Summer Blast 8yr
angela in gaithersburg, md, usa
Having both my kids' birthdays in the winter, I really wanted to throw an old-fashioned "Summer Blast" party with a few twists. We invited mostly 8-yr old girls and my son's best friends. We had the party out on our deck. First we covered the tables in contractor's brown paper. When the kids arrived we went out on the deck and they decorated bandanas with fabric paint. The kids had fun and they were all very creative. I mentioned to them that they didn't have to be used for your hair, you could use them for a baby doll blanket, placemat or an item just to be displayed. Next, we decorated pencil cans. In the invitation I had asked everyone to bring an empty soup can with no sharp edges. I put some aside at home as well. Using craft foam sheets, we traced the can edges on the sheet, cut them out and glued them to the cans. The adults wrapped the cans with some rubber bands so the sheets didn't pop off. Then the kids all picked out some ribbons to glue on the top and bottom rims. Then we left them alone to dry. Next came the games. I had explained to them that the pencil cans were part of the prize. Everyone got to pick out a fancy pencil and a plain yellow pencil. Then for every game they (or their team) won, they would get one more pencil in their can. The first game was a potato relay race. We split the kids up into two teams and they ran up and back with russet potatoes balanced on their soup spoons (plastic ones broke in practice). The little ones (the two 4 yr. old boys) got to use my large strainers and they raced only against each other. If you dropped the potato you had to stop, pick it up and keep going. My husband stood at the other end and chased the kids a little to add a bit of excitement. There was also a contest to see which team could be the loudest! It was lots of fun. The next game was a silly version of field hockey. One team used a soccer ball and one team used a basketball. Instead of hockey sticks, we used pool noodles! The kids had a lot of fun with this one. Also, once again, the loudest team won an extra pencil. Then we had a traditional water balloon contest. We did four rounds of that. Then we had another contest to see who could pick up the most broken balloon bits. Then we headed inside for snacks. For snacks we had gorp, grapes, cheetos, and watermelon. I love summer and I love summer parties. After our snack we headed out to the deck and made sparkle bottles. These are really fun and super easy. You rinse and dry plastic soft drink bottles (preferably ones with no ridges - we used Wal-Mart's clear sodas). Then you fill each up 3/4 full with light corn syrup, toss in some metallic confetti and top off with water. Screw cap on tightly. I had purchased a wide variety of confetti, but the most popular was the girly-girl stuff with butterflies, smiley-faces and hearts and the autumn leaves. When you are finished you shake it up really well and the confetti sort of drifts down. They are really pretty at night with a flashlight held right up to them. Next we went out to the yard and had a watermelon seed spitting contest and a whipped cream pie throwing contest. We had the "Dad Robot" beeping around and antagonizing the kids -- that was until he got hit with whipped cream right in the kisser! For the robot, we had purchased a wardrobe box from Uhaul, cut out arms and a head (on the sides), covered the whole thing in tin foil and for antennae we cut apart wire coat hangers, taped them down securely and stuck a styrofoam ball on each. My kids had colored styrofoam balls. We went inside to clean up (John needed to get really clean after all that whipped cream!) and then the kids got make their own pizzas! I had placed dough blobs on plates and they spread out the blobs, I put on sauce and cheese and then they got to put on their own toppings. We had pepperoni, onion, green pepper, black olives, ham and pineapple. While the pizzas were cooking, the kids went out on the deck and decorated their pencil cans. They used foamies and markers. I think they would have been alright with glitter glue and stickers too, but I wasn't sure, so I left it out. Then since the pizzas weren't done yet they decorated their own placemats. I encouraged them to make it like their favorite restaurant. We had dinner on the deck with the tiki torches lit. After dinner we had smore's on the deck in our mini Weber. We had allotted 3 hours for the party, but we had to cut out several activities and 2 games. The kids all had fun though and I know my kids loved it a lot.