Idea No.


Scooby Doo Birthday -9yr- Capture the Ghosts Game



March 2004


Rebecca in Flemington, NJ  USA


Scooby Doo Party

Scooby Doo Birthday Party- 9 year old boy.    Every year, my son gives me a theme and then I try to come up with ideas to make the party fun, without having to leave our house.  This year, he chose Scooby Doo.  I first came to look at this sight for ideas.  Thanks to all of you who came before!!  Here's what we came up with.  We invited 9 boys (he can invite as many as he is old) to a Scooby Doo Mystery Party. 

I used preprinted Scooby Doo Invitations.  When the guests arrived, they were greeted with a name tag in the shape of a bone, with a piece of yarn, that stated their name, followed by "-Doo".  They wore them like dog collars.  They gave their presents to my son who place them in in one of two boxes laid out.  I made sure to make a big deal about him making sure he put them in the right spot.  Then, while we were waiting for the other guests to arrive, I invited them into the kitchen to prepare a "Scooby Snack".  This was a sugar cookie that shaped like a dog bone (I had a hard time finding this cookie cutter, but ultimately broke down and bought a large canister of 101 shapes from Michael's- one was a dog bone).  I had prepared some vanilla butter and chocolate frosting and had several types of sprinkles, colored sugars as well as candy toppings for the children to use.  They seemed very excited about this. 

Once they were done decorating, they were asked to go down to the family room where the Scooby Doo movie was playing.  I also had a Feed Scooby game set up down there where there was a cardboard picture of Scooby Doo with his mouth cut open and pictures of snacks to throw in.  While the children watched the movie, I hid the two boxes of presents in two different locations in the house.   

Once all of the guests had arrived and the presents were hidden, I turned off the movie and invited the boys to join me in the living room. We first went around the room and introduced each other and noted how we knew the birthday boy.  I then told them I was glad they had come and that I hoped they would have a good time.  I told them I had some games planned and then would have my son open his presents.  Then I looked around and asked where the presents were?  The boys looked a bit taken aback.  I asked if they had forgotten to bring them- the boys all pointed the finger at my son who had taken them and my son insisted that he had put them in boxes and showed me where. 

When we got to that location, there was an envelop.  I opened the envelop and noted that it was a letter explaining about the presents, but there were parts missing.  I then ran a mad-libs game where I asked different boys to identify something that would fit into the letter (a date, country, action, type of terrible present, good present and terrible fates that could befall them).  They came up with some creative responses.  I then read the letter, with their additions.  It basically told the boys that a ghost had taken the presents and that if they didn't want to meet some horrible fate (the boys filled in what these might be- one had stated that the world be taken over by Barbies :))they should leave the party immediately. Of course none of them wanted to.   

The first activity then was to capture "ghosts".  I had blown up balloons ahead of time and had placed portions of secret messages inside (you can easily do this by writing a message on the computer and then changing the font to "Webdings" or "Wingdings" if you have Microsoft Word).  The messages were one of two colors, since I had decided to divide the group into two teams.  I had then placed crepe paper over the balloons so they looked like ghosts, and hung them by poking a hole through the crepe paper and tying yarn to the opening knot of the balloon.  I draped these around the rafters of my basement and attached about 45 feet of yarn which I used to create a maze around the basement- ultimately always ending with the end of the yarn tied to the rail of the stairs I had in all 10 balloons with yarn going in various directions, criss crossing and looking much like a complex laser alarm system. (Plan on about an hour and a half to two hours to get all of the balloons hung and yarn wrapped around the various items of the room.  The boys were then asked to take a piece of yarn and then follow it around the room, wrapping the yarn up into a ball as they went until they found their ghost. 

After they were all done, I had them go outside, snipped the yarn so there was only a couple feet and tied it the their ankle.  They then played "Stomp the ghost" where they tried to step on and pop the other's "ghost" without getting their's popped.  When they did pop, they were surprised to see the piece of paper.  They each picked it up and went over to the side to wait until the end. In our case a couple of the kids continued for a while, so we had all of the boys go after the two to finish the game.  They had great fun!!  The kids then grouped up with the others with the same color paper and went inside.  I gave each child/ group a copy of the code that showed what letter each symbol stood for.  The kids solved each of their own sentences and then had to put phrases together with others in the group to see what the next clue was.  I used rhymes like "So you kids think you are really brave, but you may find yourself locked in a cave.  But if you want to press your luck, look for the presents next to a truck."  I had the two groups going two different places again in my house. 

They were greeted at the next location by what looked a blank piece of paper.  Further examination revealed, however, what looked like indentations.  At least one kid per group figured out that it must be invisible ink (I used a q-tip, dipped it in lemon juice and wrote a message).  They figured out that it required heat to make the message show up.  We used the toaster and stove and had the children take turns holding it over (using potholders as a precaution) until the message appeared telling them where to go next.   The next station was a mummy wrap.  Two kids from each team volunteered to be wrapped like a mummy.  Each group was given two rolls of toilet paper (make sure it's 2-ply or it may not work) and starting from the legs, wrapped the children.  We made sure to keep their noses exposed but their eyes were covered.  We then played "Attack of the mummies".  This was a version of Marco Polo- just using the words "Scooby Doo". The mummies called "Scooby" and the others had to call "Doo".  We made the boundaries relatively small so that the mummies had a chance.  If we had had more time, I would have allowed other children to have a chance to be the mummies.  This was a real hit.    At the end of this activity, I asked the kids to put the rolls of toilet paper back in this bag. 

When they did this, they found two large sealed envelopes.  The teams raced inside and opened the envelop to find a puzzle that they needed to put together.  (I had purchased some blank 63-piece puzzles- found some on Mister Art's website for a good price- and had drawn pictures of Scooby/ Shaggy along with a picture of the part of my house that the presents were hidden.  I suggested some different ways that the groups could work together (either take different colors to put together or have some do the edge and others the middle).  The kids worked well together- they tried going to the other team to get a hint, but realized that their puzzles were different (this ended up being good so that no accusations of cheating could happen). When the puzzles were done, they raced frantically around my house looking for the presents.  Both teams found the presents about the same time.  What was also there to greet them was one of the adult volunteers dressed in a scary mask.  The kids screamed with delight. 

The adults and presents were then unmasked with an explanation about how they thought Aaron could part with some of his gifts.  They ended by stating the "We would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!!"  The kids then sat down to eat.  I had the basic party fare- including Scooby Doo macaroni and cheese and hot dogs/ chicken nuggets. 

For the cake, I made a Mystery Machine, based on a picture, but putting a cake mix in a loaf pan and cutting it to have sharper angles.  I used Oreo cookies for the wheels and mashed up oreos for the road.  I had the different Scooby Doo characters around the van and a Scooby Doo candle on top. The kids enjoyed the cake and their Scooby Snacks.   We wound down the party by opening presents and allowing time for the kids to check out the gifts, play with the various toys and/or finish watching the Scooby Doo movie.  The entire party took about 2 1/2 hours- just what I had budgetted on the invitations.  The kids had a great time and my son informs me that, next to the Harry Potter party we did last year, this was the best ever!

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