Pokemon Party -5yr- Pokeball Hunt
Stephanie in Miramar, FL, U.S.
My 5 year-old son and 6-year old daughter are crazy about Pokemon - cards, toys, video games, TV show - so I learned all about Pokemon to put together a memorable, fun, and (mostly) accurate themed party at our house. There were 20-something kids, aged 2-8, average age of 4 or 5, their parents, and our relatives.
INVITATION: At a portrait studio, we got a great picture of my son in an Ash costume, holding up a pokeball. For the costume we had the real Ash hat, but otherwise the outfit was improvised - rolled-up jeans, an open white collar shirt with a blue vest we cut from a t-shirt, and fingerless gloves. A family member photoshopped different Pokemon into the picture; Pikachu on his shoulder, Charmander under his leg, etc. We formatted the invitation like a Pokemon card with Trainer" on the top over his picture with the party information on the lower half of the card. I printed the graphic from the back of the Pokemon card onto the back so they really looked like Pokemon cards. I printed them on a slightly glossy card stock. Basically I used a paper cutter to cut out the rectangular shape and then rounded the corners with a scissor to shape it like a trading card (but bigger). It said "Attention Pokemon trainers come have a Poke-ball at Tyler's party"
DECORATIONS: I bought Pokemon posters off Ebay and got decorations including a life-size cardboard cut-out of Ash and pokemon at Celebration Express and Party City. We also had different Pokemon and Pikachu helium balloons. The kids' favorite decoration was actually a used Pokedex poster that showed pictures and labelled 480 different Pokemon. I also made many signs on my printer using graphics I got on google image searches labeling the bathrooms section of the house to block off food (Poke-Chow)etc. The sign on the door said "Welcome Pokemon Trainers with a cartoon image of some trainers from the show. My son had a great idea that Pizza-chu" sounded like Pikachu so we made a sign for that too! My daughter had a great idea that we make a Poke-park in the living room. I made a sign on the computer altering the graphic from the video game.
We put down green grass-like mats and took trees stones volcanos mountains and playground equipment from the kids' toys (including little people barbie dora dinosaur and other playsets) to make the landscape and then positioned the plastic Pokemon figures. This served as both decoration and a play area for when we were in between activities. We also had a "Pokemon Center Hospital" for sick and wounded Pokemon. We had doctor coats and scrub tops and a few kids' doctor kits and fixed up baskets with blankets and small plush pokemon so the kids could role-play. We bought Pokeball -shaped cups for each kid and made sure to label with a sharpie so they could take them home. This definitely added to the décor. The online party store had a super-cute tablecloth with little squares showing all different Pokemon which we used on the food table and the kids' little tables. The centerpieces we purchased were cardboard and folded into a box on which we put curled ribbon ping pong pokeballs and Pokemon cards. There was also a banner we got on Celebration Express where they printed my son's picture (wearing the Ash hat) onto the Pokemon banner.
ACTIVITIES: When each child arrived they got a name badge sticker decorated with pokemon (found on a free Printable site). After people ate a bit and settled I gathered up all the kids. I had a poster that listed the 5 activities with a visual for each one: 1) Find them. 2) Pass them. 3) Catch them. 4) Train them. 5) Heal them. I had printed a large version of a name badge and showed them how they get a "Gym badge" (small printed symbol sticker to be stuck onto the name badge) upon completing each activity. After getting all 5 Gym badges they would earn their very own Pokemon. I printed the name badges and Gym badges on sticker paper and cut with a paper cutter cutting off a small corner to make them easier to peal.
1) FIND THEM - This was like an Easter egg hunt with Pokeballs. [I bought ping pong balls on Ebay ($10 for 144) and dipped the bottom half in red paint leaving the top half white. After the paint dried I used black electrical tape for the stripe separating the two colors. For the button I used a hole puncher on sticker paper but gave up on putting buttons after a while since the effect was the same and I had made >70 balls.] It worked well even though the rain prohibited us from doing this outside. The child with the most Pokeballs won a prize of a small plush pokemon.
2) PASS THEM - This was like hot potato but with a Pikachu plush - the winning child got to keep the pikachu.
3) CATCH THEM - We had purchased 3 Pokemon character hats online (Piplup Pikachu and Squirtle.) I recruited 3 dads who could run fast and gave them a headstart in the yard before letting all the kids outside to "Catch them all." This was a quick game but super fun. It could be continued if you switch who has the hats.
4) TRAIN THEM - I had printed full sheet (8.5x11) Pokemon cards showing 4 Pokemon characters and a specific attack. One card was for a spider Pokemon Galvantula. I had a very large inflated moving spider from Halloween. That was Galvantula which they had to train their Pokemon to attack. I did this like a relay with the kids on 3 teams. The Pikachu team used Thunderbolt attack Piplup used bubble attack (bubble machine) and the Bulbasaur team used Vine attack (green silly string.) I picked these Pokemon because I had large plush dolls for each that each team could use(bought used off Ebay.) Once the trainers defeated Galvantula I simply pulled the plug and let it deflate.
5) HEAL THEM: We had a large poster with Pikachu and I had used a marker to black out its tail. I had cut lighting-shaped tails out of adhesive felt. So the game was pin the tail on the Pikachu. It was great and the kids really got into the Pokemon hospital dressing up and role-playing while it was other kids' turns.
CAKE: Once the kids earned all 5 Gym badges with the games above it was time for cake (Pokemon cake from publix - I had to go the 3 Publix stores to find one that made this cake) and then Pikachu pinata outside. ANGRY POKEMON: We had one other game for adults to fool around with and kids at the end of the party. We called it Angry Pokemon and basically made a life-size Angry Birds set-up with wood blocks from a huge Jenga set. We had a slingshot (bought online) and slung a plush Pokeball at the wood structure covered in Pokemon plush (again purchased used off Ebay.)
FAVORS: Each child got a plush Poke-ball that unzipped into a Pokemon (really cool - got off Ebay) after earning all 5 Gym badges. They also had a bag of candy from the pinata. I had small party favor boxes that contained small plastic Pokemon figures (Ebay from China - very cheap but allow a month to arrive) and Pokemon cards. The beauty of this party is that kids age 2 to 8 all participated together; the older kids at first acted less interested (even though they really liked Pokemon)since it was a younger child's party but became engaged and motivated because they had a mission to complete and wanted to get all 5 badges. Most importantly the birthday boy had a fabulous time sharing his passion for Pokemon with his friends! "
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