Crazy Hat 4th of July Party

About:

If you’re thinking of hosting your own Independence Day party this year, consider having a crazy hat contest. The one rule should be that the guy lighting the fireworks in the driveway shouldn’t wear his hat on duty or is excused from the game. Tell the relatives and friends to come with crazy hats for the competition.

You can also have the children make their own hats as a craft. You would need to buy as many blank hats as there are children between the ages of 2-13. The teenagers probably won’t want to do the craft. You would need fabric markers and some other designing materials such as glue, glitter, and feathers. You can also substitute an actual hat for a paper plate. You would just need to use a single hole puncher to create the holes to thread the ribbon through before the party. You can then give the kids regular markers, glue, pom pom’s, pipe cleaners, feathers, etc. to make their hats.

You should also consider breaking up the contest into different leagues. For example, you can have a kid league and an adult league. Anyone over the age of 14 should be in the adult league.

Materials Needed:

  1. prizes for the hat contest

Sample Prizes:

  1. Most Patriotic Hat Award
  2. Second Most  Hat Award
  3. Best Hat Award
  4. Runner Up Hat Award
  5. Most Original Hat Award
  6. Uncle Sam Approved Hat Award
  7. Coolest Hat Award
  8. Flashiest Hat Award
  9. Coolest Headband-based Hat Award
  10. Cutest Hat Award
  11. Most Likely to be Seen From Space Hat Award
  12. Most Likely to be in a Parade After this Party Hat Award
  13. Most Likely to Forget their Hat Award
  14. Most Likely to Lose their Hat Award

Pool Rodeo

About:

Are you thinking of having a cowboy pool party or a poolside family reunion? Then, this pool float is a necessity. It costs over $60 (yikes!) and by the description sounds like a pain in the butt to inflate. It does look really fun and challenging for all ages. At first, I was skeptical about how hard it could be to stay on the bull, but then I saw a bunch of Youtube videos of people testing out the toy and having trouble staying on, such as this celebrity video:

Materials Needed:

  • 1 inflatable bull pool float
  • 1 pool
  • At least 1 responsible adult
  • optional: a stopwatch to keep times
  • optional: hiring a lifeguard for the party might not be a bad idea either

Instructions:

 

Get all of your materials in place the evening before or the morning of the party. Do not wait until the last minute to try to inflate this thing!

Have the first person get on the bull. They will need help to get on it. Start the timer (if you want to make this a timed competition to see who the rodeo star is), and then have the other members of the party grab onto one of the handles and shake the raft until the person falls off.

Then, write that person’s time down and switch to the next person. Repeat until everyone has ridden the bull.

*A little note on the price, someone on Amazon claimed to have bought this toy off the internet for $48, so this might be one of those items that you have to stalk in order to find at a good price.

 

Pool Float Races

About:

Cool pool floats are everywhere! They’re at Urban Outfitters, Target, Kohl’s, and are all over instagram. You finally caved and bought one (or are maybe thinking of buying one). Now what? Well, why not have a whacky relay race? This game will be fun for all ages whether at a 4th of July party or for your child’s 7th birthday party.

Ideas Based on Popular Pool Floats (with links through Amazon.com):

  1. Mermaid races (2 mermaid pool floats)
  2. The 4th of July (1 American flag pool float and one either red or Union Jack pool float)
  3. Battle of the Swans (1 black swan pool float and 1 white swan pool float)
  4. Unicorn races (2 unicorn pool floats)
  5. Candy races (1 piece of candy float and another piece of candy float)

Materials Needed:

  • 2 pool floats
  • 1 pool
  • At least 1 responsible adult

Instructions:

Split the party up into 2 groups. Each group will be assigned to a pool float. The kids will race to get their pool float from one side of the pool to the other. When one member finishes a lap, the next member of the team can jump on the pool float (which may be more or less difficult), and try to make it over to the other side of the pool and back before the other kid does. Keep going until one group has had all of its team members do a lap. The team that gets all of its players to return faster than the other team will win.

Wrapping Paper Fashion Show

About:

We’ve all tried to save the wrapping paper from Christmas at some point. It’s too pretty to simply throw away, but we don’t always wrap up next year’s presents in the same paper, do we?

