Australian Outback 7yr
Stacy in Fairfield, CA USA
We gave our son an Australian-themed party for his 7th birthday. We pick our themes a year in advance and then slowly collect things. It's easier that way and doesn't drain our finances. We think of everyway we can immerse the senses of our guests and transport them into the theme. We made sure that everything they saw, smelled, tasted, touched, and heard were Australian through and through. INVITATIONS: We got balsa wood cutouts of hands and painted one side with Aboriginal dot art. The other side had party details printed by computer pasted on with sticker gold lines as a border. We enclosed Aussie slang terms as well as the lyrics to Waltzing Mathilda" explained. We printed a Survivor Australia logo in the bottom corner of the envelopes. A koala or kangaroo sticker sealed them. We used 1988 Australian bicentennial USA stamps with Eagle & Koala to mail them. DECORATIONS: Family room: Aboriginal chapel with wooden tribal masks Aboriginal dot art paintings painted walking sticks painted glass plates with handprints of our family members and more dot art full size didjeridu wooden statue and plants. Dining room was the Great Barrier Reef: plastic ocean scene setter taped along the walls crepe paper waves scalloped at top of walls crepe paper seaweed floating upward (twisted and tied to ceiling using invisible thread so they appear to be floating in water) shark shadows taped to ceiling lined windows in blue and green cellophane tons of fish hanging from ceiling blue tablecloth beneath food. Backyard was the outback / desert: 18' x 18' area lined with black plastic and then filled with fifty 50lb bags of play sand to make a beach tiki torches bordering for Tribal Council look. On one side of wooden shed facing sand my husband painted a mural of Ayers Rock. Front yard: Survivor challenges - 3 foot diameter lazy susan spins on a table for the "eating bush tucker" challenge 2 balance beams fashioned from cement blocks and 2 x 6 planks ropes to swing over croc infested river carpet with different color squares. Survivor themed cups plates and napkins. Bamboo plates and utensils. SCENTS: Renuzit Tri Scents Scented Oil Air Freshener: (Relaxing waves Beach breezes & Ocean oasis) MUSIC: Australia Our Land Our Music Australiana cd & ocean sounds cd for dining room ACTIVITIES: Upon arrival each child was given an outback hat as well as a green or yellow Survivor buff. This decided what team they would be on for challenges. Puzzle relay: Green and yellow teams each started by making their way one at a time over a carpet of many colored squares. They had to find a path through stepping only on their team color (yellow or green) squares. Then they used a rope to swing over a toy crocodile in a river (blue tarp) then they walked across a balance beam. When all members were through one member at a time could go to the sand beach and dig for a vinyl tile (1 of 12 that make a puzzle). They had to find one that had their team's color painted on it and bring it back to the starting point. When the team gathered all 12 tiles they could begin to figure out the puzzle. The green team's was a green kangaroo. The yellow team's was a yellow koala. The first to assemble the puzzle correctly won (yellow). Hidden in the sand was also a wooden immunity idol (really an African fertility charm). Whoever founds this got the first slice of cake and to sit at the birthday boy's right hand. Eating contest: kid from each team took a position on either side of spinning wheel with plates of gross food (gummy hearts gummy tongues gummy bugs apple slices kiwi kangaroo jerky). Whichever stopped in front of them they had to eat as fast as they could. The first to finish earned a point for their team. Yellow won again. Tribal Council: At the end of the party each child voted for one person whom they thought was either the nicest throughout the party the best team player or the most enthusiastic. They could not vote for themsleves. We tallied the votes and the one with the most got a Crocodile Hunter paint playset. The children also did Australian animal rubbing plates (kangaroo echidna & platypus) Colored a cardboard boomerang and used fabric markers to autograph each others' backpack goody bags. PRIZES: Since yellow team won both challenges we just gave out a small plastic Australian animal to each guest and told them they all did well. We didn't want the kids ont he yellow team to get 2 and the green team to get none. The person with the most votes from Tribal Council got the Crocodile Hunter playset. GOODY BAGS: Goody bags were small design your own white backpacks from OTC. Inside was a design your own white wallet containing Australian 10000 dollar bill a Survivor sticker & a kangaroo or koala sticker. It also contained a Ty Beanie Baby Koalas "Mel" Kangaroo jerkyFish tattoo squirter pencil and eraser and WB Tasmanian Devil candy FOOD: Main courses were Hamburgers hotdogs beef kebabs seafood skewers and shepherd pie casserole. Sides: Potato Salad Harvest Salad Fruit salad Damper Bacon wrapped scallops Desserts: Pavlova Lamingtons Arnott's Biscuits Finding Nemo cake Ice cream Drinks: Tropical slush punch Kangaroo Ginger Beer Bottled water Strawberry Kiwi Juice Soda PARTY FAVORS: Anzac Cookies with Australian friendship pins (leftovers made as swaps by a Girl Scout troop) THANK YOU'S: Aboriginal art painting printed on front. RESOURCES: Michael's eBay Mrs. Grossman's sticker factory Pier 1 Imports Cost Plus Imports Party City Home Depot Big Lots Target Amazon.com orientaltrading.com Zicks Specialty Meats allrecipes.com Raley's Supermarkets. Our public library for Australian cookbooks books on Aboriginal Art & Life and the Survivor Season 2 Australia DVD set. Online search for Aussie slang terms and the meaning behind the unofficial national anthem "Waltzing Mathilda". We had a lot of fun doing this and if you've chosen a similar theme I hope we have given you some good ideas!