Idea No.

8845

Try-athlon -6yr- Library Fund Raiser

Award

Date

June 2004

From

Kim in Los Alamos, NM USA

Special Mention

Sports Party

Try-athlon for My Son’s 6th Birthday  My son was allowed to invite all of his friends.

The thought of every guest bringing a present scared me so my son and I came up with the idea to have money donated to an organization of his choice. Together we came up with a list of potential donation recipients.  After much consideration, he decided to have money donated to his school library. (Throughout the year, he tried to check out Magic Tree House books and they were always out or missing. He decided he wanted to try and help his school complete their Magic Tree house book series.)   I mailed out tickets that I designed on the computer and an information flyer that listed the crafts, food, and events that would be available to try.

Some of the events included: Frisbee golf (plastic hoops stuck into the ground and spread throughout the field), soccer shootout (I used traffic cones borrowed from a friend), running, rubber horseshoes, javelin noodle throw, basketball (I brought my own Little Tykes basketball goal because it was lower), ring toss, and a long jump (into the sand where the swings are located).  I also let everyone know where their money would go if they chose to donate money. I made a sheet with a picture of the event and some simple rules to be used as a suggestion. (I used PowerPoint and some simple clip art) My son made a collection box for everyone’s donation. We printed out some pictures from the Magic Tree House web page. He then cut out the images and glued them all over the collection box. I also let everyone know ahead of time, when we would be taking the group photo. We also had a subtle star theme running throughout the party.  I made 6 dozen cupcakes in gold foil. I made the cupcakes look like medals. The actual Oreo cookie medal was made about 3 days before the party. I melted white bark, stuck a toothpick in the Oreo filling, dipped the Oreos in the melted bark and scraped off the excess. I then place the cookie on wax paper to cool off. After I dipped an entire batch, I took my star cookie cutter and lightly made a star imprint on the cookie. I then sprayed the cookie with the yellow frosting spray to give it a little color. I made the cupcakes the night before so that I could take my time decorating them. I bought a bag of small Airhead candy and cut a v on one end to look like a ribbon. I then place the airhead on top of the frosted cupcake and placed the cookie dipped in bark on top of the ribbon They looked great. The ridges on the cookie gave a great effect. (Plus they tasted really great). I had to make an extra batch of the dipped Oreos because the first batch disappeared thanks to my husband.  It took about an hour to set up the park. My son helped set up the try-athlon course. Right before the party started, I pinned a birthday ribbon on my son. He was so proud of the ribbon.  As the guests arrived, I had the parents write their child’s name on a real triathlon numbered bib and pin it on their child. (I contacted our local recreation department. They donated event bibs with numbers from last years triathlon. The recreation director also gave me save the date cards to hand out to the families for the upcoming kids triathlon.) I had the guests write their name on a shirt that I gave to my son at the end of the party.  The back of the shirt said his name and his age. His friends loved writing their name on the shirt. (I just bought a cheap white shirt and used fabric markers.)  The kids were also excited about giving their donation. They couldn’t wait to hand the envelop to us. The box my son made worked very well for all the cards we received. 

The party was during lunchtime so I had all the fixin’s for the parents to make their own hero sandwich, a cheese and pretzel stick activity where the kids could make their own dumbbell, a watermelon basket filled with grapes. I pre-made sandwiches for the kids so that the parents could spend time making their own sandwich masterpiece. I used a cookie cutter to cut out star shaped cheese. Everyone loved the special star cheese. I wanted this to be a healthy event all the way around. 

After I took the group picture, we then sang Happy Birthday, and had a Cupcake awards ceremony.  There were 3 trays. On one tray, I had a cupcake for each letter that spelled out HAPPY BIRTHDAY and my son’s name. It was so easy to pass out the cupcakes. We didn’t have to mess with plates and forks.   That night, my son opened all his cards. He was so excited about everyone contributing to the library. Every card was so thoughtfully done. The donations ranged from spare change to the amount someone would have spent for a present. The parents loved the donation idea because it was a great lesson to teach their children. . We sent out an e-mail to all the guests letting them know how much was raised for the school library and a group photo. We also mailed thank you notes with a group photo and a personal note from the birthday boy. 

On Monday, my son presented the money to the School Librarian, a list of contributors and a big group photo. I think he will always remember this birthday. Everyone is still talking about it. I think this idea had a profound impact on my son as well as his guests. We had a huge age range not counting the adults who were out there having fun. All kids found activities that were fun for them. Some even created their own games to try. My son helped me plan this party from the beginning to the end. We created the events together and he agreed on the cupcake award ceremony.  This was the biggest and most inexpensive party I have ever thrown.

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