A better use of the paper is to simply entertain the kids once they become bored of their presents. You just need to save the wrapping paper from opened presents on Christmas day for this activity. The wrapping paper fashion show should entertain the kids for 45 minutes to a full hour. However, this game is so fun that even the grown up’s will want to play.

Materials Needed:

  1. left over wrapping paper and bows
  2. scotch tape and/or masking tape
  3. enough scissors for everyone

Instructions:

Store all of the leftover Christmas wrapping paper and bows together so that you can easily pull them out when it’s time to play the game.

First of all, the family should decide who is judging. One person can judge or you can have a judge panel. If you have enough people, break the participants up into equal sized groups. Perhaps you can even have a family vs. family contest. The Christmas fashionistas must then decide who the model should be. If the boys in the household seem reluctant to play because the game has the word “fashion” in it, then you should remind them that fashion is just clothes you wear. Having a santa clause and reindeer dotted ninja turtle costume is just as much of a fashion statement as wearing a fancy, sledding penguin dress.

Each team should be given tape, a piece of paper of sketch on, and a pair of scissors. Try to evenly divide up the wrapping paper and bows between the teams. If you can’t, them just make it a free for all. Don’t allow any other materials than what’s been given. Each team has a limited amount of time to come up with an idea and make it. Give them 30-45 minutes.

Once the players have broken up into teams, they should choose one person to be the model. This game is not puppy friendly and the family cat would not like to be the kids’ model. Once time is up, have every one meet in the judging room where they can show off and explain their creations. The judges can have numerous categories of which to judge from. For example the can award the titles of cutest, coolest, Project Runway worthy, what I want for Christmas next year, most creative, etc.

Just don’t forget to take pictures!

Crazy Christmas Hat Party

About:

Everyone has ugly Christmas sweater parties nowadays. If you want something different and exciting, you should try having a crazy Christmas hat party! Just tell everyone to wear the craziest holiday hat that they can find. There are some pretty crazy options out there. This activity will cost you whatever your crazy hat will cost plus the cost of whatever a couple of prizes will be for you party.

Materials Needed:

  1.  crazy hats
  2. awards

Sample Hat Awards:

  1. Craziest Hat Award
  2. Flashiest Hat Award
  3. Cutest Hat Award
  4. Most Warm Hat Award
  5. Best Hat Award
  6. Hat Most Influenced by Eggnogg Intake Award
  7. Best Ugly Sweater even though this was a Hat Award

Waffle Bar

About:

This is a fun activity for the morning after a sleepover party provided that you’re able to wake up before the kids, teens, or tweens do. You’ll need a waffle iron. Make enough waffles that one child can have its own waffle (or split half of it). A night or two before the party, you have the ingredients ready to go in bowls. Some ingredients such as bananas are better served freshly sliced. The cost for this activity varies as well as the time it will take.

Materials Needed:

  1. waffle maker
  2. batter
  3. napkins
  4. spoons to get the ingredients out with
  5. silverware for the children
  6. optional: whipped cream
  7. optional:strawberries
  8. optional: blueberries
  9. optional: raspberries
  10. optional: blackberries
  11. optional: bananas
  12. optional: chocolate sauce
  13. optional: chocolate chips
  14. optional: marshmallows
  15. optional: nutella
  16. optional: sprinkles
  17. optional: heated, fried chicken

Balloon Architects

About:

This a fun, creative activity do with a group of any age. The children simply have to inflate and stack the balloons to make a tall balloon tower. This activity costs about $12 and may take 15 minutes to do. You may want to ask the parents of the guests if the child has a latex allergy before committing to this activity.

Materials Needed:

  • 40, standard party balloons
  • 2 rolls of tape
  • something to keep time such as a smartphone timer

Instructions:

Divide the party into two teams. Give each team 20 balloons and a roll of tape. The team that can inflate their balloons and create the tallest tower in ten minutes or less wins the activity.

At the end, you can let the teams pop the balloons.

Thanksgiving Trivia

About:

Well, the kids have just about torn through the house, the teenagers are barely acknowledging other people’s presence, and the stormy weather has blocked the men from watching their Thanksgiving football. What now? Stay calm. Entertain everyone with a trivia contest. Divide people up by either age, gender, or family relations. Keep reading to get some sample ideas. This is for an American Thanksgiving. I’ve written these out as multiple choice trivia questions.

