Digimon Party -6yr- Scavenger Hunt
Paige in Tucker, GA, USA
Digimon Party (or Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc) - 6 Years Old We celebrated my son's 6th birthday with a Digimon party. The same party could be easily adapted for many of the anime cartoons...Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc. The internet and a good color printer were invaluable to this party.
For the invitation, I downloaded a movie scene and used PhotoShop to substitute my son's face for one of the cartoon characters' faces, placing him in the midst of a Digimon action scene. I printed the image on the front of postcards and on the back I had the message, "Calling All Digidestined! The Digital World is in peril! The evil Devimon threatens to spoil the celebration of Jared-Mon's birthday with a Gloom Dust attack! Experienced Tamers are needed to rescue our Digimon friends and save the day!" The party information followed, along with the tagline, "Caution: Things can get wet and messy in the Digital World...dress appropriately!" I then addressed the invitations to "Jared-Mon," "Kate-Mon," etc.
We held the party in our backyard where the children could play on the swingset, sandbox, playhouse, etc. between activities. I used the pictures from the invitation to make posters and banners for decorations, and found Digimon tablecloths and other decorations at the bargain bin at Toys R Us. We played the soundtrack from the Digimon movie in the background. When the children arrived, they chose a headband made from construction paper with a Digimon character's picture and name on the front. This was their alter ego for the day. (More on how these were used later. I laminated them, and many of the crafts and signs, to protect them during the wet activities later on.)
Then they followed their Cyberpath (pieces of yarn strung from the gift table to one of three different craft stations) to their first activity. Each craft station had a sign with a movie scene on it and instructions for the activities, so that parents could help their children. The first craft station was the "Anime Art Studio," where the children could color Digimon pages downloaded from the internet.
The second station was the "Digimon Creation Station," where the children could make Digimon puppets. These were made from toilet paper rolls, popsicle sticks, and the downloaded craft from dltk-kids.com. I also shrunk the templates and printed out smaller versions that could be made into finger puppets using 35mm film canisters. Craft materials were available to decorate the puppets, and glue dots (purchased at a craft store or Oriental Trading) kept things from getting too messy.
The final station was the "Digivice Engineering Lab." Children made craft sand by rubbing colored sidewalk chalk over table salt, and layered different colors of sand in a sun-shaped craft sand key chain purchased from Oriental Trading. By using the "cyberpath" I was able to disperse the children among the different craft stations and keep each one from getting overcrowded, and encouraged some of the children who don't usually do crafts to participate. As children completed their crafts, they were lead on a Digi-egg hunt in the Digital World. The Digi-eggs were Easter eggs filled with small Digimon figures and stickers purchased through E-bay. The Digital World was recycled from the space room created for my daughter's astronaut party two months earlier. We hung black tarps to cover the walls and ceiling, making a room in our basement. Glow-in-the-dark stars and planets were glued to the tarp. For lighting, I used a blacklight, an orange spotlight from Halloween, and some disco lights purchased through Oriental Trading. I played some ethereal music, and used fishing wire to hang CDs from the ceiling (I recycled all those free CDs that come in the mail trying to sign you up for internet service). I had blown up clip-art of the Digimon characters that I had downloaded from dltk-kids.com, cut them out, and then hung those from helium balloons so that they floated around the room. I put additional balloons on the floor. After all the children had been on their Digi-Egg hunt, it was time for the Tamers to train their Digimon to help them move to the champion level. The headbands they had been given earlier were color-coded. Each child found their partner by finding the other child who had the same color headband. In each pair, one child had a Digidestined alter ego (human) and the other had that character's Digimon (monster) as an alter ego. The "Digimon Training Camp" consisted of three timed activities. First was an obstacle course. Holding hands with their partner, the children stepped over a jump rope, went under a parachute, went through a wading pool filled with balls, and then had to drop two plastic bowling pins through a basketball hoop. Second was an activity that taught the Digimon to listen to their Tamer. The Digimon was blindfolded, and then their partner was placed about 6 feet from them. The partner called out their Digimon's name until the Digimon found them.
For the last activity, children hugged with a balloon sandwiched between them, walked to the finish line without dropping the balloon, and then popped the balloon. The partners with the lowest score (based on the time taken to finish each event) won Digimon prizes. I then warned the children that I had news that Devimon was on his way to ruin the party, and Angemon was close on his heels to try to prevent his evil plan.
I told the children when Devimon and Angemon arrived, they must run to avoid being caught. Then my husband and another father burst on the scene, dressed as Angemon and Devimon (I used craft foam to decorate foam visors and glasses bought at a craft store, along with a black cape and white lab coat from Halloween). Angemon had mailing labels printed with pictures of Angemon; Devimon had Devimon labels. When they caught a child during the chase, they put a label on him or her so we would know who was on which team. When the children were divided into two teams, I told them each team now needed to muster reinforcements and supplies for the Digibattle. I gave each team a large Digimon Trading Card (made with clipart, scanned images, desktop publishing, and an 11x17 piece of cardstock).
The first card was for a Digimon who had an Ocean Spray attack, so each team got a bucket of water balloons. On each card was a riddle. When the team solved it, it lead them to the location of their next Digimon card. I had planned the scavenger hunt so that each team was going to different places, one inside the house, the other outside. Each team received five cards with different kinds of clues they had to solve riddle, word find, code, maze, etc. With each card their was a different supply for their attack. In addition to the water balloons there was Gloom Dust (about 1/2 cup flour in a sock tied at the end to make a comet-shaped ball), Bubble Blow (shaving cream), Web Attack (silly string), and Plasma Shot (gelatin).
The last clue led them back to the party site, where they lined up for the Digibattle. After instructions (no shaving cream in the eyes, no flour sock blows to the head), the battle began. The kids had a ball and were a complete mess by the time it was over. We followed the Digibattle with some water play to rinse off all the goop, and then had cake.
The cake was shaped like Agumon with a birthday candle that had a Digital readout of the number 6 (purchased in the cake decorating section at the local grocery store), and 5 sparklers. (My sister made the cake based on a Barney the Dinosaur cake design.) To open presents, the children sat in a circle and passed the presents around to music. When the music stopped, the birthday boy opened the present he was holding.
Gift bags were color lunch bags with the Photoshop picture from the invitation and each child's Digimon name on them. In addition to the crafts and Digieggs, there were fruit rollups with tongue tattoos, PopRocks, Zots candies, Digimon trading cards, and a Digimon cardboard party hat (from the Toys R Us bargain bin)for each child. In case of rain, and as a cool down activity while kids waited to be picked up and while we began clean-up, we had Digimon videos on hand.
A few hints: call parents ahead of time to let them know how messy this party will be so they can plan accordingly and so that you're aware of any allergies (it turned out one child was allergic to shaving cream), and have plenty of old towels available and wet wipes to clean hands before eating. The messiness of this party is not for the faint-hearted or for cold or bad weather days, but it's something the kids will never forget!
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