Capture the Flag 4th of July

About:

The British are coming! The British are coming! Oneth by land, twoth by the pool? Capture the Flag is the perfect game to play at any Fourth of July party. Just add a little bit of independence war spirit, and you’ll have a great party game to entertain the kids and the young at heart.

Materials Needed:

  1. a list of who goes on what team
  2. 2 hula hoops to keep the “flags” in
  3. 2 symbols or flags. Since the American flag isn’t supposed to touch the ground, we suggest replacing the flags with a patriotic pillow and a union jack pillow or with rocks that are painted to look like the flags.

Instructions:

Place the hula hoops on either side of an evenly spaced yard/space. Choose jail spaces. The jails can best be represented with some sort of a net (such as a lacrosse net and/or a soccer net.) Use what you already have. Set the boundaries in the beginning (such as no one can go into the house if they are playing this game). Separate the yard into two even spaces that can act as the safe land for either side.

Separate the group of players into two: the British and the Americans. Make sure that teams are even.

Have everyone start at the farthest end of the barriers. Flag watchers cannot go inside the hula hoops to watch the flags. Anyone can tag a member of the opposite team once that person has left her team’s own territory. Once tagged, that person must go to jail. A jailed team member can only get freed once he/she has been tagged by a member of his/her own team. Then, everyone must go back to their own territory before trying to capture the other team’s flag. Discourage roughhousing. In order to win a round, someone must successfully bring the other team’s flag to his/her team’s territory. Play in as many rounds as you want (but three should be the limit).

3 Wishes Ice Breaker

About:

This ice breaker is perfect for any “Aladdin”, retro “I Dream of Genie”, or “Shimmer and Shine” themed party. All that you need to do is to gather the kids around in a circle. Then ask each child (starting with the birthday kid) what he/she would wish for if he/she had 3 wishes.

This game is a great way to the guests to get to know each other. However, you might want to ban the wish to ask for more wishes.

Dolphin Race – Pool Game

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Happy National dolphin day! In honor of this day, I’m going to tell you about a great pool game to play at pool parties.

The goal of the game is to move a ball from one end of the pool to another using only your nose (because that’s how dolphins push balls). This game may take about 10 minutes to play and may cost about $6-$13 to play if you need to buy balls.

What you’ll need:

  1. One ball that floats in water per team (if you plan on using balls that you already have in your home, then you should make sure that they float).
  2. A pool deep enough for the kids to play the game in.

Instructions:

Break the swimming party guests into groups of four or more players. Make sure that you have one ball per team. Make sure that you have the same number of kids on each team. You can either have this game work as a race or part of a relay.

Like dolphins, team members can only use theirs noses to push the ball from one end of the pool to the other, and then back using their nose (although generally using the face to push the ball works too). Only one teammate goes at a time. If anyone is caught using his or her hands to move the ball, that person will have to return to the starting point.

The first team to finish wins!

 

Chalk Wings for a Butterfly Party

About:

Butterflies are beautiful and dainty, and they make for a good theme for a party for younger girls. You’ll need a driveway with enough space, chalk, and a camera. A set of colorful chalk should cost about $5.00.

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Items Needed:

  1. chalk
  2. a camera to take photos

Instructions:

You have two options for this activity; you can either draw a set of butterfly wings in advance and color it in (this option may work well for a young crowd that may not be able draw their own butterfly wings such as the under two crowd), or you can draw the template of wings in the driveway and have each little girl color in her own set of wings.

I recommend starting by drawing a forward looking ‘B’ and a backwards ‘B.’ Draw curly antenna. Then, either you or your party guests can color in the wings.

Once done, offer to take photos. This activity is that simple.

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

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SO… do you want to build a snowman? No? The kids might if there’s snow on the ground. You can use old clothes to decorate the snowmen. This activity should take about 45 minutes to do. If you want to, you can also turn it into a contest.

Materials Needed:

  1. over a foot of fresh snow on the the ground
  2. About 4-6 hats
  3. About 4-6 scarves
  4. About 4-6 carrots
  5. About 4-6 long branched for the arms or cleaning materials with a long handle such as a broom
  6. Optional: snow dye or rocks for decoration

Instructions:

Break the kids up into teams 0f 3-4 and have them work together to create snowman. Once everyone is done, have them talk about their snowman: his/her name, hobbies, and profession. Don’t forget to take their pictures!

Crazy Christmas Hat Party

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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

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

Floating House Challenge

About:

If you’ve seen the movie Up, then you’ve seen the iconic scene when Carl escapes the city in his house using of thousands of balloons. You will have your guests try to guess how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse in this activity. You can make the birdhouse a prize for correctly guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse if you like. This is a fun activity for any party. It’s a new take on the how many gum balls in the glass jar activity. It may cost about $60 and the party activity will take about 15 to 20 minutes to take place.

Materials Needed:

  1. Birdhouse
  2. baby pink paint
  3. baby blue paint
  4. canary yellow paint
  5. lime green paint
  6. light orange-pink paint
  7. slate colored paint
  8. pencil
  9. ruler
  10. hook
  11. a bowl of some sort to record guesses
  12. helium filled balloons with strings

Painting Instructions

Put old newspaper over the crafting area. Put some paint on a palette. You should have either bought acrylic paint or some other sort of paint that will be able to survive the harsh outdoors. Use pencil markings to draw lines on your birdhouse that will divide it into 5 sections. Divide the birdhouse in a straight line that divides it into left and right. Next, divide your right hand side into two sections. Next, measure about three to four fingers from the roof. Mark it and then use your ruler to draw a straight line across. Use the image below for inspiration:

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Paint the roof of the birdhouse first with the slate paint. Let it dry for some time and then paint the 4 quadrants. Wait for that to dry and then carefully paint the windows as you see fit. If you have the extra time and the inclination, then buy some white paint and paint on the trim.

The sides of the house are painted one of the four colors in the front of the house. Go crazy.

Once all of the paint has dried, then you should screw in a hook at the top of the birdhouse unless it already comes with one.

A normal party balloon may be able to about 4.8 grams or 0.17 ounces. One of the unfinished bird houses that I saw on Amazon weighs about 1.6 ounces. If we assume that adding the paint and hook adds enough weight to get it up to 2 ounces, then it should take a little over 12 standard party balloons to lift the bird house, but don’t share this information with your child or party guests. The fun is in guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the house.

When the party activity occurs, tie a balloon onto the hook one to two at a time as the crowd cheers on. Stop once the birdhouse has been clearly lifted off of the ground. Announce the winner at the end.

Who Died at the Crime Scene Activity

About:

You’ll just need chalk and enough driveway space for this fun activity. When a person is murdered, police officers will often draw a chalk outline around where the body fell for the crime scene investigators. Your party guests can do the same. This activity will cost about $5-$15 depending on what time of year it is. This activity will keep the guests entertained for 15-30 minutes and works well for children in elementary school.

Materials Needed:

  1. enough colorful chalk for all of your guests

Instructions:

Break the children up into groups of either two or three children.

Have one child lay down on the pavement while the other child or children in the group outline their body in chalk.

Variations: If you break the kids into groups of two children and you have enough space, then you can let each child make his or her own colorful crime scene outline. If you break the kids into groups of three, you can have one child be the outline and then let each child color in a section of the body such as one person colors in the head, one person colors in the torso, and one person colors in the pants.

If you try this, please let us know how it goes down in the comment section below! 

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