Materials Needed:

  1. a printed out set of trivia questions

Sample Questions:

Easy

  1. What are female turkeys called?
    • A) Hens
    • B) Girlies
    • C) Chicks
    • D) Blands
  2. What bird did Benjamin Franklin want to be the national bird?
    • A) Bald Eagle
    • B) Turkey
    • C) Potato Bird
    • D) Woodpecker
  3. When is Thanksgiving celebrated?
    • A) last Thursday of November
    • B) the 26th of November
    • C) Fourth Thursday of November
    • D) the last Thursday before December
  4. Which of the following foods was likely served at the first Thanksgiving?
    • A) pumpkin pie
    • B) potatoes
    • C) macaroni and cheese
    • D) shellfish
  5. When was the first Thanksgiving?
    • A) 1621
    • B) 1776
    • C) 1812
    • D) 1864
  6. What do turkeys have in common with penguins?
    • A) they are highly adept swimmers
    • B) they both carry their eggs on their feet
    • C) neither species can fly
    • D) neither species eats meat
  7. What was the name of the pilgrim’s ship?
    • A) Pinto
    • B) Santa Maria
    • C) Niña
    • D) Mayflower
  8. What modern day state did the pilgrims land in?
    • A) Massachusetts
    • B) New York
    • C) Virginia
    • D) Florida
  9. In what year did the pilgrims leave from England and land in the United States?
    • A) 1492
    • B) 1550
    • C) 1620
    • D) 1700
  10. Where did the pilgrims live before they decided to colonize a piece of the new world?
    • A) England
    • B) France
    • C) Finland
    • D) Netherlands

Medium

  1. Which President declared Thanksgiving a national holiday?
    • A) Abraham Lincoln
    • B) George Washington
    • C) Theodore Roosevelt
    • D) Barack Obama
  2. What are male turkeys called?
    • A) Hens
    • B) Clucks
    • C) Toms
    • D) Roosters
  3. Which president officially started the practice of turkey pardoning?
    • A) Barack Obama
    • B) Richard Nixon
    • C) Franklin Roosevelt
    • D) Harry Truman
  4. One baby was born onboard the Mayflower. What was the baby named?
    • A) Myles
    • B) Oceanus
    • C) Prudence
    • D) Prayer
  5. What modern day location did the pilgrims hope to settle in?
    • A) Plymouth, MA
    • B) Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • C)Jamestown, VA
    • D) New York City, NY
  6. Which two teams started the tradition of playing football games on Thanksgiving?
    • A) Detroit Lions v. Chicago Bears
    • B) NY Giants v. New England Patriots
    • C) Green Bay Packers v. Detroit Lions
    • D) Dallas Cowboys v. New England Patriots
  7. How many subspecies of turkeys are there?
    • A) one
    • B) three
    • C) six
    • D) ten
  8. What were the pilgrims originally called in their day?
    • A) Puritans
    • B) Standishers
    • C) Huguenots
    • D) Seperatists
  9. What tribe helped the pilgrims?
    • A) Wampanoag tribe
    • B) Secotan tribe
    • C) Powhatan tribe
    • D) Pueblo tribe
  10. How many months after the pilgrims arrive did the Native Americans wait to approach the settlers?
    • A) one month
    • B) three months
    • C) six months
    • D) twelve months

