Throwing a kids' mani-pedi party is a fun way for her and her friends to enjoy some kid-size pampering. Because many brands of nail polish and nail care products contain toxic ingredients including formaldehyde, phthalates and toluene, consider purchasing non-toxic brands such as Hopscotch Kids or Piggy Paint. Remember that not every step of a traditional manicure and pedicure is safe or necessary for every age group. Children under 12 years old, for example, don't need to be trimming their cuticles or handling powerful chemicals like nail polish remover that can cause burns and sores if applied to the skin or consumed, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
For Little Nails
Most 6- and 7-year-olds are more interested in how many different ways they can decorate their nails than in exfoliating their feet or moisturizing their hands. Set up several mini-stations with small card tables covered in white wrapping paper around your yard or even in your driveway. Make each station a separate step in the manicure process: polish removal, filing, painting and a station for nail stickers. Consider buying nail polish that peels off when it dries so mistakes are easier to correct and don't require handling nail polish remover.
Backyard Nail Salon
One of the perks of hosting a manicure and pedicure party for children outdoors is that the accidental spills and flecks of magenta nail polish are less of an issue on grass than carpeting. Erect a small tarp or tent if it's sunny and set up several plastic lounge chairs with a basin of warm water, a small loofah and towels along with an inexpensive mini-manicure and pedicure set. Purchase kit items such as toe-separators, nail files, cotton pads, nail polish remover and cotton swabs from a value store or dollar vendor. Don't forget to station a small trashcan between each pair of lawn chairs for the post-party clean-up.
If you have a sizable master bathroom and only have three or four older kids or tweens, turning your master bathroom into a salon-style spa can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to host a mani-pedi party. Dim the lights and let the girls soak their feet in the tub with scented candles in the background. Once they've scrubbed their feet and hands and removed their nail polish, turn on the lights and spread a clean, but old or inexpensive sheet on the floor. Have the girls sit in a circle on the sheet and place the manicure-pedicure supplies in the center.
If you're aiming for an authentic manicure and pedicure experience for your kids' party, there are plenty of companies that will either bring an entire recreational spa vehicle to your driveway or set up their entire shop -- staff included -- in your living room or finished basement. Fees and requirements vary by company, so definitely research the individual business ahead of time to see the requirements in terms of space, water/sink access, electrical outlets, etc.