Jack's Army Party -8yr- Army Tank Cake
Nancy in Huntington, NY
INVITATION: Sent out draft" type letters with ARMY logo downloaded from internet. Dear LT *** You have been selected to be among an elite group of men to join the special forces of the US ARMY. ETC ETC. Mission: Celebrate Capt. Jack's 8th Bday. Rendezvous: Fort *** Date 18:00-20:00 (6-8pm). Drill Exercises to include: strength and agility training soldier rescue avoiding hazardous objects etc. Uniform: camo suggested but not required Be prepared for contact with H20 and grass.Equipment to be issued at rendezvous point. Confirm to General *** by (date) or you will be considered AWOL and that is not good. I formatted TOP SECRET/Confidential/Classified text boxes over the text of the letter in red and on the envelopes. Some of the parents almost chucked them out because they looked like JUNK MAIL from the army! But the boys LOVED them. We sent dog tag in the invites and my son delivered most of them by hand like it was his secret mission. The boys all were pumped and showed up in their best camo. Outfits. We gave them little jelly camo bracelets and let them play in backyard.
DECORATIONS: I had bought lots of American Flags for decoration in lawn. Also I wrote sign on box material: Fort *** MESS HALL DANGER AUTHORIZED PERSONEL ONLY and we put these around the house and outside. ACTIVITIES/GAMES:When all kids arrived I played Revelrie off the iPOD and my husband blew a whistle. He called out like a higher ranking officer and lined them up. He did a little "hazing" that was fun to the boys telling them about "attention" and "at ease" right face left face etc. YES SIR etc. He add libbed it and of course the boys giggled and laughed. He made them "get down and give me 10 pushups!" etc. He did warm up: jumping jacks etc. Very funny. When that was done he taught them how to salute and then we played the national anthem while my other child held an American Flag in front of the line. I had downloaded some great military music from iTunes which I played throughout party: drum marches bugle calls and just famous music. We "issued" them their army gear with their last name on it. (back pack compass and army hat-from oriental trading/star track). We had a lot of giveaways during party and we just told them to stick it in their backpacks. The boys LOVED this of course.
Games: My husband lined them up in two PLATOONS and they did an obstacle course in pairs. All of the times were added up and one platoon "won" this drill. My son gave this group necklace medals.We issued their canteens with water in them that we kept on filling during party. Next they played Avoiding Hazardous Obstacles (dodgeball). Most 8 year old boys love dodgeball so they did 3 or 4 rounds of this. The winning platoon got medals. Luckily it was the other group of boys.
We gave the boys a break to mess around and then we sat them down for drink and chicken fingers and peanut hot dogs in the "mess hall". They first had to get their plates and "line up for chow". And then they brought it back to their seats. I had a camouflage tablecloth and some flags on the table. Our table is a long table with two benches which was perfect for this. While they finished eating I quick tossed about 100 or so little army men in the front lawn.
Then went back and told the boys that the next drill was soldier rescue "you never leave a man behind". I gave them each a cup and lined them on the porch "ready set go". They loved this too and we did this 4 times. I gave out little individual pin on medals from MICHAELS to the kid who found the most. When we were done with this I told them that they could keep their soldiers but the kids with most needed to share some with the others who didn't find so many. They worked it out and everyone was happy. As if they needed another game I had made some water balloons for target practice. My husband was the target and then of course this turned into water balloon dodgeball! Balloons flying everywhere! Around that time we handed out water guns which by that time was overkill but the boys were in heaven. When we ran out of balloons we just gave the boys cups and they chucked water at each other or filled their water guns from a cooler that we had filled. When the cooler was empty that was done.My son had a great GREAT time and so did my husband and I.
CAKE: I made an ARMY TANK cake (idea from internet google coolest cake ideas) with my son: rectangle with circle on top covered in camouflage icing hershey choc. Pieces for tread and oreo cookies for the wheels. Little army soldiers on it. It was AWESOME! It sounds like we constantly had games but we let them do free play too. We would alternate rest and starting a next game when it seemed like they were ready. I was going to do wounded soldier recovery that I read about on this site (wrap up a kid in toilet paper and carry across lawn) but the kids were having a good time and we chose to forget it.
PARTY SNACKS: potato chips and food above.
PARTY FAVORS: We gave out lots of stuff maybe overkill but there was so much fun prop type stuff to get and we couldn't resist: all stuff above in their backpacks plus deck of cards wrist sweat band binoculars. If you didn't want to spend as much money probably just camouflaged hats or bandanas would have been enough to set the mood. And you could make spy glasses from toilet paper or paper towel rolls. The key was that my husband and I attempted to stay "in character" with military type talk. The boys loved pretending. We are big fans of backyard parties and have had many. This was definitely the best and most fun yet. The kids were exhausted by the end: two hours of fun and excitement. I think everyone had a fun time. Backyard Parties are THE BEST! Always lots of great ideas from this website! Thanks!"
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