Idea No.


Hotel Survivor -11yr- Complete the Puzzle



May 2004


Patty in Englewood, Ohio   USA

Special Mention

Survivor Party

Hotel Survivor  We decided to celebrate my daughter's 11th birthday with all of her soccer teammates in a hotel at an out of town soccer tournament. We decided to make it a Survivor theme party.  I reserved a suite which was adjoined to my hotel room - pretty decent size and had a table, couch and refrigerator and I was free to bring in my own food.  I ordered pizza and brought pop, chips and of course, gummy worms.   

I made invitations with my own version of the Survivor logo - Survivor Louisville/(child's name)'s 11th B-day party/Outwit, Outplay, Outlast/with a picture of a race horse (because Louisville is the home of the Kentucky Derby).  Inside was the information: Can you survive (child's name)'s Birthday Party?  It's a birthday party and you're invited.  Tribal names will be decided.  Are you up for the challenge, can you pass the test?  Who will survive; who will be the best?  Meet us in Louisville, where this will all take place.  Who knows what fears you may have to face!  The party was a hit. 

There were 18 girls (15 over the age of 10 and 3 littler ones) so I had 3 tribes of 6 each.  We were only able to play 8 of the 12 games I had planned -- I figured we wouldn't get to them all but had them ready just in case.  The party lasted over 3 and 1/2 hours and probably would have gone longer if we hadn't gotten into trouble by the management for being too loud (what do you expect with 18 squealing girls?!) 

The first thing the girls had to do was pull a bandanna out of a bag to see what tribe they'd be on (an idea I got from this website).  I bought animal print bandannas (zebra, tiger & cheetah) from Oriental Trading.  They all tied the bandannas around their heads.  Then the tribes had to come up with a name and make up a tribal dance.  The dances were hilarious.  Then we started with the games. 

The first one was a TREASURE HUNT: I made up 9 clues/puzzles and put them in envelopes all over the hotel (mostly on the 1st floor).  The hotel was this huge old hotel, with really wide hallways, lots of wood décor, like an old mansion.  I stashed clues taped to key return boxes, inside hallway/lobby tables, behind vending machines, ice machines, the change machine in the arcade, a USA Today newspaper dispenser, etc. 

Believe me, thinking up the puzzles, rhymes and clues took the most time.  I did some ahead of time for some areas that you see at every hotel (vending machine, ice machine, etc) but had to do about half after I got there!  I made up word search puzzles, picture puzzles, word jumbles, trivia (about Nickelodeon TV programs), rhymes, etc.  Anyway, they had a blast going from one clue to another, figuring them out and trying to beat the other tribes to the next clue. 

I also gave each tribe a disposable camera and at almost every stop the clue also told them to take a picture like everyone making silly faces, etc. (this made it easy for me to have pictures from the hunt!)  The last clue sent them back to the suite with a small key.  When they got back, they had to use the key to open a little treasure chest that was filled with fake coins (each tribe had their own treasure chest which I purchased through Oriental Trading).  But mixed in with the coins were pieces to a 50 piece puzzle that they had to put together to finish the race and win.  All the tribes made it back around the same time so the first tribe to put together their puzzle was the winner.  This one game took them about a half an hour to complete.    

Then we did "COCONUT STOMP": brown balloons tied to one of each girls' leg each would try to pop others balloons without getting theirs popped - last one with a balloon wins for their tribe; 

"SQUARED OFF" (similar to a TV Survivor challenge): 120 paper plates spread out like a chess board, each girls stands on a plate, marks the plate they stand on, everyone then moves to a plate without a mark and marks that one -- if you can't move to a plate without a mark, you're out -- last girl that can move wins for their tribe;  "MEMORY": 20 "luxury items" you'd want on a deserted island each tribe got 30 seconds to memorize, then they had to leave the room and write down as many as they could remember (I used a toothbrush, nail file, battery, matches, magazine, stuffed animal, mouthwash, soap, shampoo, etc.);

"SNAKE WALK": each tribe stands in a line with a balloon between each person they  can't hold on to each other and have to walk to the finish line without dropping balloons, if they dropped a balloon, the tribe had to stop and pick it back up and then go on;

"TRASHIN CAMP": I wanted to clean up all the popped balloons and paper on the floor so I gave points to the tribe who could pick up the most "trash" -- excellent idea, you wouldnÆt believe how clean the floor was!;  and of course, the LIMBO.  Then we opened presents and did cake.  I took the logo I made for the invitations to a local grocery store and had it put on a cake.  

I wanted to do an OBSTACLE COURSE (roll a battery with their nose, throw a bean bag frog on this springy thing and land it on a lillypad, throw a ring around a safari animal, tie one leg of pantyhose around waist put a potato in the other leg and have it hang down behind you like a tail and try to roll another potato by hitting it with the "tail", put a balloon between your legs and try to walk to the finish line, then try to pop the balloon by sitting on it), and

"TRIBAL TRUST" (blindfold all the tribe members but one, tie them together and have them walk a path with obstacles (chairs, etc) with the one member not blindfolded giving them directions), but there wasn't enough room in the suite to do these and I couldn't find anywhere else to do them. 

We also didn't get to "CRITTER CHAOS" (trying to pick up plastic bugs with bamboo poles and put them in a plastic coconut shell - have to get rid of bugs in the camp, you know!) and "SLING SHOT" (names of each girl on a soda can - let everyone try to knock the cans over by shooting rubber bands - if your can gets knocked over you're out - last can standing wins). 

Another suggestion for this type of party is to do some of the challenges in the hotel pool (ours was too crowded).  I also tried to find some tattoo paper where I could print out my logo with the words I survived (child's name)'s 11th B-day party! And give everyone a tattoo.   I gave points to the tribe which won each game.  No one was voted off.  The girls are all so competitive that they didn't want to stop playing games so they could get more points and be the winning tribe.   

We decorated the room with lots of green crepe paper to look like jungle vines, brown balloons to look like coconuts, and other safari decorations I bought.  I even bought the Survivor CD so we had the original music playing.  I also used an electric ôflaming caldronö that I had bought for Halloween which has orange lights shining on fabric cut to look like flames and a fan to blow the flames so they looked like they were moving.  I wrapped a brown blanket around the caldron so it looked like a campfire (like where the tribal council would take place).  

I gave each girl a goodie bag which was a small tie-dyed drawstring bag that had inside an animal print coin purse, a \sticky lizard, a bean bag reptile (frog, snake, etc.), and a woven friendship bracelet.  I bought all of this from Oriental Trading for very little money and the girls thought they were really cool.  They also kept their bandannas.  In addition, I purchased a stuffed monkey in a hula skirt from Oriental Trading that each of the girls could autograph so my daughter would have this as a keepsake from the party.  

The other moms thought the party was great and said that we need to do "Survivor 2" at our next tournament ha, ha!--  this time they all have to help!

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