Summer Olympics Party

About:

I don’t usually watch sports on TV, but when I do it’s either the most interesting thing happening at a restaurant or the Olympics. I am SUPER excited for opening ceremony of the summer Olympics this year. This will be fun for a formal birthday party or just the neighborhood kids playing together. This is going to be a super long post with a variety of activities for just one event. Feel free to mix and match the events rather than playing all of the events.

Before you Start:

Before you start the games, you should look around your yard and house to see what materials you already have. You don’t want to go broke putting on the Olympics (if only most countries followed that advice). Read the games below to get an idea of what activities could be done and create a spread sheet of the activities you want to play. The spread sheet should have 4 columns: activity, bronze medals. silver medals, and gold medals. When playing the activities, you should write down an abbreviation for the country so that you can quickly fill it in such as U.S. for the United States, C. for Canada, and A. for Australia. This will help you better conduct the awards ceremony at the end of the games.

Events:

1: Country Selection:

Have the kids break up into teams to begin with. Have them pick a country other than their home country because you don’t want to have the groups fighting to represent their home country.You can even have them make up their own countries.

Once they have decided what country they want to represent, hand out something the kids can decorate to represent what team they’re on such as a bracelet ($7 for two dozen) or bandana ($13 for a dozen). Use sharpies, acrylic paint, or fabric markers to decorate. The kids should make it look like the country’s flag or a symbol of their made up country.

If the kids decide to make up their own countries, then you should have them talk about it. For example, let’s say that the kids decide to make up a country called Fluffernutter. What are the national colors of Fluffernutter? Do they have any symbols? What is their top export? What language do they speak? It’s pretty fun!

Once you’ve done this, then the games can officially begin!

2: H-O-R-S-E:

You’ll need a blacktop, a basketball hoop, and a basketball to play this game.

You can do this so that every team goes once and picks a representative to play in the ultimate match up or you can have this be one big game of H-O-R-S-E between all of the countries. Obviously, the first version of the game will take longer.

H-O-R-S-E starts out when an order has been created for the group to play in. The first person makes the first shot. Encourage them to make a challenging shot. Have the player announce the rules to his or her shot. For example they would say “I’m shooting with my eyes closed” if they were going to shoot the ball with their eyes closed. The first person should successfully make the ball go in the hoop. If he or she misses, then they go to the back of the line and the person behind them makes a shot.

Everyone must make the same shot and get the ball into the hoop. If someone misses, then they receive a letter. Once they’ve received enough letters to spell horse, then they are out of the game and should sit on the sidelines to cheer his or her team on.

If you’re playing with mixed countries, then you should play until there are three players left. When the third player gets out, then mark down that his or her country is receiving the bronze for that sport. When the second player gets out, mark down that that country won the silver. The person left standing won the gold.

If you’re going to decide who’s the best from each country, then you should play the game fully until you have one winner from each country. Those players should face off. If you only have 2 countries in your Olympics, then you should take the top 2 from the in-country rounds and put them together so that you have 4 people competing. When the third player gets out, then mark down that his or her country is receiving the bronze for that sport. When the second player gets out, mark down that that country won the silver. The person left standing won the gold.

3: Backyard Gymnastics:

You’ll need a can of lawn paint spray for this ($7.50 on Amazon) or a balance beam.

If you’re going to play this game, then you’ll need to prepare in advance so that you can let the paint dry. Paint a straight, even stripe on a flat section of your lawn like a pretend balance beam. Olympic sized balance beams are 16 feet long by 4 inches.

Players of the game must do a series of tasks that get harder to do in 3 rounds: Easy, Medium, and Hard. The competition will knock contestants out to award the countries medals at the end.

In the Easy section you should instruct the kids to do 1-3 maneuvers. Whatever you decide, you should keep that many maneuvers in the game per round. Any kid who misses all of those or two of those maneuvers should be unable to compete in the next round and should cheer his or her countrymen on. All of the gymnastics should take place on the balance beam line. Easy gymnastics could include doing a cartwheel, walking backwards, hopping on one foot, and doing a leap.

