Zombie Apocalypse -11yr- Training Camp
Wendy in Charlottesville, VA, USA
My now 11 year old daughter loves zombies and so we decided to make this the general theme for her party this year. There wasn’t a lot of ideas online on this topic, so we had to pretty much make it all up (my husband and I). We invited her whole class, boys and girls, for a total of 12 kids. Here is the general idea:
INVITATIONS: I made flyers using zombie clip art (with X’s on them) and a dark gray (creepy) background. They said: A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE IS COMING!!! Are you prepared??? NO!!! Well, fear not! You can still prepare by coming to Ivy’s 11th birthday Zombie Apocalypse Training Camp party! Here you will learn essential survival skills including, the art of blending-in in a zombie world, how to outrun zombies, tracking and taking out zombies, finding food when grocery stores are no longer an option, and much more! Address, date, and time were below with the title ZOMBIE APOCLYPSE TRAINING CAMP on the bottom of the flyer.
DECORATIONS: This was great fun! My husband cut up cardboard and “boarded up” the windows on the house. The effect was striking (although my neighbors were all wondering what was going on). My other daughter and I then put bloody handprints on the boards. I purchased Styrofoam gravestones (party store, but they also have them at the dollar store) and placed those in my yard. The best part, though were the posters I made of each of the kids! I had asked each of their parents to send me a headshot. I then zombified each photo using zombieme.com. I printed out the pictures, large, and glued them onto black poster board (dollar store). I then taped them at the front of the house and wrote on two of them: DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! I also decorated the inside of the house at the zombie dress-up station, draping everything in black tablecloths (dollar store).
ACTIVITIES: As soon as the kids arrived, I asked them their name, checked them off on my clip board, checked their eyes with a flashlight (to make sure they were not infected) and invited them in. After everyone arrived, I gathered them up, and told them with the zombie apocalypse upon us, it was critical that they learn essential survival skills (I was very serious in my role!). Then I split the kids into two groups to begin the training. The first group was taught the art of blending in in a zombie world which included using face-paint and fake blood (party store) to look like a zombie, and being taught how to sound and walk like a zombie. The other group was given a zombie test which was to guess who was in each of the pictures (I had each of the posters numbered and I had them write their answers on a piece of paper). Once they were done, they switched to the other activity (both groups did both activities).
I then gathered them up in the front yard and announced the winner of the contest (it was actually the person who got the fewest right because, as I explained, in a zombie apocalypse, it is not a good survival skill to recognize friends and family members who are now zombies). The winner got a plastic brain (dollar story) because they are most likely to keep their own (they loved it!). Next, I explained that I would teach them how to outrun zombies. We went to the field and played zombie in the middle (all the kids lined up on one end, I was on a line in the middle, they had to run by me pretending to be a zombie without getting tagged; if they got tagged, they joined me in the middle. This continued until we had a winner, one person left).
In the meanwhile, my husband had taken the posters down and placed them around the field for target practice. For this activity, I had bought each kid a marshmallow shooter ($5/each amazon.com). These were also their party favors (and their posters). They loved these shooters! Well worth the $5! We played target practice for a while. Next I explained that I would teach them to forage for food now that grocery stores were no longer an option. I explained that I thought I saw an abandoned camp in the field. We went there and lo and behold, there were hotdogs, buns (meat and vegan to accommodate all the kids; I had them in a small cooler), ketchup, graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate.
In the meanwhile, we had a couple of friends come to the house and dress as zombies. So as we were walking back, we got attacked by the zombies and everyone was running, shouting at the zombies, it was mayhem! I had arranged for two of the kids to bring black blood with them (in a baggie) and these two were instructed to get caught (one was an older kid, and the other was my other daughter) and be zombified! It was so much fun! Eventually we all turned into zombies!
FOOD: My husband then lit a fire in the fire pit and the kids roasted marshmallows and hotdogs (they also made s’mores of course). After that, we had cake and opened presents. The kids also had some extra time to run around and play with the marshmallow shooters.
CAKE: In addition to the hotdogs and s’mores, I made a zombie cake. It was a graveyard scene with gravestones and hands sticking out of the grass. I also had a Barbie doll coming out of one of the graves (I painted her face to make her look like a zombie and her hair was wreck). Everything else on the cake was edible except the Barbie and the hands (which I cut off of other Barbie’s; don’t tell my kids!). I used graham crackers with gray frosting for the headstones, and graham crackers mixed with gray frosting for the dirt to simulate breaking out from the graves.
FAVORS: Each child got their marshmallow shooter and their zombie poster. NOTE: I was worried that some of the kids might get scared, and I actually pulled a couple aside before we really got going to see if this might be an issue. It was not an issue at all though! All the kids, including my 8 year old, loved the party, and did not get scared. They are all still talking about it a week later! So much fun! It was pretty inexpensive as well!