess, she has to stay in the same place while the wanderer informs the knight. They cannot, however, reveal the name of the princess.
  • The knights must go to the princess before the other knights to win the game.
Some ground rules to make the game interesting:
  • The kids should not spy – it ruins the game.
  • No one should guard the princesses.
  • Knights have to find the princesses in set time.
  • Every knight has some dedicated wanderers.
  • Knights can fight each other for the princesses (no violence, though)
Knight's Tale

5. Crazy Baseball

Crazy Baseball is a fun version of baseball, which you should play outdoors. You can get creative with these birthday party activities for your tweens.

Number Of Players – 12 or more

You Will Need: Baseball bats, tennis racquets, hockey sticks, and other bats, balls – ping pong, baseball, tennis ball, etc., and a die.

How To Play:

  • First, come up with a list of six funny ways a kid can hit a ball. You can create a set of rules, such as:
  • Sing a romantic song and hit a tennis ball with a basketball.
  • Jump up thrice and kick a football with your left leg.
  • Do a dance routine and hit a baseball with a tennis racquet.
  • Assign a number to each of these rules.
  • Have the field ready – in your backyard, or a baseball field or any other place where there is space to play and mark the bases.
  • Designate one person to be the pitcher – one of the adults can take up this job.
  • Ask each kid to roll the die. They have to do the designated task based on the number they get.
  • Get all the kids to do it.

The more creative you get with the tasks, the more fun this game will be for the tweens.

Crazy Baseball

6. Gift Grab

Gift Grab is an excellent way to start the party and get the tweens into fun mood.

Number Of Players – All the guests

You Will Need: Some gifts, depending on the number of kids at the party, two decks of playing cards

You can get small, inexpensive gifts from the dollar shop and have them wrapped for this game.

How To Play:

  • Place all the gifts on a table in the center.
  • Ask the kids to gather around the table, but keep a distance of at least five feet from it.
  • Take one deck of cards and give each boy or girl one card. Distribute all the cards among the participants. Some may get more than the others.
  • Shuffle the other set of cards and call out the card you pick. Every time you call out a card, the kid with a matching card from the first deck will go and choose a gift.
  • Once all the gifts on the table are over, kids are free to ‘grab’ the gift from another person, when they get a matching card.
  • At the end of the second deck, those with the gifts get to keep them.
Gift Grab

7. Balloon Stick

The game is fun to play but needs the parents to prepare ahead.

Number Of Players – 10 or more

You Will Need: A baseball bat or a stick, balloons with prizes or toffees in them

How To Play:

  • Blow balloons with gifts in them – a candy bar, a small rounded toy, anything that stays in without bursting the balloon.
  • Take one balloon and stick it to the floor using tape, so that it won’t move from its position.
  • Pick one player and blindfold him or her.
  • Give them a stick and ask them to beat the balloon using it.
  • The player who can burst as many balloons as possible in a minute wins.
Balloon Stick

8. Love, Like, Hate

One of the amazing tween boy birthday party ideas! Love, Like, Hate is a pool game that acts as an icebreaker. It is an energizer and helps the kids to know each other better.

Number Of Players – 12

You Will Need: Swimming pool

How To Play:

  • Pick one person to be ‘It’. ‘It’ stands at one end of the pool and the other three sides are three people – Love, Like, and Hate. Besides ‘It’, all other players stand at the ‘love’ side of the pool.
  • ‘It’ calls out a few things or activities that come to their mind, and everyone else has to move towards either love, hate, or like.
  • As the others move, ‘It’ has to tag one person midway, and that person becomes ‘It’.
Love, Like, Hate


9. Tall Tower

Who can build the tallest tower in the room? Tweens can compete for this fun birthday party game played with balloons and tape.

Number Of Players – 12

You Will Need: A lot of balloons, tape, a balloon pump.

How To Play:

  • Divide the participants into different teams. Let each team have at least four people.
  • Give them a pack of balloons (each pack should have at least 20) with equal numbers, some tape, and an air pump to blow balloons.
  • Give the players 15 minutes each to blow as many balloons as they can and build the tallest towers with the balloons, using the scotch tape.
  • The team that builds the tallest balloon tower wins.
Number Of Players

10. Head Pop

A fun game to play, and even funnier to watch. Your tweens will be laughing through the game!

Number Of Players – 12

You Will Need: Balloons of two different colors (around 20 for each color), two caps or hats with pins or needles sticking out of them on the top.

How To Play:

  • Divide the guests into two teams.
  • Tie the balloons at different heights – high enough to make the kids jump to head them. You can also have a few balloons at ground level, and vary the height each time.
  • Assign one color to each team.
  • Two players, one from each team, wear the hat or cap and try to burst as many balloons as they can with their head. Each player gets 15 seconds to do so.
  • A new player from the team tries to pop the balloons every 15 seconds.
  • The team that bursts all the balloons assigned to them, wins.
Head Pop

11. Candy Corn Stack

Candy Corn Stack is a minute-to-win game. It is a skill/competitive game for tweens – that ends with a lot of candy corn for them!

Number Of Players – 10 or more

You Will Need: Lots of colorful candy corn, preferably the ones with yellow at the wider end

How To Play:

  • Divide the candy corn into equal portions in different bowls.
  • Give each player a bowl of candy corn and give them each a minute to stack the candy corn into corn cobs.
  • Give each player one minute to stack as many candies as they can to form the biggest sweet corn cob, as the others cheer them on.
  • There are no prizes – each player can keep the candy he or she uses to make the cob.
Candy Corn Stack

Your tween girl or boy gets to try a lot of new activities and ideas through these fun birthday games, in addition to having fun. These games are simple and easy to organize, and won’t be too heavy on the pocket either. So how about trying them for your preteen’s next birthday and see them brimming with happiness, running into your arms, and thanking you for giving them an amazing time?

Have more ideas for tween birthday party games? Share them with us here.

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