Medium gymnastics would include doing things such as a double cartwheel, hopping on one foot backwards, and doing the Cotton Eye Joe dance across the balance beam. You may get your bronze medal contestant during this phase.

Hard gymnastics doing a triple cartwheel, a one handed cartwheel, and doing a hand stand for the longest amount of time. The gold medal winner is the person who can complete all of the tasks. Ties are allowed.

4: Tennis:

To set up for the tennis relay race, you’ll need as many tennis rackets or bat mitten rackets, and tennis balls as there are teams. If you don’t, then you’ll need to time each team and have them go one at a time. Put a cone a rather far way away from where the kids will line up (such as a yard or two away).

Have the kids form one line per team. Give each person at the front of the line a racket and a ball. They must balance the ball on the racket as they walk to and around the cone. They must keep it balanced when they hand it off to a teammate. If the ball falls, they have to do a jumping jack and then retrieve the ball. The fastest team to finish gets the gold medal. Second fastest gets the silver medal and so on and so forth.

5: Pool Events:

These events (there can be more than one) simply require a pool. You can have swimming races using different strokes, pool dancing (although that would be highly subjective), and dive contests such as cannonball and bellyflop contests. Just let everyone know in advance that they’ll be swimming and should bring a bathing suit. This should be the last event before the awards ceremony if you decide to include it.

6: Track Race:

No track actually needed. Create a start line and a finish line that are a good distance apart. You can bracket the kids so that one kid runs at a time per country. The kid that finishes first in that race will then move on to another round. Go through all of the kids in the first round before moving onto the next round. Repeat again with 2-3 kids running at a time until you have clear gold, silver, and bronze winners.

7: Soccer/ Football:

You don’t need anything fancy to have a mini soccer game. You just need a ball, something that the balls can be caught in whether it is a net or an old basket of some sort, and at least 2 teams. Keep the goals a good distance apart from each other. Bracket the groups as that they’ll each have to play each other at least once. The group that scores 5 goals first wins and moves on to the next round.

8: Awards Ceremony:

Time to find out which country won the Olympics this year. Make sure that you’ve done all your medals calculations and have noted memorable people or moments in advance. Gather the teams around you. Praise them for doing their best and having fun representing their countries. You can read out which country (and/or person who won the medal for their country) was awarded which medal. Then tell them the total tally of how many gold medals, silver, and bronze each country won. Tell them who won the gold medal count, silver count, bronze count, and total medal count. Clap and award them with some snacks.

Finding Dory Riddle Hunt

About:

I saw “Finding Dory” with my friend last month. I’ll admit it: I almost cried a couple of times. Thank you, Pixar. Just like Dory was on a search for her parents, we’ll send the kids on the search for the missing school of fish. They should be able to each take a fish home at the end of the party. The estimated cost is about $22 assuming that you have a printer at home and this activity may take 5-15 minutes to play. This game will work well for kids 6+ who can read. You should still watch over them to make sure that they can follow the clues correctly.

Optional: You can put little trinkets or candies at the bottom of poem as a reward for finding the next clue. 

Materials Needed:

  1. Plush fish. I found a dozen rainbow clownfish for $17, but I also found a dozen less expensive fish on the same website. Expect to pay at least $1.00 per plush fish
  2. tape to put up the rhymes (consider using painter’s tape to hang the images and rhymes on the walls when playing indoors).
  3. a printer to print out the rhymes
  4. a bucket or basket to put all of the fish in once found ~ $5

Instructions:

Print out the clues with their images and tape them around the house. They should follow logically (ex clue x, clue y, and clue z) rather than randomly placing the clues around the house so that the kids have to back track over old clue spots.

Each child should go home with a plush fish at the end of the riddle hunt.

Story:

Dory’s friends are missing. They were all in school when she last saw them and they may still be schooling. Do you think we can help her? (Wait for a cheer from the children) More enthusiasm! Do you think we can help her? (Get a louder cheer out of the kids before starting to read the first clue).

