Ideas for Planning an 18th Birthday

Updated April 17, 2017

An 18th birthday is one that will be remembered as a milestone birthday, as it marks the beginning of adulthood. From moving away from home to attend college to being able to enlist in the military and being eligible to vote, turning 18 involves major changes. Planning an 18th birthday for your teen need not be overwhelming, but there are some ideas that you can adopt that will help make this birthday especially memorable.

Create Personalized Decorations

Use a graphics program like Photoshop (or the freeware alternative GIMP) to create your own personalised decorations using photographs of the recipient over the years. You can also use clip art (you can find free public domain clip art online) of birthday imagery with “Happy 18th Birthday (insert name)” intermixed with your other chosen graphics. Creating decorations that incorporate an interest or goal of the person can be a nice touch. For example, if you son is a violinist who has received an acceptance letter from Julliard for the upcoming year, consider creating decorations with a musical theme, including images of New York City and Julliard.

Family and Friend Participation

Most teens have a close group of friends who sometimes know them better than their own parents. From entertainment choices to selecting a menu, these friends may have insight into the birthday girl's favourite music, food or entertainment preferences. Ask them to help out by performing a selection of favourite tunes or putting on a funny skit at the birthday party. Many 18-year-olds have a fascination with musical performers. You can rent a karaoke machine for a birthday party at home, or you can rent out a restaurant or club that has a karaoke machine along with other pluses like a stage with lighting and sound equipment.

Coordinated Gift Selection

Since many 18-year-olds are preoccupied with the coming changes in their lives in the next year, such as college or their first apartment, a birthday party that helps to coordinate gifts can be ideal. Gifts that help him transition to this next step will demonstrate to him that his friends and family will always be there for him as he embarks on the “adult” phrase of his life. For instance, if he's preparing to head off to a university, then there are a lot of items he will need (and want). These items include bedding, decorative items and a new laptop to make his new dorm room digs more comfortable or at least make study time as painless as possible. Add a few “cool” CDs and DVDs for relaxing and hanging out with new friends.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.