Shrek & Donkey's Camp (3-5yr) Badge of Completion
Kathy in Clermont, FL, USA
Official Title of the Party: Shrek and Donkey's Incredibles Training Camp Our sons' birthdays are within three weeks of each other and since they have the same group of friends (other than school friends), we wanted to do a joint party for them. The catch was that the about to be 3 yr old wanted a Shrek and Donkey (his favorite) party and the about to be 5 yr old wanted an Incredibles Party. So I searched this site for the two parties and merged ideas from others listed here. Thank you for all the great ideas!! The only reason I'm submitting this is to possibly help others see ways to merge ideas to personalize themes to their kid's preferences. We sent out invitations that looked like camp registration forms. The top half was like a camp flyer/ad and the bottom had a cut off registration form. On the form we asked for some information: name, age, special power, and favorite hero, color and food. We used this info at the end of the party to outfit them when they graduated from camp and became superheroes.
We rented space at a local camp (worth every penny of $50) to have a big room and kitchen for the 35 kids (5 yr old really wanted to invite his preK class and it turned out to be a day everyone and their siblings could come!) plus parents, games, food and fun. We set up tables on half the room with plastic table cloths. 3 tables had activities set up for between organized games or for kids who didn't want to play the group games. These were coloring pages from the two movies found on free online sites, a castle-themed felt board with characters, a home-made Shrek and Incredibles combo memory game, and one of those carnival games with the metal wand that you try to not touch the metal shape. The biggest hit was the simplest, the coloring pages.
We also decorated the room with balloons, streamers and a bunch of simple posterboard signs with comic book sounds written on them (pow, whack, zoom, etc.). As kids arrived, the "counselors" (that's what friends are for! I even made us matching tie-dyed shirts) checked them in and gave them a nametag assigning them to a team (Teams were: Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Violet, Dash and Elastigirl, we tried to have an even mix of ages and kids who knew each other on the teams) and giving them their camp shirts (instead of capes in their fave colors, I got great pocketed T's for $1 and tie-dyed them in their fave colors). Before we started playing games, I gathered the kids and explained that they would be in training to become superheroes with each activity at the party. If they successfully completed all the training, they'd be given their superhero identity at the end of camp.
First we played Shrek's Incredible Dance Party. We called this a teamwork, speed, loyalty, strengthening and rescuing exercise for future heroes. This idea was modified from a Rainbow Fish game on a pre-K phys ed web site. Each team's tags were a different color and we taped posterboard in matching colors with a picture of the team's character on them randomly all over the dance floor. We made one fewer space than team-members of each team. One counselor was the gate-keeper and stood with by the jail (a large laundry basket).
We played music from the Shrek karaoke party and general bday party music for the kids to dance to, we also encouraged the parents to dance with the kids to get them moving around. I was a little worried that this game might be too complex or that people wouldn't dance, but in no time, the kids were having a blast. When the music stopped, the kids had to find a spot on the floor that matched their team assignment (one child per spot). After 5 seconds, a counselor could nab any camper not on a spot and put them in jail. The next time the music started, they could only be rescued by someone from their own team showing their matching nametag. My 3 yr old LOVED this game and wanted to rescue everyone. The kids could have played this longer. We probably spent 10-15 minutes on it, we made sure that each team had to rescue someone at least 2 times.
Next we played Pillow Pass. We said this was to work on teamwork, balance and concentration. We divided the group into 2 teams (all the Shrek character teams on one side, Incredibles on the other) and had them lie down thighs even but head to toe. Then we placed a pillow between the feet of the first person and using only their feet they had to pass the pillow from one to the other down the whole row. That was a lot of fun!
Then we played a trivia game that I completely stole from another party on this website. I covered a large picture with felt and made a rough pinnochio out of felt with 1.5" long pieces of nose. Then I found a movie trivia web site and put together questions from the 2 Shrek movies and made up my own Incredibles (the movie was too new) questions. This was a little tough with the size of the group, but my kids loved doing it at home. With more than 12 I'd advise a microphone (even a kids karaoke machine) and a game show feeling to it.
After that we told the kids to play the games on the tables and get something to eat while we prepped the last game. For food we had fruit, chips, veggie tray with dip, pretzel sticks, etc. We kept drinks simple with juice boxes, waters and sodas in coolers and coffee for the adults.
