Superhero Training Camp - Telephone Booth
Mark in Bear, DE USA
SUPERHERO TRAINING CAMP Ages: 10 children, 3-11 yrs, boys and girls, Birthday Boy (Eric) was 6 yrs old First let me say that the inspiration for this party came directly from this site. Thanks to all the other submissions I reviewed that spurred my ideas. After researching various superhero party ideas on this site and not wanting to lock in on just one theme, I liked the idea of setting up a superhero training camp. They come to the party as kids and leave as superheroes! My wife liked the idea too, so up, up, and away we went to set this thing up.
I started with invitations which said "ALL NEW SUPERHEROES, REPORT TO SUPERHERO TRAINING." Inside, the invitations had the date, time, and location (Hall of Justice Training Center) and clipart of superheroes. All RSVPs had to come back with 5 pieces of information: true identity, special superpower, favorite color, favorite food, and favorite superhero. All this information was to be used later on. No costumes were necessary. Instead, we said in the invitation that capes and masks will be provided. (This was a recommendation from other superhero party submissions, and it is right on--kids are still playing with them.) Both the parents and kids seemed to enjoy coming up with this personal information. Some kids responded by themselves which was great.
My wife and I got some plain cotton material in the favorite colors of the children. She made capes for each child. We ordered those narrow hairband sunglasses for masks (or girls hairbands if they wanted), diamond reflective snap bracelets, and plastic gem rings --all in assorted colors so we could match everything up (e.g., red cape, red snap bracelet, and red gem ring). We put everything in a solid, matching color loot bag. One problem: the way the hairband sunglasses were packaged, they were stretched out and were too big to fit the little kids, so we opted for no masks at all. When they came to the party, they were all issued their cape, power band, and power ring. I had several ideas for activities, but when it came down to it we had two activities (I will save the others for my other son's party).
First, the children had to change into costumes in a telephone booth while I played superhero TV theme songs in the background. I made two phone booths from large cardboard boxes used for moving clothes. I cut out a door and a window and painted one red, the other blue, and painted "phone booth" on each. The second event was saving kittens from trees. We have 2 trees in our back yard, a small apple tree and a larger red maple. We lined up the smaller kids with the apple tree and the bigger kids with the maple. We had 2 toy kittens, and an parent stood by the tree to put the kitten in it. To our surprise, the kids got back in line and wanted to do it again. We played this for about 10 minutes, putting the kittens higher in the tree with each turn...the kids couldn't get enough. Again, I had the superhero and TV theme songs playing in the background.
We then called the kids and parents in for food, which consisted of chicken nuggets and chips for the kids, and 3-foot long submarine sandwhich (a "super hero sandwich") for the adults. Snacks were superhero shaped fruit snacks. Drinks were sodas and juice pouches. When everyone was finished eating, we called the kids down to our basement and had them sit around a big table. I made certificates to proclaim them official superheroes. The certificates showed their name, their superpower and were signed by their favorite superheroes (with a clip art of the hero or heroine).
While the certificates were being handed out, I set up the last thing--a scavenger hunt. But not just any scavenger hunt, a hunt for riddle bombs set up by The Riddler. A week prior to the party, I dressed up as The Riddler and made a digital video of The Riddler setting up the rules of the hunt. I did the video using my new digital camera and my laptop which came with movie maker software. At the party, I alerted the new superheroes that The Riddler was on the loose. I then played this movie from the laptop right to our large-screen TV. The Riddler put 6 Riddle Bombs somewhere and 10 villains left clues (special cards). Each child had to find a specific card, of which there were 10 (10 kids, 10 cards). One side of the card had a picture of a Batman villian. Other side had part of a larger picture--a puzzle with a riddle written on it. Find all the cards, and they have all the puzzle pieces to make the riddle. Solve the riddle, and they find the Riddle Bombs. The riddle was "What do you eat that is on fire, but is covered with things that are cold?" The answer is a birthday cake (candles are the fire, but it is covered with "frost"ing and "ice"ing). The parents helped with solving the puzzle of course. To make the cards, I used a sheet of homemade business cards and printed the villains on one side and the riddle puzzle on the other. Then I just separated the cards. To give a hint for the answer for the riddle, I printed a watermark of a birthday cake behind the riddle text. When the riddle was solved (which was pretty quick), the kids went up to the cake which had a superhero picture silk screened on it and the 6 Riddle Bombs (dunkin donuts munchkins with candles)--for my son's 6th birthday. Only my son's superbreath could stop the bombs and save the day.
We sang Happy Birthday and served the cake. We did not open gifts because we figured that would take too long. Instead we planned to do pass the kryptonite (an idea from another submission to this website, basically hot potato with a green rock and Superman music) and take a digital picture of Eric with whoever got out in the round. However, it was getting late and we opted to simply get pictures of each child with Eric.
Using digital photos taken during the party, I made thank yous that were newspapers with the headlines "SUPERHEROES SAVE THE DAY!" and had two front page stories--"KITTEN GETS SUPER RESCUE" and "RIDDLER PLOT FOILED BY NEW SUPERHEROES". Each story was customized to call out the specific child's superhero info (cape color, super power, etc.). They also received the photo with Eric taken at the end. I tried to make the party fun and interactive for the parents as well as the kids. That is why I used theme songs from "Wonder Woman" and "Mission: Impossible" to bring back some memories. The changing costumes in the phone booth was a little chaotic, and the children really didn't know what an old phone looked like, nor did they get the significance of changing into costume in a phone booth. The saving kittens and scavenger hunt was definitely more organized and enojyable for both the parents and adults. Making the Riddler video was most fun for me--who says kids are the only ones who could dress up? We had fun doing the whole thing--planning it, making it, and throwing it. It was truly a Super Party.
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