It is often difficult to spark the interest of a pre-teenager. It may be even harder to keep a group of 11-year-old boys entertained for a couple of hours. But with some creative ideas and activities designed to burn off energy, you can make your boy's 11th birthday a truly special occasion, all the while making a lifetime of memories.
Set up a tent, indoors or out, for a camping sleepover. Kids can tell scary stories with a flashlight under their chin. If it's a clear night and warm enough, kids can stargaze outside. Give them glow-in-the-dark necklaces and encourage them to play catch with a glow-in-the-dark ball or flying disc, which should be placed under the light before playing. Boys can make their own meal by roasting hot dogs on a stick over the grill and making s'mores. If you can't make a fire, help them make s'mores in the microwave. Serve cake early in the event, letting the boys can make the s'mores later at night, or substitute the sweet treat for a traditional cake. Carefully insert a candle inside the marshmallow part of the s'more for the birthday boy to blow out.
Call a roller-skating rink to see if it offers laser tag. If not, ask if you can bring your own gear. Once you've found a venue, rent a vest and a gun for each guest. This may be a cheaper option than going to a laser tag facility. Or rent gear to bring back to your home to play outdoors if you have a large space. Set up obstacles and hiding places, such as large cardboard boxes.
Take the boys out bowling for an 11th birthday party. Bowling centres often have a party room or area set aside for opening presents and eating cake. Some centres have extreme bowling on weekend nights, turning down the lights and turning on a strobe and coloured lights that make the interior seem more like a dance club than a bowling alley. Bring money to buy tokens in case the bowling centre has video games or an arcade room.
Some martial arts studios offer birthday parties, which provides an appropriate place for 11-year-old boys to burn off extra energy. The party may include one or more of the following: a martial arts display, introductory lessons, sparring and the opportunity to break a board. Studios usually provide a table and area to serve cake and other food and drink after the martial arts portion of the party. Talk to staff at the facility to check on any clothing requirements; kids generally can just wear comfortable clothes.
Have guests bring their favourite video games for the gaming system that you own or rent some. Borrow a gaming system that matches yours so you can have a video game tournament. Boys also can play board games, such as Risk, or group games, such as charades. Create lounging areas for ease of play using beanbag chairs or throw pillows on the floor. Serve finger foods that boys can easily eat while playing games.