Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Disco Themed Birthday Party!!

Preteens love to dance, preferably at home alone in front of the mirror. But invite a group of them to a disco-themed birthday dance with a funky seventies dress code, and they'll strut their stuff in public (even in view of the opposite sex). So crank disco CDs, and watch dance fever sweep the floor.

Pack the dance floor by sending out homemade invitations. To fashion one, cut miniature bell-bottoms out of an old pair of jeans. Glue them onto construction paper folded into cards, decorate with glitter glue, and write down all the party particulars, including a request to wear seventies gear (bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and leisure suits).

Create a Disco Dance Club by hanging silver and gold ceiling-to-floor streamers in your garage or family room. Rent a mirrored disco dance ball from a party supply outfitter (about $30) or make your own from a beach ball covered with reflective stickers.

Have a costume box on hand with seventies garb for the kids who thought they were too cool to dress up but wish they had when they see how much fun everyone else is having.

Set up a mini buffet beside the dance floor for grazing dancers. Since many middle schoolers actually think about eating healthy, put out stuff like carrots, celery, cheese sticks, grapes, and pita pockets that can be stuffed with cold cuts. Pack a cooler with sodas, fruit drinks, and bottled water. For dessert, dig into the Smiley Face cake.

Preteens don't need a structured party plan -- dancing all night to the infectious disco sounds will probably be enough. Still, we've provided a few classic seventies games just in case the music dies down.

DISCO PHOTO SESSION: Set up a painted board for guests to pose behind and take their picture with an instant camera before they step onto the dance floor. To make the board, paint a large piece of Fome-Cor (available at art supply stores) and glue on stars and a disco ball, both cut from aluminum foil. Paint on hip dancers and cut out face holes for posing guests.

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE: Invest in a few discount disco dance party CDs and the Saturday Night Fever sound track. Every party has cheerleader types who dance everywhere anyway, so let that crew get the party started with a few well-known dance tunes. Pretty soon, even the most die-hard dance-phobes will be out there shaking some booty.

TWISTER: Keep the seventies theme going off the dance floor with a game of Twister.

LEISURE SUIT RELAY: Even the coolest preteens still like to get goofy, so take a break from the dancing and step outside for a Leisure Suit Relay using the box of clothes you've collected. Divide the group into two teams and give each one a complete outfit. Each team member has to put the outfit over his or her own clothes, then run 15 yards and transfer the outfit to the next kid in line. The team that dresses and undresses first wins.

At club closing time (just before the parents arrive), take a group photo. Order multiple copies and write thank-you messages on the back.

Set up an area for kids to craft their own party favors. Buy cheap magnetic photo frames, glitter glue, tiny fake gems, and stickers and set the kids up to decorate frames for the Disco Photo Shoot photos. The magnets on the back will allow them to hang the pictures in their school lockers. While they're in craft mode, let them decorate pet rocks with fur and googly eyes to take home too.

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Disco Themed Birthday Party!!

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