Preteens such as 10-year-olds love to dance and move around but have become old enough to need an excuse. Throwing your preteen a disco birthday party certainly gives them that excuse. It also puts a very cool twist on the party and gives self-conscious 10-year-olds a reason to give into their sillier selves. These parties are also relatively easy to organise and pretty inexpensive.
The party area should be, in a word, shiny. Disco clubs were often blinding with the number of lights and reflective surfaces they held. Stay true to this theme by hanging shiny metallic streamers and strands of love beads down your walls.
Place twinkle lights in the mix to add a little extra sheen. Dust off your old lava lamps and scatter them around the room. You can also replace your regular light bulbs with coloured ones; mix primary colours for the best effects.
Make a mirror ball with spray adhesive, silver glitter and silver sequins and hang it from the ceiling. Rent a bubble machine and set it in the corner.
Instruct all of the guests to come dressed in their 1970s best: flares, fringed vests, platform shoes and plenty of chunky jewellery.
Throw on some disco music and dance. Show the kids how it's done and then let them make up their own routines. You can incorporate this into a game of musical chairs, too.
Hold a relay race that involves two teams. The first person in each team must put on a polyester leisure suit over his clothes and run to the next person. The next person must put on the suit and run to a third person. The fastest team wins.
Guests can also play retro games such as Twister and Telephone or have a hula-hooping contest and play charades.
Serve both retro-style food and some healthy snacks. Put out mini hot dogs, fish fingers and some cold meat salads and pita pockets next to healthy trail mix and fruit and veggie sticks.
Serve plenty of cold soda in cans (stay with classic style sodas; Pepsi Zero didn't exist in the '70s) and ice the tops of cupcakes with plenty of silver and clear edible glitter. If you also mound the frosting so it looks like a dome, your cupcakes should look like tiny disco balls.