This post is in partnership with Oh Happy Day Shop.
This month my oldest son, Aiden, turned 14. It’s such a big number to me that it took me awhile to get over his impending birthday, so it was planned a little quickly. Since he’s outgrown the parent-planned-party phase, I usually ask him what kind of party he wants. We’ve always veered away from character parties, but last year he had a Minecraft party and this year he chose Super Mario.
Super Mario Party Decor & Details
Aiden decided last-minute to have his party a couple of weeks before his birthday, so I was pressed for time. When I don’t have a ton of time I like to shop at the least amount of stores possible, so it’s great that Oh Happy Day Shop has such a wide range of items and they ship super quickly.
For the hero decorations I ordered the gold number balloons and gold mylar star ballons to add black washi tape to look like Mario stars. I swapped the store plastic ribbon to gold and natural twine. On the table is a blue chambray tablecloth that I picked up a couple of years ago, there is a similar one here. The serving dishes are part of the welcome dinnerware collection which matches the rest of my everyday plates and such. I also integrated the Mario theme into the rest of the party goodies by using cloud plates (sky backdrop), small yellow plates for dessert (coins), red and white spotted napkins (mushrooms), red dipped wood cutlery, and a plain white cake stand.
I had to turn his party around quicker than expected so I tried to limit the DIY projects I did for it. The straws I cut from colored cardstock and since I only needed a few, I asked for extra straws at Starbucks. These green paper cups were a perfect match for the green pipes in the Mario game. If I had more time I would have loved to order these solid green paper straws or even ordered these pre-made piranha plant straws. I made my own toppers with yellow fondant and a star cookie cutter, but these 3D Mario Toppers are amazing and definitely are another if-I-had-time-I’d-buy-item.
For food I really kept it simple with Annie’s mini pizza bagels in pepperoni and three cheese(matches the colors), sea salt pop chips (coins), a veggie platter (I swear teen boys will eat it), mini babybel cheeses (Mario hats?), and home made cupcakes with star toppers (I love Miss Jones mix!). The drinks are O Organics sparkling italian soda (Safeway) in blood orange and mixed berry flavors.
Tips for throwing a Teen Birthday:
- Keep the guest list small. I advise this with all of my parties. It really allows your child to spend quality time with their friends and helps ease your stress. Especially with teen boys, as they get older they tend to get much bigger but still aren’t aware of their size so it also helps to keep things more calm if they tend to get rowdy or run around.
- Let them pick the theme! While I now consult Aiden for his party theme, I try to guide him on something that might be easy, age appropriate, and perhaps activity specific.
- You’ll need lots of food. No matter what time of day you have the party, teens are always hungry. Always. I try to make sure I have twice as much food as I need which is a lot easier with the smaller guestlist.
- Be wary of your timing. Even though teens are older and can easily spend more time together, they still do get worn out. I try not to go over 3 hours at this age, as most of the time spent is the kids hanging out anyway.
- Activities aren’t necessary. At this age it’s easier to treat a birthday party as one big play date. Aiden’s big wish was to play Mario Party with his friends, so that was the activity. Otherwise they simply hung out and talked, listened to music, etc.
- Do. Not. Hover. Please, show your kids that you trust them more at this age. You don’t need to sit next to them or intrude on the party all of the time. I like to check in every now and then to do usual birthday activities like food, cake, and gifts. I also check in to be sure the party table is fully stocked with food and that they have everything they need, but I don’t like to hover right next to them or make them feel like I am eavesdropping.
Do you remember your birthdays as a teen? Do you have a teen you plan parties for? Any tips to add?
This post is in partnership with Oh Happy Day Shop, one of my favorites for party goodies (see the garden party here!). All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for helping to support the sponsors that make life here a little sweeter.