Boys Sleepover -11yr- Amazing Race
Elizabeth in Beaverton, Oregon, USA
BIRTHDAY SLEEPOVER (11 years old) According to the kids at school, when you turn the age that is the same number as the date you were born, such as turning 7 years old on the 7th day of the month, then that is your golden birthday. My son, Pablo, just turned 11 on the 11th, which fortunately happened to fall on a Saturday. He asked for a sleepover party, the first large sleepover at our house. Like most fans of this website, I love throwing themed parties, so I threw him a Golden Birthday Sleepover.
INVITATION: I printed the invitations on letter sized decorative paper covered in multi-colored balloons. I let Pablo choose which paper he wanted. Here's the wording: You are invited to Pablo's Golden Birthday Party (when he turns 11 on the 11th). It's a sleepover from 4pm Saturday, December 11 until 11am Sunday, December 12 at our house (insert address here). RSVP info. Followed. Next it read, Bring your pajamas, sleeping bag and pillow, warm clothes and DS (if you have one.) We're going on a huge Amazing Race style scavenger hunt followed by dinner and a movie, hanging out, and playing wii, DS and other games. Sunday morning we'll have chocolate-chip pancakes and hot cocoa for breakfast followed by a flag football game (rain or shine, or snow!) at the soccer field. A few days before the party I emailed the parents of the 8 boys who were coming: If you need to reach us anytime during the party, please call Elizabeth's cell phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX. We will be taking the boys to various locations around town as part of an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt. (Other mom's name) and I will be the drivers. Pick up will be at the soccer field on Street Name, Sunday morning at 11 am. Roger will be with the boys playing flag football there, rain or shine. Their sleeping bags and things will be in the trunk of our minivan. Warning: the boys might get a little muddy. Also, the boys want to watch The Prince of Persia". "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" is a second option. I have screened both movies but please let me know right away if you have any objections to either film. (No one objected but both movies are PG-13 so I felt obligated to ask.) I made arrangements for Pablo's little brother and his cousins to have their own sleepover party with my husband at another house. I told Pablo Having the party just be you and your friends is my gift to you.
DECORATIONS: Our house was already decorated for Christmas so we didn't put up much in the way of decorations just a few signs we made on gold colored paper and a movie marquee and movie poster which we hung over the entrance to the movie theater (the TV room). Pablo picked out paper birthday party plates and gold napkins.
ACTIVITIES/GAMES: When the kids arrived presents were put near our Christmas tree and the kids went upstairs to the bonus room spread out their sleeping bags and played for a bit. A little after 4:30 we started the: AMAZING RACE STYLE SCAVENGER HUNT. This was a huge success! One of the kids even told me it was the best game he ever played in his life. I think this bunch of fifth graders loved having to figure things out themselves and get to do grown up things on their own. All the clues were printed on white paper and glued to gold construction paper folded in thirds and marked on the outside with whichever number clue it was. I gave the boys the first clue along with a backpack containing a Ziploc bag with about 10 dollars in it a pencil pouch with some pens and pencils in it a gold notebook and a digital camera. One boy in the group wore the backpack the whole time and loved being in charge of it.
CLUE 1: There are eleven things you must find or do. After each is completed you'll get your next clue. You've got 2 adults who will drive you around But you'll give directions and figure everything out. Though we drivers can't help you you aren't alone. You can talk to each other and get help with the phone. You may borrow our cells but must give them back And make use of the other things in this pack. Your drivers must follow all traffic rules And mind your manners! Don't act like fools Or a 5-minute penalty is what you'll get So safety first! Now get ready get set - Here's hoping you have lots of fun Getting these eleven things done. But do not dawdle you gotta hurry Cause you must be finished by six thirty! Work together and don't be late For when you finish a reward awaits. Then at the bottom of the poem was their first clue: Now using only your bodies spell out PABLO and get a picture of it. OK I thought this would be a lot easier for them but watching them figure this out was hilarious for the other mom and me!
CLUE 2: Put the camera back in the bag and shoot yourselves in a different way! First find the smiling targets. Then each person gets three chances at a time to hit their 2-D selves or their 2-D friends with a Nerf gun. As a team you must hit eleven targets. When you finish you will receive your next task - First of all the pun about shooting themselves went right over their heads but that's just another laugh for the adults. On one wall in the playroom I had hung some posters I made. On the posters were mug shot photos of each boy at the party most of them making some ridiculous face. I had 9 boys photos plus one of a yellow happy face a close-up of Goofy and one of Mike Wazowski's face (the green monster with only one eye from the movie Monsters Inc.) The boys stood behind a sleeping bag and took turns shooting Nerf darts at the photos on the posters. They loved this.