Our first clue is from Dory who wrote: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

Clues and answers:

1: Dory: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce, the shark, knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

2: Bruce: “Fish are friends, not food/ Sorry, kids, I’m not in the mood/ Ask Dory’s clownfish mate/ i think I’m sick after something I ate”

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3:Marlin: “Dory has too many friends/ Her list of friends never ends/ Nemo knows more than I/ And when you see him, tell him his dad says hi”

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4: Nemo and his friends: “Schooling is so much fun/ But when in school there’s work to be done/ we learn, eat, and play all day/ ask our teacher, the manta ray”

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5: Manta Ray: “My class left at about two-thirty eight/ they said they all had to go to a playdate/ do you all know where the fish like to play?”

mr_ray

6: Reef: “Us fish who like to play all day/ Are sad because we have no where to stay/ Won’t you take us home with you/ and none of us will ever be blue!”

australiagreatbarrierreeftourfishandcoral

Detective

About:

This fun sleuthing game works well for tweens, teens, and adults. You can play it at detective parties or really at any party that doesn’t have a main theme. The game is free to play and may take 5-10 minutes per round.

Materials Needed:

  1. a space to play the game

Instructions:

Have the group designate a detective who will leave the room and try to figure out who the trapper is. While the detective is out of the room, the group or host will pick the trapper, which is kind like a murderer.

The trapper will murder people by winking at them, but he or she has to do it as covertly as possible. When a guest is winked at, then he or she must fall or sit to the floor in a dramatic action.

The detective only has 2 guesses at who the trapper is.

Doubloon Hunt

About:

Argh! A little parrot told us that ye was going to have a pirate pool party! No? Well, even if ye ain’t this is a fine game to play. It costs about $16 for 10 kids and how long it keeps the kids entertained may vary. It may take 5-10 minutes for the kids to play depending on how many kids are playing (the more kids, the less time this activity will take up). This is fun for ages 6+.

Materials Needed:

  1. A pool
  2. Possibly a lifeguard
  3. Plastic doubloons (a pack of 144’ll cost about $6 not including shipping off of Amazin)
  4. Optional: nets or mesh bags to put the coins into while they collect them – expect about $1 per small, mesh, jewelry bag from the craft store . If not, you may want to put each child’s name on duct tape by the pool and show them where their names are. They can then pile up their treasure at their designated spots.

Instructions:

Before the party, let the other parents know that this is a pool party in which the kids are expected to bring a change of clothes and goggles. Goggles will make the game easier.

Make sure that the pool you are using won’t get damaged if the small, plastic coins are in them. If you’re using somebody else’s pool, then make sure that the game is okay with them before putting it into your itenerary.

With or without the kids watching, poor the Duobloons into the pool at various sites so that the coins are spread out. Wait a minute or two before by telling the kids the story and letting them jump into the pool.

This is the point where it’s good to have a life guard to watch the kids. The kid that brings up the most coins wins. You can let them keep their bags of booty or have them empty it out to start again.

Story:

Who here knows what a Doubloon is? (Wait for answers. See if anyone gets it right).

A doubloon is a Spanish, gold coin that was used as money when Spain was colonizing the Americas. Pirates liked to steal the Spanish doubloons, but if there was a problem or they weren’t good pirates, their stolen booty would end up scattered all over the ocean floor.

I heard a rumor that some of Blackbeard’s (or preferred pirate) treasure is floating around this pool! Let’s see who can get the most.

No running, pulling other players’ hair or sinking them down, or stealing from their bags (or piles). Ready! Set! Go!

Movie Singalong

About:

You can frankly do this with any musical movie, but for the purpose of this post we’re going to talk about using “Frozen.” We all want the kiddies to let it go, but it’s kind of like having pizza day every day. It starts off great, but you never want to see it again after a full week of eating pizza. Frankly, this activity is so simple that you may have wondered why you didn’t think of it in the first place. This DVD costs about $17-26 to buy off of Amazon or see the budget-conscience plan below. The benefit of this is that the kids’ll be entertained for an hour and 50 minutes. The down side is that with a movie as popular as “Frozen” there will likely be fights over who gets to sing what. You can either let the children sing all of the songs together or make a sign up sheet so that each kid chooses one song to sing. You may also want to let the birthday child sing his or her favorite song solo.

