It’s official. As of this month, I have no more children – only teenagers. It’s a weird feeling for sure. The days of elaborate Harry Potter re-creations, building a spy training center in the yard or decorating my basement like a 1980s disco are over.
Yet in a season that has held more disappointments than any year should, we are not going to miss a single chance to celebrate. Teenagers want to feel special and loved on their birthday as much as any of us so here are a few ways to make your teen’s birthday memorable.
Big, splashy decorations
You can order one of those giant yard signs that are suddenly all the rage, but there are easy DIY options too. Giant tissue paper flowers take a little patience but are bright, beautiful, and festive. Balloons are fun for any age, so how about waking up to a wall of balloons covering their bedroom door or a sea of them floating on their ceiling? Just tie each balloon knot to strings of different lengths and hang from the door frame or ceiling with removable tape. Tissue paper signs are also inexpensive and simple to make. Just use the eraser end of a pencil to shape 2-inch squares of tissue paper and glue the center of each to letters or shapes cut out of cardboard.
DIY Escape Room
Creating an escape room at home has the extra advantage of flexibility. You can make puzzles easier or harder depending on who is playing, complete the challenges multiple times in teams if you have a large group, and of course, keep your budget in check. With a little advance planning, you can even do it remotely via Zoom or FaceTime if everyone can’t get together in-person. Pinterest offers a wealth of ideas for a total DIY, or you can order a complete print-and-play game for just a few dollars.
Pics or it didn’t happen! If teens today had a motto, this would be it. Taking a picture isn’t just to remember the fun. Often, it IS the fun. Take advantage of their selfie obsession with fun props, accessories, and frames made from foamboard or a simple backdrop.
Getting actual paper letters delivered to your door is a special treat that does not happen often anymore. How exciting would it be for your teen to get five or ten envelopes addressed to them every day for a week? Their face might not show it, but I guarantee they will feel the love. Plan ahead to have friends and family mail their cards or letters on the same day so that your teen’s mailbox is overflowing with messages all at once.
I have yet to meet a teenager who isn’t hungry. All. The. Time. Food is definitely the way into even the moodiest, sassiest teen heart. Plan something suited especially to the tastes of your teen. My oldest is not a fan of cake so one year, he asked for a dessert bar instead. We made his five favorite deserts and invited friends to share the delicious spread. Pizza is her favorite? Arrange a make-your-own pizza bar with naan bread crusts and a selection of toppings, sauces, and cheeses. For the more sophisticated teen, an afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, scones, and real clotted cream might be perfect. Why not? This is a celebration!
How do you celebrate your teen’s birthday at your house? Drop your ideas in the comments!