*Disclaimer: I work for Joy Letters as a professional craft designer. I receive compensation and product from the company.*
Who in your house is emoji crazy? I recently received a sample package of Joy Letters’ latest product release of embroidered emoji patches and my tween daughter snapped them right up. These patches have a sticker backing and can be used like a sticker for paper projects or iron-on for longer term projects. I created the emoji bracelets for my daughter with them. You can get the full tutorial on the Creating with Joy blog. Wouldn’t they be a cute Emoji Party craft? Perfect for tweens! Here are a few of my favorite emoji party ideas. You can see more on my Emoji Party Pin Board.
Beth Watson’s Emoji Journals would be a huge hit at your tween’s emoji party. You can buy inexpensive notebooks, some Joy Letters, and then let the party begin!
Michelle Cummings’ Emoji Backpack is another easy emoji craft that would make a fun, emoji party idea. Backpacks can be expensive, but you can do the same project on some inexpensive, canvas totes or smaller backpacks to make this project budget friendly for a large party.
Tween parties can be a bit of challenge. The kids aren’t completely self-sufficient yet, but they still want some independence and privacy during the party. Here are some ways I’ve found a balance that seems to keep my daughter happy:
- Tweens want to do things for themselves, but can’t always accomplish cooking and crafting completely on their own. The last time my daughter had her friend over, they wanted to bake cookies. They were perfectly happy with me sitting in the family room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, and being available to offer advice when they asked and to help with the oven use. I just made sure that I didn’t join in their conversation, or seem like I was listening in. Read or watch TV, so that they don’t feel like they are your main focus.
- Go over rules ahead of time, and give rational reasons for the rules. Before my daughter’s friends come over, we talk about what I’m comfortable with them doing. Using the cookie example, I explained that I needed to be near by because they were dealing ovens and equipment that required safety procedures and I wanted to make sure they didn’t get burned or hurt. By explaining to my daughter that I was trying to keep her and her friend safe, she felt more at ease about why I was “hanging around”.
- Think about your tween’s feelings too! When I am around my daughter and her friends, I’ll make small talk if addressed, but I try to keep my interaction with them to the task at hand such as how to sift flour, or the best way to glue felt.
- Remember to keep your tween’s trust. If you want your tween to keep telling you about their life and their friends, don’t repeat anything they have told you about a friend who is present. Even something that seems pretty normal to you can betray trust. Most kids don’t want their friends to think they are telling their parents ANYTHING that they talk about so, if you bring up a topic, you can unknowingly “out” your child for sharing with you. (Of course, this rule goes completely out the window when we are talking about serious/dangerous behaviors that you get wind of.) Keep your small talk to things like the weather or ask about how school is going, but don’t bring up a topic unless they do.
- Finally, try to find activities that are easy for tweens to do completely on their own. Beth’s journals are a good example. All they have to do is stick the emoji patches on journals. You will, of course, be “around”, but they don’t need you to help them in any way. Allowing them to do things on their own is a great way to build self-esteem, so find ways they can work independently.
Navigating life with tweens is HARD and I’m not expert. Every family has different comfort levels and rules and I completely respect that! I just wanted to share what has been working for us lately. How about you? Do you have any tips for entertaining tweens? Please share them in the comments. I can use all the help I can get!
P.S. Want another tween craft? Check-out this cute memo board I created to *try* to keep my daughter organized and on schedule. (I’m funny, I know.)