If you like this idea, please let us know!

Materials Needed:

  1. The special sing-a-long version of the DVD
  2. a sign up sheet
  3. Optional stuff to make it awesome: inflatable or regular microphones (A dozen is about $8 off of Amazon)

Instructions:

Frozen has 7 songs (not including Christophe’s goofy song “Reindeer are Better than People”). The songs include: Frozen Heart, Do you Wanna Build a Snowman?, For the First Time in Forever, Love is an Open Door, Let it Go, In Summer, and Fixer Upper. Divide up the number of party guests so that there are 2-4 slots for every song. Let the party guests figure out what song they want to sing and write their names next to one of the songs. Keep in mind that it may be better for the kids and your sanity if you let younger kids sing all of the songs.

Start the DVD and pause it before each song. Call up the children that signed up to sing and hand them a microphone (if you bought them). Let them sing the lyrics that appear on screen. Pause the movie when they’re done and encourage applause.

Budget-conscience plan:

To save money, you can just gather the kids around a smart TV with Youtube access or a large computer with internet access. Use a youtube account to compile a playlist of “Frozen” songs (that come with lyrics) and use this instead of the DVD.

Catch Them All Game

About:

The go-to DIY pokémon party game is pin the tail on the pikachu game. It’s similar to pin the tail on the donkey. You can do this or you can have the kids try to catch them all. This is more of a pin the pokéball on the pokémon game. It’s relatively easy to set up.

Materials Needed:

  1. a poster board
  2. glue
  3. printed images of the pokémon below
  4. the same amount of printed pokéballs as there are children coming to the party

Instructions:

Print out 5 of the images below and cut them out. They should be different sizes. Lay the different pokémon out on the poster board until you see a layout that you like. Then glue them into place. Write different values under each pokémon from 100-500 to make the game more interesting. 500 point pokémon should be hard to catch and should be anything that looks like a dragon down below.

Next, print out enough pokéballs for everyone. You can also make them out of construction paper, but that’s a lot more work than just printing pokéballs out. You write each child’s name on each pokéball.

pokeball_by_atomicrat2552-d6zxrdv

Right before you play the game write or have the children write their names on their pokéballs. Have them form a line to play the game. Ask them what pokémon they’re aiming for. Just like pin the tail on the donkey, blind fold the child whose turn it is. Spin them around 3 times and set them on the course to pin the pokéball on the pokémon.

If you try this activity out, let me know how it goes!

Pokémon Go Party

About:

A Pokémon Go Party is really just hanging out with friends who also own the Pokémon Go, but calling it a party makes it much more fun. This party is more of movable feast for you and your friends (or your child’s friends) to get out and explore the neighborhood safely.

Decide to meet at someone’s house or a pokéstop such as a safe, indoor mall and see how many people are up for wandering around. Make sure to set up spotters. No, they don’t spot pokémon for you. The spotters should be the friend to tell you to get out of the middle of the road while you’re pokémon hunting. Not everyone sees the same pokémon at the same spots. This can vary based on level.

Check out the ideas below and please let me know what you think!

Things to Pack (print and cross out all that apply):

  1. phone
  2. phone chargers
  3. a small cooler filled with cold water (dehydration is serious, but feel free to sneak other things in there.)
  4. a bag filled with some sort of snack (see snacks below)
  5. pokémon team pride (see below the snacks)

Possible Themed Snacks:

Oran berries– pack handfuls or so of blue berries in snack sized packages labelled oran berries. Keep them somewhere that they won’t get smooshed.

Dried Pinap Berries– Pokémon has a berry called the pinap berry, which looks a lot like pineapples. Even the name sounds like pineapple! Buy some dried pineapple from the store (I personally like Trader Joe’s line) and tell the members of your party that its dried pinap.

