Birthday Candles

Sophisticated Soirees

Birthdays are different when your child passes the age of 10. Tweens and teens want sophistication. Party themes go by the wayside, but a couple of fun crafts can make a sleepover special. For example, you could:

Make lip balm.

Just heat almond or coconut oil with beeswax. Stir the mixture until it’s smooth and pour it into small tins. Add color using powdered blush and scent using peppermint, almond, sweet orange, vanilla or lavender oil.

Go geocaching.

This “real world treasure hunt” utilizes GPS coordinates to search for hidden caches (a handheld GPS or smartphone with a geocaching app is needed). Go to to find caches in your area, or hide your own birthday-related treasures and give clues for deciphering coordinates. Have the final clue lead back to your kitchen for cake.

Set up a photo booth.

Cut out cardboard props. Find templates online or create your own cardboard hats, comic strip-style “bubble” conversations, hairdos and mustaches. Take photos with a cellphone or camera and borrow or buy a photo printer. Buy inexpensive frames and let each guest take home his or her photo.