Hard

  1. How many towns are in the United States named Turkey?
    • A) one
    • B) Four
    • C) Eight
    • D) Sixteen
  2. How fast can a turkey run?
    • A) 5 miles per hour
    • B) 10 miles per hour
    • C) 17 miles per hour
    • D) 25 miles per hour
  3. Which city has the oldest Thanksgiving day parade?
    • A) Philadelphia 
    • B) New York City
    • C) Washington, D.C.
    • D) Boston
  4. When were giant, helium balloon characters first used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade?
    • A) 1900
    • B) 1914
    • C)1927
    • D) 1947
  5. When did the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade begin?
    • A) 1900
    • B) 1913
    • C) 1924
    • D) 1947
  6. How long does it take to inflate a giant parade balloon?
    • A) 30 minutes
    • B) an hour
    • C) an hour and thirty minutes
    • D) two hours
  7. What is the lifespan of an average parade balloon?
    • A) a year
    • B) three years
    • C) five years
    • D) eight years
  8. When was the first time that Spongebob flew in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade?
    • A) 1994
    • B) 2004
    • C) 2010
    • D) 2014
  9. When did Mickey Mouse first debut as a Thanksgiving parade balloon?
    • A) 1927
    • B) 1934
    • C) 1965
    • D) 2000
  10. Which character has appeared the most in Macy’s Thanksgiving day parades?
    • A) Mickey Mouse
    • B) Felix the Cat
    • C) Pikachu
    • D) Snoopy
  11. How long does it take to deflate a parade balloon?
    • A) 15 minutes
    • B) 30 minutes
    • C) 45 minutes
    • D) an hour

Moonrise Kingdom BBQ Party

About:

Wow! We’ve had over 500 viewers on the blog since it was started in May 2016! This is a special post to celebrate that. My favorite movie is Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” I will be giving you directions for party games and activities as well as foods to serve. Here’s a movie trailer for those of you who don’t know this film:

Here is the idea for this party. Decade: 1960s. Place: Camp Ivanhoe. Event: party mixer for the boys and the girls on the island. Everyone should do their best to dress appropriately. There should be enough videos on Youtube to tell your friends how to dress as though they’re from the 60s. Let’s get started.

Activities:

Check your phone at the Door

Imagine a phone free night! No worries. No awkward scrolling. We get the same freedom that we left behind in the 20th century. You can tell your guests that only one section of the house or yard will allow cell phones and that’ll be around where you store the cell phones (ideally in individual bags with the owner’s name written on the bag in a locked closet or pantry). The rest of the party should be phone free so that the guests can get on with their real lives rather than experiencing it through a phone screen.

How can they take photos to remember the night? Well, you can tell them to bring their own cameras. CVS still sells disposables. The other alternative is to have a polaroid camera or two floating around the party, but that in itself will pose its own risks.

Design a Patch

Offer a station when the guests first arrive to create their own badge or pin. You can have them do this using felt and glue, beads and safety pins, or just use paper. If you’re really serious, a pin maker will cost you over $115 on Amazon. The pin or patch should represent the guest in some one. Because this is the 1960’s and the time of free love, encourage the guests to trade and exchange these tokens of friendship as the party goes on. You don’t know who’ll end up with whose pin.

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Dance 

You should encourage dancing at the party. Many of the styles of dancing from the sixties may not be known. Encourage your guests to watch the following videos to be prepared to dance during the party:

 

What kind of a bird are you?

That is one of the most iconic lines from the movie. It can also be a fun party game. Print out small images of birds with their common names (don’t put down the scientific names because no one will know that Columbiforms Columbidae  means your average pigeon). Tape these onto the backs of the guests as they arrive. No one can tell them what bird they are, but they can give hints. For example, if someone gets pigeon taped to their back, a friend can tell them that they’re a rat with wings. They may then immediately understand that they’re a pigeon or they may be even more confused. Here’s a list of some birds for the cards:

  1. Dove
  2. Raven
  3. Sparrow
  4. Chicken
  5. Peacock
  6. Goose
  7. Canadian Goose
  8. Swan
  9. Owl
  10. Hawk
  11. Robin
  12. Bluejay
  13. Cardinal
  14. Bald Eagle
  15. Turkey
  16. Albatross
  17. Penguin
  18. Pigeon
  19. Crane
  20. Flamingo
  21. Mocking bird
  22. Canary
  23. Finch
  24. Parrot
  25. Wood Pecker

Archery

Yes, this is a weapon. It’s also a popular camp activity. It’ll be a fun side activity to do while the party is going on. Look for a magnetic set on Amazon so that you’ll minimize the damage done.

S’mores

Have a fire pit? Make s’mores. This activity will need supervision to make sure that the flaming s’mores someone just made don’t get combined with the archery set to become a completely different activity.

