In the Pokémon game and TV show, Ash and his fellow trainers travel around their respective regions in order to gain badges from gym leaders in order to become a Pokémon master for that region. In these series of games, the kids can take on the different gyms challenges in order to win a badge. These games are specifically from the Hoenn Region (Pokémon ruby and sapphire) and I’ve included a link to buy the badges on Amazon. This game may cost about $75 and may take about an hour to play through.
- pokémon badges ($25)
- masking tape
- jenga blocks
- ping pong balls
- red acrylic paint
- white acrylic paint
- black acrylic paint
- clear jar
- enough swedish fish to fill the jar
- paper slips for the children to guess on
- a jar or bowl for the children to put their guesses in
- string or rope
Keep the gym badges organized and possibly labeled. Here is a cheat sheet so that you know what goes where:
These are the gym leaders who give out the badges at the gyms. You can print their images out and stick them next to the different areas where the activities will occur or you just look at them to channel their energy for the activity. Yes, the placement of the badges above match the placement of the gym leaders. The activities will match this order as well to stay true to the game. Read these pictures upper left to right for the chronological order.
The first gym’s layout was designed to feel as though it was a museum. It makes sense that this gym has this particular design because this is the town that has the pokémon school in it. The activity that I’m going to recommend playing for this is an activity jenga game. You can buy a jenga set for $5-$15 or you can make your own giant yard version if you’re so inclined. In order to not ruin your jenga set, you should put painter’s tape or washi tape on the wide bottom of the jenga tiles and write on them in sharpie. Sharpie or a similar permanent marker will be perfect for this activity because other types of markers will smudge and run when the kids touch it. The kids will act out or do whatever the jenga block says and play until somewhere gets the “you win” block. You should set up the blocks before the party starts on a flat surface. If you don’t have a flat surface in the yard or in the house, you should ask your significant other to help make a flat surface to play on. There are 54 jenga blocks to write on. Feel free to duplicate some of the actions on the jenga blocks. Here are some sample ideas:
- You Win!
- Make pikachu sounds
- Make mudkip sounds
- Pose like a Y unown
- Pose like an X unown
- Pose like a T unown
- Pose like an I unown
- Splash like a magikarp
- Recite team rocket’s poem
- Make slowpoke sounds
- Charizard breathing fire
- Blaziken high kick
- Sceptile vine whip
- Make wobbuffet sounds
- Snorlax falling asleep
- Pose like wobbuffet
- Growl like poochyena
- Flutter like beautifly
- Blast off like team rocket
- Shock like a pikachu
- Do the clefairy dance
- Sing the jigglypuff song
- Walk 8 steps like a krabby
- 2 air punchs like Hitmonchan
- Stick out tongue like lickitung
- Ride a ponyta for 10 steps
- Meditate for 10 sec like Meditite
- Jump like a Spoink
- Throw a pokéball
- Act like you just caught a pokémon
- pose like Meowth on Team Rocket
The second gym is all about trainning and speed. I recommend playing a version of pin the tail on the donkey. I’ve seen pin the tail on the pikachu, but I’ll have a catch the pokémon challenge that you can play. This should only cost about the price of ink. The kids will play for the highest score. Click here to see the game.
The third gym is electricity themed. The gym leader there has a pokémon that looks like a pokéball called voltorb. For this activity, you’ll need a pack of white ping pong balls, red acrylic paint, white acrylic paint, and either black acrylic paint or black washi tape. To create a pokéball, draw a thin line around the ping pong ball to divide it into 2 halves. Write a small ‘r’ for red on the side that you intend to paint red. Then draw a small circle about the circumference of your (not your child’s) index finger somewhere on the line. The line should cut the circle evenly in half. Do this for all but one ping pong ball. Erase the pencil line inside of the circle. Next, paint the designated side of all of the ping pong balls red and leave to dry. When they are dry, use the black paint to draw a medium thickness line that follows the pencil line that borders between red side and the white ping pong ball. With the voltob ball, use a pencil to then draw 2 right triangles and fill it in with white paint. This is going to be the pokémon’s eyes. Wait for this to dry and then add the little black dots for eyes. Here’s a picture for reference:
Scatter the pokéballs and voltorbs across the yard in good hiding places. The children will have to find the pokémon and the pokéballs.
