Children's Parties

For the past 14 years, I have been hostess to my nephew's and 2 nieces' birthday party.  Because Jose was born on Feb. 22, then 3 years later, Natalie was born on Feb. 23, then 2 years later Jasmine was born on Feb. 24th, I was tasked to host a triple birthday party.
I am reflecting because now that they are all older, there are no more parties, just sleepovers now.

I like to say that I liked it better when I could choose the theme of the party, but as you know as kids get older, they want to have more say about the theme of their parties.
I am proud to say that I actually held a Lord of the Rings, Sponge Bob, My Little Pony party for about 24 kids (it was about 8 kids per child).
Other themes included:   Yu-Gi-Oh, Bratz, Nancy Drew, CSI, Science, Fear Factor, Minute to Win it and MANY, MANY MORE!!!
This included activities, games, and favors and sometimes some fun food.  I could get them all complete in 2 hours.

This is my 7 step recipe for a great kids party, I could have them in and out in 2 hours FLAT!!!

  1. ACTIVITIES
  2. FOOD
  3. GAMES
  4. PINATA
  5. CAKE
  6. GIFTS 
  7. GOODBYE!

1.  ACTIVITIES! (because no one arrives at the same time), it always includes party bags that the guests and birthday boy and girl make with their names on them and open them up and set them aside in a row. That way, anytime they make something, win something, or get something, there is somewhere to put it, and it will be ready to go at the end of the party.
Some of the activities include:
  • Necklace or bracelet making (Froot Loop, beads and pipe cleaners, beads on stretchy string, etc., depending on age)
  • Any foam crafts (frames, bookmarks, door hangers, etc.)
  • Sticker pictures from www.orientaltradingcompany.com
  • Journals ( they just decorate them with their names and other embellishments) made from small tablets wrapped with a sheet of cardstock
  • Temporary tattoos, I have a stamp set with washable markers
  • Have some GAK(cornstarch, water and food coloring) or slime out for playing
  • Any other small art project (spin art, color fuzzy pictures, scrapbooking page, etc.
  • Food Decorating (cookie, cupcake, oreo spiders, etc.)
  • Take a picture in a costume/ board with a hole in it according to theme (I've done Transformers)
2.  EAT!  Got to feed them!  Stick with kid friendly food, include some healthy alternatives and be sure to ask about allergies beforehand.

3.  GAMES! You can decide whether or not to give out prizes.  Sometimes the action of it all is fun enough, plus if everyone gets a party bag at the end of the event, you don't necessarily need to give out prizes too.
Here are some of the team games I have used:
  • Parachute (pop the popcorn, knock the ball out, make a mushroom, etc.)
  • Build the largest structure with toothpicks or raw spaghetti and gumdrops or marshmallows
  • Musical chairs, use foam squares to walk on, or pass the balloon until the music starts
  • Tangrams made of foam coreboard
  • Speed Stackers
  • Bop It
  • Charades
  • Tough Guy (hold a full sheet of newspaper in one hand by the corner at arm's distance and ball it up into a ball with only the hand holding the paper).
  • Dropping clothespins into a Mason jar
  • Oreo Cookie Stacking
  • Scavenger Hunt (Place clues on areas with more clues to send them to other places until they find the "treasure!"
  • Fear Factor, they roll a die and had to touch, sight unseen "body parts" (using canned lychees for eyes, cold, cooked spaghetti for brains, jello for guts, etc.)
  • Decorating cookies
  • Pin the tail on the Donkey~can be changed to ANYTHING
  • Memory game 
  • Guess the white powder (flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, cornstarch, powdered sugar)
  • Guess the mystery item in the paper bag by smell (coffee, jello, peanut butter, onions, orange, garlic, chocolate, etc.)
  • Foamboard Puzzles (I take those posters you can get at Walmart and glue them onto a foamboard and cut the board apart) that way you can cater to the theme!
  • Sticky Penny (predict how many drops of water will stay on a penny and record actual drops and figure out the difference to see how off people were)
  • Bean game ( give everyone 10 dried beans, have them randomly take some out of their envelope, approach another guest and ask, "Odd or Even?" If the guest answers correctly, they get the beans, if they are incorrect, they must give up the same number of beans.  Call time and whoever has the most beans at the end of the game, WINS!
  • Number brown paper bags 1-10 and place items in them and staple them shut.  Pass out paper and pencils and have them write 1-10 on their paper.  They will pass around the bags and guess what is in them, and write them down. The person who has the most correct, WINS!
  • Any MINUTE TO WIN IT GAME
  • RELAY RACES:
    • Pop the balloon on the chair 
    • Cooked spaghetti into a Mason jar 
    • Obstacle Course 
    • Cooked spaghetti into a Mason jar 
    • Pass the pretzel on your finger or a straw 
    • Plastic egg on a wooden spoon 
    • Car wash sponge or spoon with bucket of water 
    • 3 Legged race
    • Potato Sack race
4.  PINATA!
  • Have supplies: Blindfold, bat, rope, and party bags
  • Have helpers: Spinner, Holding audience back, Rope Puller
  • Set the rules:  Youngest to Oldest, Hit 3 times then turn is over, Stay behind the line
5. CAKE!
  • Themed cake
  • Cake in ice cream cups
  • Cookies
6.  GIFTS!
  • Have someone write names and gifts down for thank you notes
  • Have a garbage bag nearby for wrapping paper
  • Ensure the bday person thanks everyone each and every time
7. GOOD-BYE!
  • Bday person pre-packs a goodie bag that is tie wrapped so they can drop it into each of their guest's bag
  • Thanks guest for coming and for the present!
Seriously, if you have EVERYTHING under control, you can have them out in 2 hours.
If you have any questions, I will be glad to help you out with your next party!!!