Timeline Game

About:

This is the perfect game for a graduation party for an older child (middle school graduation and above). All you need is some printed family photos (or copies of your family photos without any writing on the backs of the photos), a string and some cloths pins. Assuming that you already have markers and the family photos, this activity should only cost about $5-$7 (cloths pins are about $4 per pack and you can find string or ribbon for $1-$2 in the cheap aisles of craft stores or in the front section of Target). This is a side activity that party guests can try to figure out. Reveal the answer at least half way through your party to let guests know if they got the answers correct.

Materials Needed:

  1. At least ten photos of important events in your child’s life
  2. A string taped to a wall
  3. Enough clothes pins to match how many photos you have
  4. Markers to number the clothes pins
  5. Tape
  6. Construction paper, scissors, and glue to make a fancy backing for your photos (optional)

Instructions

Once you’ve chosen your photos and have made sure that there is no writing that would indicate an obvious time in which the photo was taken, write down the correct order in which the photos were taken for your own record. (You may want to have duplicates of the photos that you will use made, so that you’ll still have your photos even if clumsy Aunt Myrtle spills the fruit punch all over the photos). Just make sure not to put any photos in the mix that you and the family would find adorable, but your child would not (such as those images of him/her playing during bath time). Use markers or pens to number the clothes pins from one to however many photos that you have chosen.

On the day of the party, find a small table, such as a TV tray, to put the photos on. Tape up the string behind the table once you’ve found a spot that you like. Add the clothes pins onto the string. To make it visually intriguing, evenly space the clothes pins apart from each other. You can do this by using a marked ruler or by using your hand. Once that has been set up, shuffle the photos and place them on the table with a print out of the following instructions after you personalize it:

How well do you know (insert child’s name here)? The photos on this table are from (insert child’s name here)’s life. Can you put them in the correct order? Don’t ask (child’s name) for help. That would be cheating. We will find out if you got it right later on this afternoon/evening.

Once everyone has eaten and had time to relax, go through the wall with your guests to see if they were able to guess the correct order of life events.

Popcorn Bar

About:

Today is national popcorn day! In honor of celebrating this delicious snack, let’s talk about creating a popcorn bar for a party. As always, the cost of setting this up will vary based on how many snacks and toppings you choose to have. Remember to ask your guests if they have any allergies in advance of buying the toppings for the party. Prep for this will be about 15 minutes.

What you’ll need:

  1. Either a microwave or a popcorn popper
  2. Either bags of popcorn to put in the microwave or corn kernels to pop. You’ll want about twelve cups of popcorn to feed 4-6 people, but use your own judgement.
  3. One large bowl to put popcorn in and a large serving spoon
  4. Enough bowls for everyone to eat out of (use either your own bowls or disposable paper bowls that you can find either at the grocery store or at a party store)
  5. Toppings (here are some ideas for food you can mix in:
    • Fruity
      • gummy candies (including gummy worms, gummy bears, and almost everything Haribo makes)
      • skittles
      • mike and ikes
      • Fruit snacks (such as Welch’s fruit snacks or Horizon Organic)
      • Hi-chews (unraveled and cut to make them bite-sized)
      • twizzlers (preferably the smaller, pre-cut nibs)
      • swedish fish
      • candy citrus slices
    • Chocolate
      • snow caps
      • Hershey squares
      • milkduds
      • junior mints
      • mini kitkats
      • mini Reese’s peanutbutter cups
      • Reese’s Pieces
      • M&M’s
    • Taffy (all taffy should be cut up in advance in order to make it easier to snack on)
      • airheads
      • salt water taffy
      • laffy taffy
      • starburst
  6. Popcorn seasoning:
    1. melted butter
    2. Kernel Season’s popcorn seasoning

Instructions:

Pop the popcorn before the party starts. You’ll want to have the popcorn cool before your party guests arrive. This should be the first food that your guests put into their bowls and should be the first bowl on the table that the guests can reach.

Put each topping in a bowl with a serving spoon. Lay them out along the table. Let people line up to get the popcorn and then choose their toppings. Make sure that a kid doesn’t just dump the whole bowl of their favorite candy into their own bowl.

Lastly, have the kids pick their spots, relax, and enjoy the movie that you’re going to show.