Dried Cheri Berries– Cheri berries kind of look like cherries. Why not just pick up dried cherries from the store? Tell guests that its dried cheri berries. You can even mix the two together.  If you’re noticing a pattern here and want to use your own local dried fruits then you should check out the image below. There are so many different types of berries that you can mix and match to your local offerings. Just be careful not to mix too many different types of berries or else the kids (or guests) will see right through your poké berry rouse. montage-berries

Moo moo milk– moo moo milk is sold in any game where miltanks can be found. It was first introduced in the jhoto region. So far Pokémon Go only has Kanto region pokémon, but it’s a festive treat. Just keep it cold while you’re out and about. Instructions in video.

Poffin– based off of the poffins used to increase a pokémon status boosters for competitions. Only for the paking inclined. Instructions in video.

Pokeball cake pops– only for the baking inclined. Instructions in video.

Pokemon Team Pride

Pokémon Go consists of 3 teams: Team Valor (red), Team Mystic (blue), and Team Instinct (yellow). Each one of these has the mascot of one of the 3 original mythical Pokémon that you could catch in all of the Pokemon Blue, Red, and Yellow games. If you’re having a more formal party or if you’re going to have everyone come to your house beforehand, then you might want to consider having people create their own team swag.

pokemongo_teams

Not all friends are part of the same team. For instance, I’m on Team Mystic and one of my best friends is on Team Instinct. Had we been playing together, we may have joined the same team, but we only started texting about it 3 days after the game became available. I recommend doing a survey beforehand to see how many people are part of a certain team.

First of all, you should decide what item you want to have your friends decorate. Some examples may include canvas backpacks, water bottle holders, bracelets, and shirts.

In order to decorate your item of choice you should grab fabric markers, other fabric decorators, and special paper that you can print out images on and iron on to the fabric. You should print out the right amount of iron-on images from below so that everyone can iron on their right team. Y0u should probably do this before everyone gets to your place. Let people decorate their swag as they want. They may want to put their username on their piece for instance. Have fun!

 

The Sweetest Ice Breaker

About:

Start the party on a sugary high note with this ice breaker! Have each child pick 1-2 m&m’s that are different colors and then explain that each color of m&m is correlated with a question. Have the kids tell the others what color they have and their answers one at a time in a circle. This will allow the kids that may not know each other to find connections that’ll allow them to play for the rest of the party. 3 packs of m&m’s may cost you $7.

You can substitute m&m’s for other candies such as Skittles, but be aware of the different allergies or dietary restrictions that other kids may have. For instance, Skittles is made with gelatin, which is a meat product that vegetarians can’t eat. Other than that, this is a super fun ice breaker. We played this game at my 16th birthday party.

Materials Needed:

  1. paper with instructions about what each color means
  2. enough m&m’s

Sample Questions:

  1. How did you meet the birthday child?
  2. What is your favorite subject in school?
  3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  4. What is your favorite color?
  5. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
  6. Who is your favorite Disney Princess?
  7. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  8. Where are you from?
  9. What instrument do you play?
  10. What is your favorite season?
  11. What is your favorite TV show?
  12. Do you have any siblings?
  13. What is your favorite animal?
  14. What is the best joke that you’ve ever heard?
  15. Who is your role model?
  16. What are your hobbies?
  17. What is the coolest thing that you’ve ever done?
  18. What is the nicest thing that you’ve ever done for someone?
  19. What country do you want to visit one day?
  20. What languages do you speak?
  21. Who is your favorite musician?

Dinosaur Bone Scavenger Hunt

About:

Dinosaurs have captured the human imagination for centuries. We’ve been trying to put together their story since we recognized their discovery and didn’t label them to be dragon bones. What you may not know is that most of the dinosaur skeletons that we see in museums are actually  Frankenstein collections because its so hard to find a complete skeleton in one place. The kids are going to have to do the same thing. Print out one of the skeletons below, cut them out according to the instructions, and scatter the “bones” across the yard to challenge the kids to put together a full skeleton. The project costs as much as the price of ink and it’ll take the kids about 10-20 minutes to find one dinosaur skeleton depending on how you hid the parts and how large the space is. This DIY home game is not pet friendly. A smaller version of the game is good for ages 3+ and a more complex version is good for ages 7+.

