Idea No.


Police Party -6yr- Handcuff Race



October 2011



Runner Up


Can I have a police party, Mama? Sure son! Oh um, now what? What can we do for police-themed games that are non-violent and fabulous for 6 and 4 year olds? Our party was going to be in a warm climate in the start of summer, so outdoors in our backyard was perfect! 

INVITATIONS:  The invitation was a simple card printed at home and glued onto file folder shaped yellow cardstock (template here: The tab on the folder had the guest's name. The front of the folder had TOP SECRET" and little thumb print from my son both in red ink.  On the inside left of the folder invitation I used a cute photo of my son in a police uniform as a watermark with the words Officer (name) Needs You! At the top and To help stamp out crime in the neighborhood! At the bottom in bold font.  On the inside right half of the folder I wrote party details in "Minya nouvelle" font in Microsoft Word: Volunteer police officers please join us in celebrating (name)’s 6th birthday! Date (day and month) Shift 1430-1630 hours Beat (our address) RSVP OIC (our phone and email) Please bring or wear swimsuits as fighting crime may involve water!.   When the 10 volunteer police officers arrived they were given badges (names written on) plastic police hats and a fanny pack with essential police items.  Using photoshop I inserted a photo of each child into a yellow badge clip art with their name and (CITY) POLICE on it. I printed this on printable fabric and ironed it to the fanny packs for easy identification.  I also printed it on stickers and attached those to various items to help the officers keep track of their stuff.  Inside the fanny packets were: ticket books (small notebooks) identification (credentials printed from the FBI kids site with each kids photo laminated at office depot) and pen necklaces hats and packs.

GAMES/ACTIVITIES:  The officer’s first job was to do an aerial search of the neighborhood for crime using police helicopters. These were simple plastic toys that flew from a hand-held device. This kept everyone busy while guests were arriving and checking in. All helicopters stayed in the hood!  Moms that were staying for the party were given a window paint pen and some dog doody and encouraged to secretly break the law by leaving graffiti on windows and scattering the doody in the hood. Despite my warnings to the moms to be "sneaky the Moms were promptly discovered, issued tickets and sent to jail.  This turned out to be a good thing for the Moms however, as they seemed to prefer to stay in jail and talk!  Note to self: do not put cooler of beverages in jail if one needs the Mom’s to help run the party! 

Next, doggy droppings scattered by the careless moms was gathered by the officers. (Wanton dog doody had been making headlines in our local newspaper).  It just so happened that our sparkly droppings were actually treasure balls made of salt flour coffee grounds sand and glitter (see basic instructions here but add glitter). Inside were mini-collapsible telescopes.  Officers were instructed to see if they could use the telescopes to spy on any other crime/criminals in the hood.   Indeed the officers located bad guys: white plastic golf balls with bandit faces (drawn on with Sharpies). They were quickly rounded up and jailed.  The jail was a large diaper box painted blue with gray and black barred window features and the word JAIL printed across the top of the door. The officers were rewarded with toy cell phones for their heroic efforts so they could better answer future 911 calls. The phones were a HUGE hit! 

Almost immediately a call came in regarding a car crash. The officers found two clues that I had hid in the yard before the party a letter K and number 9 while they were investigating (each cut as large as would fit inside a piece of blue construction paper). By putting the letter and number together the officers figured out that the letters meant canine or police dogs clues to what the bandits had been up to.  The bandits had stolen a car full of K9’s that were to be used by our department!  The officers quickly located the car (a crudely hot-glued/painted paper box creation) crashed into a tree by a stop sign. They quickly rescued the K9’s inside one stuffed pup and dog bone candy for each officer.   Not a moment later the officers received another 911 call! The bad guys also stole something else look in the lake (kiddie pool)! Our official department handcuffs (toy plastic with a metal binder clip attached) were sunk in the lake bottom!  This is a job for police boats (made of foam covering two wine corks with a foam sail that had a personalized police badge sticker on it for each kid with string holding a magnet attached to bottom).  Officers maneuvered their own boats over the handcuffs so the magnet at the bottom could attach to the handcuffs.  After all the handcuffs were retrieved we played a game to show a surprising way how handcuffs could be helpful to police. The kids raced across the yard while Dad timed them in a group sprint. Then we cuffed the officers and they ran. Race time went from 3 seconds to 7 seconds! Cuffs really slow bad guys down!   

All that racing made for some hungry officers. So we let them have some donuts (mini ones). The trick was they had to attempt to eat the donut from the handcuffed officer in front of them. Good job gang you’ve earned your keys (to the handcuffs) and a traffic cone key chain to go with it!   Oh no! Jail Break! While the officers were busy eating donuts the bad guys escaped (thanks to Dad who did a stealthy move)! Officers were issued police whistles and batons (silver painted yogurt drink bottles hot-glued to black painted cardboard tubes with a coat of polyurethane for strength). They were instructed to chase the bad guys through town and into jail where they could be locked up for good. This was a mini-golf type game set up in our driveway.  The golf clubs were the batons the bad guys were the bandit golf balls. The city was made from soccer party pizza boxes: library, school, car wash, pizza restaurant, fire station, and zoo! Each box had a door to hit the balls through (boxes were slightly open like a triangle and held upright by canned food).  Dad set the jail box at the end of town the final destination for the bandits (jail had one door so the balls could be hit inside).  This was MOM's favorite game. :) It was really fun to decorate the boxes into the various shops  The officers did such a great job they were awarded light-up flashing batons for night jobs.

But before they could enjoy them there was another 911 call! A child hears monsters under his bed. Can the officers get the monsters out? You bet. For this game each child took a turn searching for monsters under my son’s bed. The room was darkened except for a black light and the light-up batons.  I had stars cut from glow-in-the dark posterboard from a previous space party strewn on the floor and hanging from the ceiling.  I had sewn each child a stuffed felt monster and hidden them under the bed (tutorial here  Could there be one last 911 call? The bandits hid stolen money in a train! (The train made from cardboard boxes had been in our garage since our last train party so I just HAD to find a way to use it one more time.) The money bags (hand-sewn from money printed cloth) for each officer had chocolate coins stickers bracelet police pen paper money and bubble gum coins.  Each bag had an officer's name on it to help control chaos a little.   By then the moms were ready to get out of jail and well it was a warm day!  They found a stash of loaded water shooters and mistook the kids as the train robbers! Water fight!  Then we broke for cake presents and more play mayhem!  We all had a great time and the Mom’s reported that tickets and arrests continued for the rest of the summer.

DECORATIONS/FAVORS & CAKE:  Our hood (the backyard) was decorated with crime scene tape black balloons various signs regarding curfews etc. from a local police department and plastic blow-up traffic signs. We painted a JAIL sign for the gate at the side of the house. The party table was covered in red plastic and festooned with homemade garland (handcuffs hats and badges templates here: 

For the cake I used a car shaped Wilton cake pan and decorated it like a police car with the number 6 on it. For favors I had REALLY good luck with ebay Oriental Trading and Rhode Island Novelty. Kids got to keep all they collected from the games in addition to some freebie coloring books and stickers from the police department. I set out large decorated paper grocery bags along the fence for the kids to deposit things in as the games went on. These added to our d├ęcor but also were great for storing towels, sunglasses or whatever else the kids brought with them. "

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