The fourth gym is a fire gym. Things get a little toasty. This gym’s activity will be a game called hot potato. Choose an object such a left over pokéball from the last game as the hot object. Have the children pass the ball while the music plays. When the music stops, the player holding the hot pokéball is out. Play until you have a clear winner and then award the badge.
The fifth gym in the game belongs to the protagonist’s dad. He also has some very sleepy pokémon. I would recommend playing red light, green light 123. The player who gets to you first is winner of the challenge. To begin with, create 2 spots: one for you to stand on and one for the party guests to start at. You should be 20-40 feet apart. The instructions of how to play the game are included in the “story” section of what you say to the kids.
The seventh gym is psychic gym owned by twins. Don’t worry, I didn’t skip the sixth gym. I’m combining the two.A three legged race will be the perfect way to decide who gets these badges. To begin with, have a clearly defined start line and end line. You can mark this with a pool noodle, a yard stick, rope, or string. Have everyone choose a partner and stand next to them with him or her having an arm around the other person’s waist. The inside legs should be touching. Tie those legs together and have the kids wait at the starting line until you give the signal
The last gym is a dragon type gym. Magikarp, one of the most useless fish pokémon, evolves in a gyarados, one of the most powerful pokémon in the game. This will be a guess-how-many-are-in-the-jar game using swedish fish. Magikarp are dark orange and swedish fish are red. If any kid asks you why the magikarp aren’t orange, you should say that because they’re highly concentrated in the jar, they turned a darker color that looks closer to red. Find a clear jar and fill it up with Swedish fish. Count how many you put in there and put that number safe such as keeping it as a note or contact in your phone. Next, create then slips of paper asking for a child’s name and how many magikarp they think are in the jar. Have another jar or bowl for the children to put the slips of paper in once they have finished making their guesses. When the children are done writing their guesses, go through and check to see who got the closest estimate to how many magikarp are in the jar. Then reward the winner with a badge.
Note: if things get too complicated, you can also just let the kids decide what badge they want to have at the end of each activity rather than trying to keep track of them.
Welcome to (your child’s name here)’s birthday celebration and the Hoenn region of Pokémon. There are 8 different gyms with different challenges to compete in. Who’s ready to get started? (Wait for a response). I said who’s ready to get started?
1: The first gym in Rustboro city’s challenge. Because the gym is next to the trainer school, they want to make sure that you know enough about pokémon before giving you the gym badge. The gym badge award is placed somewhere within the mix. Line up and pull one block at a time carefully.
2: Dewford gym is all about exercise and training. The gym leader wants to see how good your aim is. He will happily award his badge to the kid who recieves the highest score.
3: Mauville city gym has a voltorb that went missing. A voltorb looks just like a pokéball, but the voltorb has eyes. The gym leader will happily reward any one who finds his beloved voltorb with a gym badge. He’s somewhere around here, but there are also a lot of old pokéballs around here. You can keep any that you find. Go!
4: Lavaridge town is a fire gym. Every thing is hot here. The gym leader here has developed a game to test your ability to resist fire. First, everyone mut get in a circle. Good! This pokéball is super hot. Pass this pokéball around and whoever is holding it when the music stops is out. The person to survive until the last round gets the gym badge!
5: Petalberg City is a normal type gym, but the gym leader’s pokémon, Slaking, fall asleep easily. You need to sneak up on them without waking them up to win this game. This game is a lot like red light, green light one, two, three. Everyone needs to start off on the starting line over there. When I have my back to you and say, “slaking is sleeping, one, two, three,” you should all walk (don’t run) to me. I can turn around at any point just like the slaking can wake up at any point. When I turn around, everyone must freeze. If I see anyone moving, I can send them back to the starting line. We’ll do this until someone reaches me and tags me. Any questions? … Good. Let’s start.
6 and 7: Fortree City is a flying gym and Mossdeep City is a psychic gym owned by twins. They would both like to see how you work together under less than ideal circumstances. Pick a partner to race with and stand with one arm around the other person’s waist. I will come around and tie your legs. Then you should go to the starting line. I’ll let you know when the race starts. The 2 winners will get those two badges.
8: Sootopolis City is a dragon training gym. The leader thinks that you guys should help him figure out how many magikarp him and his fellow trainers caught this morning. The person who guesses closest to the actual number of magikarp will get a badge from his gym.