CLUE 3: Collect 11 golden socks and give them to Pablo's mom in exchange for your next mission. Instantly they all started running around looking for socks like they were on an Easter Egg hunt. In a panic I yelled out that they would only be where you would normally find socks and one boys yelled back On the floor? Another boy said The laundry hamper! I also had to tell them they weren't in the master bedroom. They come running back into the bonus room with an armload of white socks with a tiny bit of gold on the toe but eventually they figure out that they need to find the bright gold soccer socks they've all worn for the past 4 soccer seasons. They come running back in the bonus room with 5 pairs and say that they could only find 5 socks. I suggest they open one pair and one boy yelled out his discovery Hey guys! There's two socks in every pair! By this time the other mom and I are cracking up. So they only have 10 socks and can't figure out where to get the 11th until finally one boy gets the idea to go to his house. We all pile in two cars and we are off! All 9 boys go tearing into the other boys house and I get a photo of them all in the garage holding 11 gold socks.
CLUE 4: Take a photo of a sign address number t-shirt or license plate with the number 11 on it. Show the photo to Pablo's mom to get your next mission. This was really hard to do in the dark. We drove around a bit and then one of the kids remembered that the mailboxes in our neighborhood are numbered. We ended up back in front of our house where the boys found a mailbox with an 11 on it and they got
CLUE 5: Buy a box of cereal with Golden in the name. Trade it with Pablo's mom for you your next clue. My son ran up to the garage door and started to open it. They were all going to run through my house looking for this box of cereal. I quickly reminded them that the clue said "buy" it and one boy got the idea to go to the nearest grocery store. In the car they talked about how they couldn't run in the store or act like maniacs or they would get a penalty. They called the other car to make sure everyone knew this. I thought they'd buy Golden Grahams but there is also cereal called Golden Crisp.
CLUE 6: Get a group photo in front of this place: Subtract the time the party started from the time the party will end. Say the answer and then say the number of clues you must collect. Once the photo has been taken you will receive your next assignment. They had to go to 7 Eleven.
CLUE 7: Buy a birthday card for Pablo and get 11 different people not counting you and your teammates to sign it. Then trade the card with Pablo's mom for your next clue. They decided to go to the closest store Target. After debating which one to get they finally bought the card and asked the cashier to be the first to sign it. They went straight to customer service and got a few more signatures. Then they wandered around wondering who to ask next as they passed person after person. We adults were trying so hard not to bust up laughing. We had to mention a few times How about that lady right behind you? or What about those two guys standing right there? but the boys were so focused on finding people they were oblivious to our hints.
CLUE 8: This clue was a picture clue I made using clip art. It showed a picture of a driving car the number 2 a dollar sign plus sign and picture of a tree. (Drive to Dollar Tree) On the next line was the letter a plus sign a picture of a cross and the word from and a picture of some tacos the minus sign the letter s a plus sign then a picture of a bell. (across from Taco Bell.) The next line showed a peach minus sign then the letter p and a picture of a boy and a picture of the Mayflower the minus sign then picture of a flower. (Each boy may) The next line showed the letter b the plus sign then a picture of an eye and the number 1 and a picture of a man standing next to a giant with an arrow pointing to the giant and a soda can the plus sign then the letter D. (buy one giant candy) The last line showed the letter f the plus sign then a picture of a man rowing a boat with an arrow pointing at the oar and the word the and a picture of a cow with an arrow pointing at a speech bubble coming from the cow's mouth the plus sign then the letter V. (for the movie.) The whole clue read "Drive to Dollar Tree across from Taco Bell. Each boy may buy one giant candy for the movie.") This was a challenge but they figured it out in a few minutes. Then we drove to Dollar Tree and they each had a gold dollar (included in the last clue) to buy their favorite movie theater size candy. They loved this. After making their purchase they asked if they could donate the cereal they'd bought on the race to the Dollar Tree food drive. Then they opened up
CLUE 9: Go to this store to receive your next task: Without the and there are 11 letters in this store name but billions of letters inside the store. (Barnes and Noble) Once inside the book store I gave them
CLUE 10: Find a book that is the 11th in a series and take a photo of your group with it. Then you will receive your next assignment. I had done a recon mission the day before to make sure there were plenty of books to chose from and there were. But they found a few I hadn't seen. They received their final clue which they decoded sitting on the floor of the kids section.