7+.

Materials Needed:

  1. a printer/photocopier with black ink
  2. Scissors
  3. patience
  4. markers/pens/pencils
  5. Tape
  6. (optional): glue

Instructions:

Decide how many dinosaurs you want the kids to find. Print out one copy and cut out the paper around the bones to the best of your ability. You can go ahead and print out the other skeletons as well. Grab another piece of printer paper. Write “Name” and a long line in the upper right hand corner of that paper and tape your dinosaur in the center. If you’re going to have more than one dinosaur, then put one skeleton closer to the top and one closer to the bottom. Trace around the dinosaur skeleton with a medium to thick dark ink marker.

When you’re done tracing the dinosaurs, remove the skeletons and photocopy the traced paper as many times as there will be guests at the party plus 1-2 more. WARNING: do not do this before the night before the party starts. This is for the sake of your own sanity.

Cut up the dinosaur bones in chucks. For example, make the tail one chunk, the neck and head another, and cut the torso with the legs in half. The less parts there are, the faster the kids will put together the dinosaur. The more parts there are, your chances of losing your sanity and the pieces of paper becoming undiscoverable until they show up in your vacuum cleaner a month later increase.

Try to layer the paper while cutting to get more uniform results. You can enlist your child(ren)’s help, but they may not cut it as uniformly as the game requires. Once you are done cutting, store each of the parts with its clone parts (i.e. T. rex necks are kept together with one paper clip and T. Rex tails are kept together with another).

Here are the dinosaur skeleton options:

t-rex skeleton diagram

Triceratops

tryrannosaurus_sue

T. Rex

dinosaur-pterodactyl-granger

Pterodactyl

Before the party starts or right before the activity starts you or whomever is helping you with the party should scatter the paper bones in hiding spots. I recommend doing this indoor so that your dinosaur bits don’t fly away. If you put bones together, then they should be of the same part such putting necks with necks or also using some of that space for the other dinosaur’s bones. Some good hiding spots include inside the vase of an indoor plant, under a chair leg, behind a family photo, slightly tucked underneath a closed door, and stuck on the side of a bulletin board.

Set up a station where the kids can glue their dinosaur parts onto their dinosaur finding sheets in advance. Give everyone a dinosaur sheet when you’re starting the activity. Read the kids the story and have fun!

Story:

Who here likes dinosaurs? (Wait for an excited response from your audience). 

I heard a rumor that we have some full, mini fossils floating around our house. They should each fit into one of outlines on your dinosaur excavation sheet. They’re in this area, so you don’t need to wander around the rest of the house.

When you find a fossil piece, come back to this station to glue it. Have fun!

Free, Last Minute 4th of July Idea

About:

Happy 4th of July! You’re either on this post because 1) you’re not celebrating this Holiday and it popped up in your feed or 2) you’re desperately looking for something to entertain the kids that you don’t have to run out to the store for last minute. Well, you’re in luck if you’re person number 2!

This will work well if you have many of the family/neighborhood elementary school aged kids over. Middle school and above will be too cool for this. Suggest that they organize into a parade. They’re already over in the yard and decorated for the party, right? You can even turn this into a bit of a talent show. Have your soccer star son do some of those trick moves he’s been practicing, your daughter can twirl across the yard with your niece, and cousin Sam can show off his Power Ranger/yellow belt moves.

The kids should organize themselves and ask you to get everyone’s attention when they are ready. When the time comes, just ask your fellow adults to turn their attention to the parade.

The time this’ll take may be 10 minutes to 45 minutes to get ready depending on what the children decide to do. The cost? Well, everyone’s feeds may explode in the cute pictures and videos of the parade. Have fun!

If you end up doing this and having fun, let us know! Comment or send us a picture here or on Facebook or Twitter.

Materials Needed:

whatever you can find in your backyard