Army Party (9-10 yr) Rice Crispy Tanks
Brenda in Elkhorn, NE USA
Army Party Theme - Ages 9 - 10 yrs old. Invitations: We just used a clip art of a soldier scaling a rock wall and looking over to read a message printed on a rock that said, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rendezvous with an elite force of young men to celebrate [child's name] birthday. Arrival time: 14 hundred hours (2:00pm) to 4:00pm, date & address." Below we put, "The boys will be going through "boot camp" so they'll be crawling on the grass, and will probably be hit by a few water grenades, during their missions. Have them wear green or tan or camouflage clothes, if you can. Call: phone# to sign on. Drill Sergeants: name parents."
During arrival Time: When kids arrived they put their bandanas on (We cut 19.5" squares out of camouflage material for bandanas [fold in half to make a triangle and tie in back with flap underneath]) and sent them, in shifts, to the bathroom to paint their own faces with camouflage face paint from the hunting/sporting goods store. We taped a color picture to the mirror of a soldier with face paint on, to give them an example. For great pictures you can decorate with, see http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/art/A&I/artwork.htm . The boys also put on a patriotic tattoo (we got a pack at the party supply store). They also drew a 1"x17" red or blue ribbon from a brown paper lunch bag, to tie around their upper arm, to determine which team they'd be on. Get the party started: After we had all of our guests ready, we took them outside and lined them up in a row and had them stand at attention. We told them they were in boot camp. And gave them directions single file over the sturdy garbage barrel (fastened to ground with a pole going through cut out handles), and under the ropes on their bellies (ropes tied between 2 metal fence posts and our chainlink fence), my husband handed the boys a rope hanging from a tree and they swung over a water hazard (a baby blow up wading pool), then they stepped through or jumped over the bottom of a plastic skeleton of a kid's play tent (turned upside-down and stuck into the ground), we put camo burlap over the top part of the plastic tent skeleton for them to crawl through like a tunnel (but that fell apart soon, because it was too small to crawl under), then the boys fell back into line until we yelled, "hup, hup, hup!", then they ran through the course again, twice more. The last time, my husband told them they could pick up one water grenade (balloon) and throw it at anyone going through the course that they wanted to, after they got to the end. 3-4 boys decided they'd sneak attack him, but he got lucky as they bounced off his back before they broke! "Congratulations! You've all graduated boot camp. Now it's time for your first mission.
Mission #1: "Capture the flag" have the blue team group together at left/red at right. Give directions: Each team places their flag at opposite corners of the yard (flags made from short dowels and a black cobra and panther in a white circle with blue & red backgrounds, printed on computer paper or card stock and taped with masking tape to dowel). Teams are to decide who will start offense and who will start defensive positions. This is like freeze tag, the red team goes after the blue teams flag and vise versa. Once the other team has your flag you can tag the person carrying the flag; when you do you and he are both frozen for the rest of the game. Another team member has to come get the flag from you to try to carry it back to home base without getting tagged (you can end up with all of your boys frozen before anyone gets back to home base). Rules: no throwing the flag & the red team cannot steal their red flag away from the blue team and vise versa. We tried having them hide their flags, to begin with, but they both did such a good job of hiding them that it took a long time to find them and then only one team had the flag for that game. I thought it was more fun to have 2 flags going at the same time).
Mission #2: "Rescue Injured Soldiers".we had seven kids on each of our teams, so we had 2 injured men, 4 gurney carriers and a doctor. The boys had to run across the yard to their injured team mates and wrap him up with a whole roll of toilet paper and lay him on the gurney or stretcher (beach towel) and walk with him, carefully (one boy on each corner),unload him at home base and run back to get the other injured boy, wrap & carry him back to be the first team to win the race. The doctor carried the toilet paper and was supposed to do the wrapping, but the boys figured out it would go faster if they all helped wrap.
By now the boys are hot and tired and begging for water, so we let them come inside in the air conditioning to open presents, while we got their snacks out. Snacks & Table Décor: We got most of our table decoration supplies from www.birthdayexpress.com . They had great camo/army plates, cups, placemats, and balloons. We had to pick up some extra plates, etc. with flags on them, because we underestimated the number of guests who would be able to come. We got some black star shaped balloon holders to tie the balloons to.
For their snacks we made rice crispy tanks. We made rice crispy bars (1 1/2 batches) in a cake pan. Put in refrigerator and cut into trapezoid shapes (diagonally to the left and to the right - kind of like a triangle shaped rectangle). Cut pretzel rods in half. Put 16 reg. sized (8oz) and a bag of bite sized Reese's peanut butter cups in the refrigerator for several minutes to peel easier. Unwrap after cooled. Melt Chocolate flavored almond bark &/or milk chocolate chips in fry pan on very low. Quickly dip the rice crispy trapezoid in the chocolate (you don't need to cover the bottom [the shorter side]. Put on wax paper. Cover the pretzel in chocolate and press onto top of trapezoid, coming off one side to form the cannon. Put the 8oz peanut butter cup upside-down on the top (partially covering the end of the pretzel to help hold it on). Put 2 or 3 bite sized peanut butter cups on each side of the tank for the wheels (our tanks were different sizes, because when I cut my rice crispies diagonally I forgot to allow for the difference). Put into refrigerator ASAP, otherwise the hot chocolate may melt the rice crispy bar and it may fall apart or the cannon may fall off. Makes 16 tanks. These were fun to make, but they were expensive and not very many boys ate very much of them, so be prepared to trash your uneaten works of art! We also made some Pillsbury sugar cookies that had flag designs in the cookie just slice & bake! We took toothpicks that had American flags on them already and poked them down into Rolo's (choc. Covered caramel), still wrapped. We had ice cream cups and I thought Nick was old enough to appreciate trick (sparking & relighting) candles stuck into a rice crispy bunker. All the boys tried to help blow them out after they saw them relighting! Back to the mission field,
Mission #3: War!... We filled a whole bunch of water balloons, that looked like grenades, and put them in a wading pool. We were going to have the boys race to fill up the rest of the balloons with the hoses, but war broke out, prematurely, as the teams used the hoses, along with the water grenades, on each other. Another mother helper and I retreated to the kitchen to supply the troops with the rest of the water grenades (filled at the kitchen faucet).
As the 1st parent came to pick up their dripping wet soldier, we got towels out for them to dry off and gave them a party favor that was kind of like a mini-piñata. They looked like grenades. Each boy got one. We used a 3" x 3" thick cardboard core that we got from the local sticker/label printing company and taped a paper around the core that looked like a grenade pattern. We taped a confetti popper to the inside of the core. Tie a key ring loop (from craft dept.) to the end of the string. Put toy soldiers, gum balls and candy in green tissue paper, wrap up and gently stuff into core so that the bottom of the popper is not covered. Give the kids directions not to put their hand under the grenade when they pull the ring and not to point the bottom of the grenade at anyone. After the confetti pops out they pull out the paper and get their treats. We gave them brown paper lunch bags that we painted with black and green paint (camo) for their favor bags for them to put it all into. We also gave them a plastic army airplane with mini-soldiers as a party favor.
Other Decorations: The Army Recruiting office gave us a couple big posters with a star on them which said, "go army" and little stickers to give to the boys, and a couple cardboard displays with pictures of a helicopter and a soldier's face to put on the table. We taped other pictures we'd printed from the internet up with collages of pictures grouped by different wars/battles (Operation Anaconda, Desert Storm, Viet Nam, WWII&Korea) with dates and headings for the kids to look at (a little history). God bless America and all the men and women who sacrificed themselves for our freedom and to protect freedom around the world
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