Idea No.


Indiana Jones Party -9yr- Compase to Treasure



November 2008


Heath in Frederica, DE, USA

Special Mention

Indiana Jones Party

We held an Indiana Jones themed party for my 9 year-old son this past weekend (Nov.)  It was predicted to thunderstorm, so we had originally planned for a lot of indoor activities.  At the last minute, it was beautiful and sunny, so a lot of our plans switched to outdoor activities, but some could be done inside or out.  In all nine kids showed up (8 boys and 1 girl) and they had a blast. 

Decorations When the kids arrived, we took them down to the basement.  Decorations consisted of spiderwebs and plastic skeletons (50% off from Walmart after Halloween).  My wife created Indie bags (paper gift bags) with heiroglyphics on them with everyone's name and a decoder table so they could figure out which bag was theirs.  We also had heiroglyphics puzzles to solve that answered questions about the Indiana Jones movies.  (The heiroglyphics are available for free on the Internet.  We just printed them with an ink-jet printer.)  Also, each kid was issued an Indiana Jones hat made out of paper, which my wife found on eBay. 

Activities Then I handed out the Indiana Jones journals which were just white sheets of printer paper with front and back covers made from brown paper grocery bags so they looked kind of like leather.  (I stapled these, but the staples weren't long enough, and I had to restaple frequently.)  In the journals were games (pick the geographic locations from Indiana Jones' movies on a map - this was really too hard for 9 yr. olds and they needed a lot of help), and clues and instructions for what was to happen next. 

After we played the geography game, I took them outside and separated them into 2 teams.  Using compasses, they had to follow various bearings and walk the right number of paces, which led them from clue to clue until they got back to the garage.  We have a wooded lot, so I put the clues in plastic Chinese take out boxes that my wife found at Michaels, and put these boxes next to or in the trees.  This was fun on a great day, and educational too, as they all learned how to use a compass (with a lot of help from me).  In the garage was a pinata, hanging from rope.  The pinata was wrapped in brown paper and wrapped with rope to look like it was cargo.  On the pinata was marked Danger - Nitroclycerin - Do not shake."  I got the stencil font on the web for free.  That sign actually gave them pause for a moment until I told them it was really OK to hit it with a bat.  Then they all took turns hitting it until it burst. 

Cake After this we went back to the basement and ate cake and ice cream.  My wife had purchased a little toy Indiana Jones scene that made a great cake topper and probably saved us $15 from having to buy an actual Indiana Jones cake done up in the store.  More Activities After the cake we went back outside to do the hay hunt.  We used two bales of hay given to us by a local farmer which I broke apart in a pile.  Inside were eyeballs rats and spiders.  In the journal it told the kids what each rat monkey eyeball and spider found was worth.  These were important to make the last ingredient for "spider-bite antidote."    The kid who solved the hieroglyphics puzzle correctly and the one who gathered the items worth the most points both got to choose prizes out of a treasure-chest-shaped box my wife put together.  We then played a quick game of velcro-ball toss at an Indiana Jones target (again from Walmart) and the winner of that got to choose a prize.  Then it was time for the finale.  In the back of the basement behind sheets draped across the entrance was the "Indie Challenge."  I had made a campsite with a green tarp draped over a rope as the tent. 

Around the tent were "supplies which were empty cardboard boxes wrapped in brown paper and stenciled with Deliver to Dr. Jones and Cairo Egypt etc.  One box was marked with Spider-bite Antidote and was covered with rubber spiders.  There were also rubber snakes and fake rats around the campsite.  In the Indiana Jones journals, it told about each creature, and my wife had taken digital photos the the creatures" which I put in the journal along with some info taken from Wikipedia about rats spiders and snakes.  The kids broke into three teams and made their way through the "Indie Challenge."  They had to find the Crystal Skull (clear plastic mugs with skulls on them) in the setting and also keep track of all the clues which I quizzed them on afterwards.  I.e. How many spiders did you see? What colors were the snakes etc.  It was a little spooky but a lot of fun and the winner of the challenge got to choose a prize from the treasure chest. 

Party Favors After this excitement the kids were pretty riled up but the party was winding down.  We had them gather up all their prizes and candy in their Indie bags and then gave them parting gifts of toy whips which we purchased from a local costume shop (but could probably have been gotten from eBay for less).  The kids loved these but we had purposely waited to give them out so there would be less likelihood of party-time whippings.  Some kids when outside to practice (with lots of supervision) until the parents arrived.  My son was pretty thrilled and both of his parents were pretty tired!"

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