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16 Best-Ever Birthday Ideas for Preteens

Be sure to make each of your preteens feel extra special on their birthday this year with these 16 best-ever birthday ideas for preteens.


  1. First Greeting-Find out from the child’s parent what time he’ll be getting up on his birthday. Then call and say, “I wanted to be the first person to wish you happy birthday!”
  2. Party-in-a-Box-Wrap an ordinary shoe box in birthday paper, keeping the top separate from the bottom so the box can be opened easily. Fill the box with enough balloons, streamers, hats, noisemakers, and individually wrapped cupcakes to provide a ready-made party for the birthday girl and her family. Top off the box with a bow and a card signed by you and each class member.
  3. Drive-by Birthday-Drop by the child’s house, ring the doorbell, and leave a balloon bouquet attached to a birthday card, an inexpensive toy, or coupons for the family to enjoy ice cream together. Make a quick getaway.
  4. Card-Blitz-Get church members to send homemade or store-bought cards to the child’s home every day for a week.
  5. Birthday Cheer-In your best cheerleader voice, lead the class in spelling out the birthday child’s name. Say: “Give me an A! Give me an N! Give me a D! Give me a Y!” Then end with a big hooray!
  6. Wall of Fame-Create a bulletin board with the birthday child’s photo, a birthday banner, a Scripture, balloons, and streamers. Gather around the board and lead children in a prayer of thanks for their special friend.
  7. Birthday Police-You’ll need Keystone Kops hats, fake noses, weird glasses, and an instant print camera. Go to the child’s home and give him a card and a small present. Take a picture of you and the birthday boy wearing the funny stuff; then take a picture of the child and his family wearing the funny stuff. Give the pictures to the family.
  8. Instant Party-In a large box or picnic basket, layer the following items to be used in the order you take them out of the box: on the bottom, treats for everyone to enjoy; next, a card and gift for the birthday child; then, one or two games kids can play; on top, decorations the whole class can use to decorate the room together. Then party!
  9. Gift Giving-Donate the children’s offering that Sunday in the birthday child’s name to one of your church’s favorite charities or missions. Have the birthday child lead the class in a prayer for the people who’ll be receiving the gift.
  10. Wild Waves-Have the birthday child stand; then have everyone wave enthusiastically and shout “Happy Birthday!”
  11. Surprize!-Keep a special box in your classroom and fill it with small, colorfully wrapped gifts. When a child has a birthday, let her choose a prize from the box.
  12. Song of Praise-Sing to the birthday person, but change the words of “Happy Birthday to You” to “We Praise God for You.”
  13. Birthday Helper-Let the birthday child be your special assistant for the day. Create a festive birthday emblem for the child to wear, using a banner, crown, button, or visor.
  14. Family Fest-Invite a child’s family to bring a snack, lead a game, or present a family hobby. A parent might also show a baby picture or tell something about the child’s first birthday.
  15. Birthday Buddy-Have the child whose birthday was celebrated last bring treats for the next child’s birthday. This helps kids learn to give and receive. Remind parents before their turn.
  16. Banner Day-Design a birthday greeting on fabric or poster board and hang it at the beginning of class. Have all the kids sign it. Then give it to the birthday person.

Compiled by Kathy Dieterich and Nancy Friscia.

Excerpted from Children’s Ministry Magazine. Subscribe today!


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16 Best-Ever Birthday Ideas for Preteens

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