While they were eating, 2-3 of us set up an obstacle course for the kids as the "capstone" in their training. We had 8 obstacles using whatever I could easily bring with me. This was one of the highlights of the party even if it got a little chaotic with that many kids. Here are the obstacles we used: 1) bunkbed ladder laid as a bridge across 2 risers that were in the rented room (kids bear-walked across the bridge); 2) taped down 2 Christmas red tablecloths as lava flows and gave the kids 2 of those connectable floor matts to use as stepping stones to cross the lava; 3) Jump through a hula hump like a jump rope for each year in age; 4) we put 2 pillows into garbage bags and hung them from the rafters, a counselor was swinging these for the kids to run through without getting hit (they loved this); 5) do 2 forward rolls on matts; 6) walk on "stompers" for 6-7 feet(cups made for this with strings attached, stand on the cup and hold the strings with hands to walk); 7) Limbo under a dance bar borrowed from my neighbor's daughter); and finally 8) sit on a skate board and push yourself to the finish line. OK, this was a bit complicated to figure out, but with parents helping their own kids through, they really LOVED this and went through over and over again.
Whew! After that it was time for cake and swamp parfaits (green colored vanilla pudding layered with choc pudding and crushed oreos with a gummy worm stuck in it). The cake was a big round pan that needed 2 boxes. I copied the Incredibles emblem and decorated with some Shrek and Incredibles characters.
Then we brought them together again for their last group activity, the pinata. I used a punch ball to make a larger round pinata. I think I did about 5 layers of paper, let it dry for 2 days, then glued red tissue paper over the whole thing. I cut out Incredibles and Shrek characters from party tablecloths and grouped them by movie on 2 sides of the oval. I cut a whole on the top to fill the goody bags (named each one, next time I'd just put enough in and not name them, but it was part of the fun to sort it out as a group) before decorating it. Then I couldn't figure out how to hang it up to break it. After much debate, we decided to use a tarp like a parachute, have all the kids hold the tarp and toss the behemoth into the air and let it crash to disarm the "bomb." It sounded like and was fun to do, but make sure you keep the thing in the middle. A 2 year old almost got taken out by the beast. The kids and parents still talk about that.
We gave them a few minutes to check out their goody bags, then gathered them together again. I congratulated everyone on a great effort and told them they would now receive their superhero gear and identity, but not to open anything until they were home so they could keep their identity secret. We sewed bags out of cheap flourescent yellow fabric and put their initials on the outside. Inside they had a power ring, necklace (disco ball) and slap bracelet, a mask, a magnifying glass with light, a black toule cape, etc., all from your favorite party supply warehouse.
In addition, we replaced their nametag with a superhero ID badge. On one side it read, "Official Badge of Completion: Shrek and Donkey's Incredibles Training Camp. This badge is the property of Team Incredibles. In case of natural disaster or civil disorder, the properly identified wearer shall be granted entry. Access Leve = Top Secret All Clearances Granted." On the other side I left a square for the parent to insert the child's picture and the badge says "Team Incredibles ID" at the top with the child's real name, superhero name, birthday, mentor (favorite hero), super power (f/ their registration), Power sources (fave foods and colors) and a place to put their fingerprints. We had a blast up late one night making up all the superhero names, use your imagination! I called them up individually, gave them an Incredibles sticker and their superhero gear bag.
We also put together a CD: "Shrek and Donkey's Incredibles Training Camp, Inspirational Superhero Music for New Heroes". What a hit that has proven to be. I searched online for all the old theme songs, from Underdog to Spiderman to Hong Kong Phuey to Power Puff Girls. We also included Shrek and Incredibles soundtrack songs, bday songs from the Beatles and Altered Images, Celebration, Help, etc. 30 songs in all. Then I sent them all home! I was pooped out, but could tell everyone had a great time! The kids in his class still talk about it when they see me. Their parents aren't always happy about the CD…
Note: I never thought I'd do all this for a party, but this theme was so fun that I couldn't stop myself once we got started. Most of the things didn't involve too much work. The t-shirts took a lot of time, just because we had to do so many. I enlisted the help of visiting grandparents! We all had a great time in the end and I'd do it again. Maybe not the Pinnochio game, or just do it up more with a mike. Thanks again for all the great ideas on this site. It's my first stop when I'm planning a party.
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