My daughter turns 10 years old later this month. We threw an early birthday party over the weekend, before school ends and all of my daughter's friends disappear into their summer vacation. The weather cooperated, so we were able to celebrate outdoors. I don't think I could have handled a bunch of slap-happy fourth graders running through my house.
We kept the food simple:
hot dogs on the grill, watermelon, chips, and juice.
I organized a game, loosely based on The Amazing Race, and used different colored bandanas to divide the party guests into small groups. The teams each received a clue in a sealed envelope that required them to find additional hidden clues, which led to various challenges set up around our back yard (shoot 3 baskets, jump on the trampoline, correctly count a bunch of pennies, etc.)
The game ended with each team racing to finish a final puzzle. The teams got to pick prizes from a basket based on the order they finished, so the first team to solve their puzzle got first dibs, but everyone still received something.
I normally make a fancy decorated theme cake for my children's birthday parties, but my daughter just wanted her favorite cake this year. Some of her guests were dubious about such a plain dessert, but after trying a bite, declared it "Really good!"
Three birthdays down, one to go . . .
Dinner last night: pizza