Idea No.

14223

Rescue Heroes -4yr- Rescue Obstacle Course

Award

Date

August 2006

From

Nancy in Ypsilanti, Michigan  Washetenaw County

Special Mention

Rescue Hero

We just had a Rescue Heroes birthday party for my 4-year-old son.  It was a blast and will be almost impossible to match for my next son's birthday!  We had planned to have it at a local park, but the weather forced us to move it to our home that morning.  I think it would have been easier at the park, but turned out just as fun at our home!  It was a Rescue Heroes Training Camp party and maybe we had a few too many activities because the party lasted almost 4 hours.  However, the time flew and everyone seemed to enjoy every minute! 

Prior to the party, I had bought t-shirts at the dollar store and I created a Rescue Heroes logo using the internet and iron-on transfer paper (remember to reverse the image before printing on the transfer paper.)  Then using iron-on letters left over from a previous party idea, I put each child's name on the back of their t-shirt.  As each child arrived, they changed into the new shirt.  Luckily, everyone arrived within about 5 minutes of each other, so they didn't have to fill time playing with our Rescue Hero action figures, but we had them out for their play as desired. 

Everyone gathered in the family room and I explained that this was a training camp and we would be getting into shape and practicing rescues.  I explained that rescue heroes had to be in great shape in order to do their job, so we would start with calisthenics.  Everyone had to do 15 jumping jacks, 15 toe touches and run in place.  The children were ages 2 to 7 and watching these attempts at exercise was most enjoyable!  

Next, there was an obstacle course.  (This, more than anything else, would have been much better at the park playscape.)  They had to run around a tent in the family room, around the desk chair, around the chalkboard, up the stairs, touch the fridge, down the stairs and touch the tent.  I explained that rescue heroes always acted as a team, so when you weren't the one doing the exercise, you should be cheering the person on.  The parents all helped with this and one dad timed each person (I'm not sure he gave actual times, but it seemed to add to it that there was a time being measured.)  The children all seemed to enjoy this very much.   

Next, I explained that there was a real emergency that their assistance was requested.  There had been a fire at the animal shelter and all the animals were trapped!  Each hero would have to go into the smoke-filled shelter and rescue one animal.  The "shelter" was actually a child's pop-up tent filled with white streamers taped to the top and hanging to the floor.  They loved crawling in and grabbing an animal from the back and bringing it to the "animal hospital."  They enjoyed it so much that as they rescued animals, we kept collecting them and tossing them back in.  All in all, I would say some 30 animals were rescued by 8 children!  One child was very shy and didn't participate up to this point, but the rest were very into it. 

Next I announced that there had been another catastrophe and the rescue heroes were required.  There had been a mining accident--the cave had collapsed and the miners were trapped inside.  The rescue heroes would have to climb into the collapsed mine and save the "miners" (small stretchy/sticky frogs and lizzards.)  To create this, I had borrowed a collapsable tunnel from our playgroup.  Luckily, it fit perfectly into black 30 gallon trash bags, so I cut the end from about 4 of them and completely covered the tunnel with the black bags.  I explained that it was very important that rescue heroes have the right tools for the right jobs and that for this rescue they would need flashlights to be able to see in the dust-filled, totally black tunnel.  I gave each child a dollar store flashlight.  The flashlights were a great success and even the most shy child got into the act with this rescue!  They were allowed to rescue only one "miner" at a time, so each child went through 2-3 times. 

Next, there was a mudslide and several people were trapped.  The heroes had to go into the sandbox we keep in our laundry room and locate a person (a small squirt toy.)  Again, they LOVED this and we only had one or two isolated incidents where someone threw sand!  Next, each child was given the opportunity to select a piece of poster board, some firetruck stickers, some small filler stickers, and some larger badge stickers from the local police/fire stations.  They could create their own game.  I had dice and tiny firemen/policemen from the dollar store that they could choose for their playing pieces.  As they made their games, I prepared the hotdogs and chicken nuggets and sat out the carrots and fruit.  The children ate after they finished their games.   

After replenishing their energy with the food and drink, we announced that there were two final rescues.  Upstairs in one bedroom, there had been an avalanche.  The real rescue heroes had been their skiing for recreation when they had been trapped under an avalanche.  Their job was to rescue the rescue heroes.  We had filled our son's room with balloons about hip deep for the children.  They had a ball tossing balloons all over the room as they found the heroes. When they finished, they took playing pieces from their games and popped all 75 balloons!  It was a mess, but worth it for the fun they had in that room! 

The final rescue was to put out a fire.  I had put poster board "flames" into the outside sand box.  Their job was to put out the fire by knocking down the flames with the water grenades (balloons.)  Unfortunately, I had used balloons that were too big so as they tossed them, they just bounced!  But they had a ball finally getting them all to burst.  After completing the first mission, they were allowed to go to a prize bin and pick out a prize.  In there were about 8 cans of silly string.  The children brought these out and started spraying their parents.  Then the parents turned it back on them or pelted them with water from the balloons!  It was a hoot! 

Next, my son presented each child with a certificate of excellence for completing the rescue training camp.  He has a speech problem, so it was very special to seem him announce each name, hand them the certificate, shake their hand and say, "Good job!"  He seemed SO PROUD to hand them out!  Next we had cake and ice cream and then he opened his gifts.  Everyon thanked me and left.  It was very tiring, but so much fun!  Definitely a great idea for a party!  I planned it and prepared for it in about 2.5 weeks!  I collected stickers and stuff from the local police, sherriff and firemen and used plastic firehats (from them) for their goodie bags.  

It was very difficult to locate rescue hero stuff, but e-bay was a great help!  It was amazing to me how well all the 9 children got along and played together during this entire party!  And it wasn't very expensive! Counting food and all the goodies, I spent less than $70 for a party for 12 children and their parents!  I served hotdogs and chicken nuggets on pop-sickle sticks, carrots, strawberries, chips and little hug drinks.  All were a hit!!  Thanks for all the ideas that helped with this party!  It was my best ever!

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