CLUE 11: It was an 8 1/2 by 14 paper that read PABLO'S BIRTHDAY WORD JUMBLE: Each scrambled word has to do with the kind of birthday party Pablo had for each year of his life. Pablo remember your parties and work as a team with your friends to unscramble the corresponding words. On the word jumble paper I had printed photos of kids decorations cakes or characters from each of his last ten birthday parties and eleven words for them to unscramble. There were two copies of the word jumble and they sat in two groups working on it. This took about ten and they really got into it. Once they unscrambled all eleven words they read Now using only the circled letters unscramble the clue at the bottom of this page to find out your reward. The reward was Pizza @ Pablo. I had ordered 3 large pizzas to be delivered once we got home which arrived seconds after we did. Perfect timing!
PARTY SNACKS: We served pizza and soda for dinner. While waiting to be served the kids took turns telling the most memorable time they'd ever had with Pablo. I got to hear some funny stories. After dinner Pablo opened his presents and then they all ran upstairs to play video games and Nerf guns while I cleaned up and got the movie ready. MORE
ACTIVITIES/GAMES: I bought popcorn bags from the dollar store and filled them with butter or white cheddar popcorn I'd bought pre-popped in huge bags and warmed in the oven. The kids each got a bag of popcorn a water bottle with their name marked in Sharpie and the candy they'd purchased on the race. I thought they'd fight over who got to sit on the couches but most wanted to sit on the floor. I'd brought about ten big pillows down for them to lounge on. They watched The movie Prince of Persia.
After the movie they went upstairs to play a game called PIGGLY WIGGLY: One person is it and leaves the room. Everyone else hides completely in one of the sleeping bags. It comes back in the room and sits next to the sleeping bag and puts his hand on the person inside one of the bags. Then It says Piggly Wiggly and the person in the sleeping bag says Oink Oink. It must guess who is in the bag. If he is correct then the person in the bag is the new it and we start again. If not it moves to another sleeping bag and tries again until he guesses right. The boys loved this game! After about 15 rounds of Piggly Wiggly most of the boys stayed up stairs to play while three of the boys came back downstairs to watch MOVIE 2: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Even though they'd never seen the movie they knew what was going to happen because they've all played the Lego Indiana Jones video game. The second movie ended at 1:30 am.
The kids got ready for bed (some of them even brushed their teeth) and I cleaned up and got myself ready for bed. At 2 am I went into the bonus room to tell them it was time to go to sleep. But we're not tired! they all chorused. I told them I was tired and if they wanted breakfast in the morning they'd better settle down so I could go to sleep. Several boys asked if I would tell them a bedtime story - but not a scary one - so I did. Then a few boys (who are over at our house so frequently I call them my fake sons and they call me their fake mom) said Goodnight Fake Mom! So I kissed my son goodnight and then fake kissed all my fake sons goodnight and left the room. I only had to go back in once to ask them to be quiet. When I got up at 8:45 so I could start making pancakes they were all awake quietly playing video games. But isn't that what makes a good sleepover party? Lack of sleep? The boys got dressed and packed up their things (leaving a few articles of clothing behind especially socks) and came down for breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes and hot cocoa.
CAKE: I drizzled chocolate syrup over a large stack of pancakes and stuck two candles in it and we sang Happy Birthday to my son over panCAKEs.
GAME: After breakfast we loaded the boys things into our van and drove down to the soccer field and they played FLAG FOOTBALL in the rain for an hour and a half with my husband and another dad. Little brother was back and got invited to play in the game. (I stood in my pjs jacket and rain boots and huddled under umbrellas with a few other moms chatting and taking photos.) The flags were red and yellow so we dubbed the teams "Ketchup and Mustard" and joked that they were playing in "The Hot Dog Bowl." They picked teams playground style and strangely my son ended up on the team with all the actual football players but they only won but one touchdown. They had a blast got covered in mud (it rains a lot in Oregon in December) and played until noon - an hour past the end time of the party. Kids went home directly from the field. This was a very successful party and one of the best things I did was NOT hover over the kids like a mother hen. We got home and I stuck my two kids in a big bubble bath and collapsed tired but not completely worn out. It was a fun party that required a lot of planning but only cost about $80. Thank you notes will be photo collages from the party. Thanks for reading my idea and happy party planning! "