Tips for a great party by American Girl

Happy 20th Birthday, American Girl Magazine!  American Girl is kicking off a yearlong celebration with a special Cover Contest where readers can enter to appear on the 2013 Best of AG special issue.  They're also starting 2013 with a birthday-themed issue (Jan/Feb 2013) featuring fun facts about American Girl readers and a special "Then and Now" section that looks back at how girls' lives have changed (or stayed the same) in the past 20 years.  Their special birthday issue has lots of tips and tricks for throwing the best birthday party ever.  Girls will enjoy tips for frosting cakes, ideas for one-of-a-kind snacks (I can't wait to try their Crispy Cake made with marshmallow rice krispy treats and candy sprinkles!), decorating do's and don'ts, and readers' birthday cake drawings.

You can purchase American Girl Magazine's birthday issue at, or subscribe to American Girl Magazine so your daughter doesn't have to miss a single issue. American Girl also has some fun birthday themed activities (check out the online invitation maker!) on the American Girl Magazine Play! section, as well as in the American Girl Magazine archive.  In addition, American Girl has given me some more tips that will help every girl plan and enjoy a successful birthday party:

1) Make the party list early.  For many girls, this is the toughest part of planning a party.  Make it easier by giving yourself time to think about it.  Review the list with your parents and then mail or email invitations.  Be sure to ask those girls you invited not to talk about the party around others who weren't invited.

2) Plan ahead.  Don't try to wing it during the party by thinking up activities as you go.  Keep in mind that if you're making a craft and using paint or glue, you'll want to finish early so that everything can dry before the end of the party.

3) Have a family plan.  Which rooms are off limits?  Make a plan for siblings and for pets, too.  Hint: If your siblings must be around the house that day, make them part of the party crew.  If your little sis is involved by taking coats or helping to serve food, she might be less likely to disrupt your party.

4) Make room for fun!  Put wastebaskets and recycling bins where they're going to be needed, such as next to the food table or craft table.  If you plan to use any equipment such as a DVD player, a speaker system, or a video-game console, make sure that it's working properly and that you know exactly how to operate it.  And be sure to remove any breakables.

5) Can't-miss crafts to make:

Thread assorted beads onto elastic cording and tie a double knot when the string fits around your wrist.  Instant friendship bracelets!
Knot fleece strips or ribbon pieces around hair elastics.  Instant hair accessories!

6) Can't-miss things to do:
  • Silly hair styling
  • Movies
  • Balloon volleyball
  • Scavenger hunt for things in magazines
  • Group singing games
7) Light the way.  Having a slumber party?  Put a night light in the bathroom, and keep hallways lit.  When your friends first arrive, give them a tour of the house so they know where everything is.

8) Make your own!  Sundae bars are always popular food treats.  You can also create make-your-own bars with toppings for:
  • Hot pretzel toppings
  • Tacos
  • Nachos
  • Popcorn
  • Mini pizzas
9) Always let sleeping girls lie.  Have a separate "snooze room" for girls who want to go to sleep.  That way, sleepy girls can go to bed while night owls can stay up and play.

10) For tons of fun mix-and-match party ideas, check out the special 20th birthday issue of American Girl magazine!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of the latest issue of American Girl Magazine.  Party tips (in italics) is provided by American Girl. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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