Photo Stand

Set up one of the moonrise kingdom campsites. Leave some props for the guests to put on like Sam’s glasses and coon skin hat, and Suzy’s binoculars. Leave a polaroid camera near the site so that guests can take their own photos.

Movie Screening

Screen the movie if you want to. Get a screen, a projector, and a copy of the movie. Sit everyone down on the ground or warn them to bring towels in advance. You can hand out bowls of popcorn before the movie starts.

Food:

  1. hot dogs
  2. hamburgers
  3. corn on the cob
  4. popcorn
  5. s’mores
  6. Old Fashioned punch- here’s a website I found with some old recipes
  7. Water
  8. apple crumble

Party Playlist:

  1. “Laisse Tomber les Filles” France Gall
  2. “Miss Grace” The Tymes
  3. “Kaw-liga” Hank Williams
  4. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” The Beatles
  5. “Comment tu Dire Adieu” Francoise Hardy
  6. “The Twist” Chubby Checker
  7. “I’m a Believer” The Monkees
  8. “Noir C’est Noir” Johnny Hallyday
  9. “Build me Up Buttercup” The Foundations
  10. “Happy Together” The Turtles
  11. “Le Coeur au Bout des Doigts” Jaqueline Taieb
  12. “Sweet Caroline” Neil Diamond
  13. “Moi je Joue” Brigitte Bardot
  14. “Le Temps De l’Amour” Francoise Hardy
  15. “Pressure Drop” Toots & The Maytals
  16. “Dancing in the Streets” Martha & The Vandellas
  17. “These Boots were Made for Walkin'” Nancy Sinatra
  18. “Wraith Pinned to the Mist” Of Montreal
  19. “Hello, Goodbye” The Beatles
  20. “I love Beach Music” The Embers
  21. “My Girl” The Temptations
  22. “Under the Boardwalk” The Drifters
  23. “Good Vibrations” Beach Boys

Halloween Trivia

About:

Want to gather some friends for a trivia night but don’t have time to come up with the trivia questions? We got you covered! The following trivia questions are multiple choice and you can pick and choose as you like based on the age group that you’re hosting trivia night for. Copy and paste your favorite ones into a separate document to read from during your hosted trivia night!

Materials Needed:

  • A trivia sheet to read to your guests

Sample Trivia Ideas:

Easy:

  1. Why was the color  orange associated with Halloween?
    • A) It’s a color of the fall harvest
    • B) Pumpkins are orange
    • C) The sunset tends to look orange on Halloween
    • D) Fire can sometimes look orange
  2. Why was the color black associated with Halloween?
    • A) Halloween takes place at night
    • B) It’s a color of darkness and death
    • C) It is the color of most scary spiders
    • D) Witches tend to wear the color black
  3. From which country did Halloween originate?
    • A) Spain
    • B) France
    • C) Ireland
    • D) Transylvania
  4. What is a pumpkin?
    • A) not edible
    • B) cake
    • C) vegetable
    • C) fruit
  5. What is the most popular candy to buy for trick-or-treaters?
    • A) Chocolate
    • B) Taffy
    • C) Jelly
    • D) Lollipops
  6. Why do people traditionally dress as scary creatures on Halloween?
    • A) to scare people into giving them candy
    • B) to blend in with the spirits walking the Earth
    • C) to gain favor with the spirits
    • D) to confuse witches
  7. Which of the following isn’t a traditional wiccan (witch) symbol?
    • A) black cats
    • B) spiders
    • C) toads
    • D) bats
  8. Which presidential ghost haunts the White House and is seen in times of trouble?
    • A) George Washington
    • B) Ronald Reagan
    • C) Barack Obama
    • D) Abraham Lincoln
  9. What were the first jack-o-lanturns made from?
    • A) turnips
    • B) apples
    • C) watermelons
    • D) pumpkins
  10. Which two book characters were the most popular Halloween costume for 2001?
    • A) Katniss and Peeta
    • B) Percy and Annabeth
    • C) Harry and Hermoine
    • D) Thing One and Thing Two

Medium:

  1. Where was Candy corn invented?
    • A) Pennsylvania It was invented by the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia in the 1880’s  
    • B) Massachusetts
    • C) California
    • D) Iowa
  2. Who wrote the novel Frankenstein?
    • A) Count Dracula
    • B) Mary Shelley
    • C) Charles Dickens
    • D) Herman Melville
  3. What novel was “Rocky Horror Picture Show” based on?
    • A) Count Dracula
    • B) The Odyssey
    • C) Frankenstein
    • D) Rocky
  4. What was the name of the actor who played Dr. Frank-n-Furter in “Rocky Horror Picture Show?”
    • A) Jim Carrey
    • B) Steve Harvey
    • C) Tom Jones
    • D) Tim Curry
  5. Who directed the movie “the Nightmare Before Christmas?”
    • A) Richard Scary
    • B) Henry Selick
    • C) Tim Burton
    • D) Tom Jones
  6. What is the grim reaper called in some celtic villages?
    • A) Thanatos
    • B) Yama
    • C) Uncle
    • D) Santa Meutre
  7. Which of the following mean fear of Halloween?
    • A) Hadephobia
    • B) Gallophobia
    • C) Dextrophobia
    • D) Samhainophobia
  8. How old is Halloween thought to be?
    • A) 6,000 years old
    • B) 2,000 years old
    • C) 500 years old
    • D) 250 years old
  9. What prank item is illegal to use in Hollywood?
    • A) toilet paper
    • B) silly string
    • C) eggs
    • D) fake poo
  10. Which classic Halloween film was not a Disney Channel Original movie?
    • A) Hocus Pocus
    • B) Halloweentown
    • C) Nightmare Before Christmas
    • D) Mom’s got a Date with a Vampire
  11. What are the three witches’ names from “Hocus Pocus?”
    • A) Winifred, Mary, and Sarah
    •  B) Mildred, Bette, and Wilma
    • C) Hannah, Agnes, and Bertha
    • D) Regina, Lousia, and Georgia
  12. What was the top Halloween costume for 1993?
    • A) Sabrina the Teenage witch
    • B) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • C) Spongebob Squarepants
    • D) Simba from the Lion King
  13. What was the top Halloween costume for 1999?
    • A) Jesse from Toy Story
    • B) Tarzan
    • C) Neo from the Matrix
    • D) Austin Powers

Hard:

  1. According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror on at midnight on Halloween you’ll see what?
    • A) your future husband or wife
    • B) what you’ll look like when you die
    • C) Bloody Mary
    • D) the hard truth
  2. Which ancient Celtic festival does Halloween have its origins from?
    • A) Beltane
    • B) Samhain
    • C) Lughnasadh
    • D) Imbolc
  3. According to superstition, what ability does a person have if they were born on Halloween?
    • A) Ability to get the most candy
    • B) Ability to not get scared easily
    • C) Ability to see and talk to spirits
    • D) Ability to huant someone even before they’re dead
  4. How many people were hanged during the Salem witch trials?
    • A) one
    • B) thirteen
    • C) nineteen
    • D) twenty-six
  5. What does the word with translate to in old English?
    • A) old lady
    • B) person at one with nature
    • C) devil-worshipper
    • D) Wise Woman
  6. How much did the largest pumpkin on record weigh?
    • A) 836 lb
    • B) 777 lb
    • C) 665 lb
    • D) 313 lb
  7. According to legend, how can one see a witch at midnight on Halloween?
    • A) you light a candle in the fireplace
    • B) you wear your clothes inside out and walk backwards
    • C) you dress like a witch
    • D) you read Shakespeare’s Scottish play (MacBeth) aloud
  8. A mask of what famous actor was used in the original movie “Halloween?”
    • A) Will Smith
    • B) Ronald Reagan
    • C) William Shatner
    • D) Leonard Nemoy
  9. What was the original title of the film “Halloween?”
    • A) The Knife Killer
    • B) Hallow’s Eve
    • C) Mudergeist
    • D) The Babysitter Murders
  10. What was the most popular Halloween costume for 2007?
    • A) Hannah Montana
    • B) Spiderman
    • C) Barack Obama
    • D) Harry Potter
  11. What was the most popular Halloween costume for 2009?
    • A) Bella Swan
    • B) Edward Cullen
    • C) Tiana from Princess and the Frog
    • D) Spongebob Squarepants