A classic mistake I often make is to anticipate that certain things will no longer be cool for my almost teenager, when in fact, they still are. I had a surprise party for her and some friends today. There were 3 reasons for making it a surprise for all of them. First, I didn’t know if they would think an Easter party was still cool. Second, I have never been able to have a surprise party for my daughter, as she plans her birthday party months in advance, so she knows it’s coming! And lastly, because I thought it would be fun for it to be a surprise for all of them! ( Okay, I did have one more reason! Without the guests knowing, there was no way they could slip and ruin the surprise for my girl!)
I pulled it off! Some of the parents didn’t understand the surprise thing, as surprising the attendees isn’t the norm! But my daughter wandered into the dining room completely surprised just minutes before her first guest arrived. It was fun to say “Surprise!” when each friend entered. they all rolled with it. We didn’t have any screaming or fainting, so that was good. As they arrived, I did a twist on Decorating Easter eggs, and instead gave them these to color in with colored pencils: http://www.sundayschoolkids.com/activities-lent-easter/1-doodle-colring-easter-eggs-instru.htm
I also had “Peep Juice” for each girl. It was a mix of sprite and cherry koolaid, with a peep on a skewer for fun. The girls said it was really yummy!
I like to plan out a party by starting a word document where I collect ideas. Once I know what activities I want to keep, I write down how much time it will take for each activity. I find it best to plan a few extra things at the end. This is “overtime”; things that won’t totally disappoint me if we don’t have time for them, but that are there just in case I need them! So I had a plan for this party, printed out and kept in my pocket. For my kid’s birthday parties, I have been known to print out several copies of this party plan, just in case I mislay one!
I planned 10 minutes for our first game, Pass the Egg, Please!
What you will need: A plastic egg
Directions: Have all the girls sit in a circle and pass an egg with only their feet. When you drop it, you’re out. It was helpful to have the girls who got out acting as referees, and watching to see who was at fault for the fumble. The last one left in the game wins!
Fortunately, it was warm enough to play our next game out in the fresh air. It was a lot like Capture the Flag, but was called Capture the Egg.
What you will need: Four blue eggs for one team Four green eggs for the other team (We used pink and purple because this was an all girl party!)
Directions: Divide teens into two groups. Each team has four Easter Eggs. Place the Eggs on the ground in a row. The object is to run to the other team’s side and try to take three of their eggs back to their own side without getting touched. If they get touched, they must stand still until one of their teammates touches them.
Now we get to what was the favorite game of the party. If you’ll notice, I didn’t have an egg hunt at this Easter party. My daughter and a few of her friends expressed some disappointment about this. This was my classic mistake at the party, assuming that they would be too old to want an egg hunt. But instead we had this Reverse Egg Hunt ! I gave each team a real eggshell (blown) and sharpies to give their eggs a face.
Reverse Egg Hunt
The Basics: In this reverse Easter egg hunt, instead of looking FOR eggs, participants START with an egg and then find places on a list. The idea is to take a picture of the egg with every item on the list. Get those cameras or phones and out and get ready to run!
The List: Here’s the things you need to nab a picture of with your egg :
• Blue car
• For Sale Sign
• Piece of Mail
• Rock bigger than the egg
• Rock smaller than the egg
• Stop Sign
• Green Leaf
• Set of Stairs
• in a tree
• on the slide
• riding a trike
• playing a sport
• balancing on someone’s face
• with the “Springdale Tower” in the background
This gave them a lot of independence, even though I had a one block radius as the boundaries. Unfortunately, I didn’t check to be sure there would be a for sale sign nearby, and there wasn’t. My daughter’s team finally wrote FOR SALE on their list with a pen and took a picture of their egg with it.
The party continued with my own mix-up creation of games that I called Scrambled Easter Egg Game Show:
Even teams of at least 3 people are preferable.
• Round 1 – The Pictionary Round: Each team chooses an artist. Artist 1 picks a drawing card & draws what is written on it. We used Spring words that I had printed and put into a basket. Some examples are: Spring, Chick, Marshmallow Peep… Team 1 tries to guess what it is in 60 seconds. If they guess correctly, artist can draw a second picture. Any pics they pass on are laid off to the side, for the other team to try and pick up. Then Team 2 starts their timer, can try to answer any drawings the other team missed, and have their round. (One point per drawing)
• Round 2 – The Taboo Round: Each team picks a gameshow host. Team 2 starts this round. The host will draw one of the drawing cards, (same as above) and try to describe it. (You can have forbidden words on the card as taboo would, but for this age group, we didn’t and it worked fine. The game works the same way, with the teams taking 1 minute turns. Only one team answers at a time, but again, the other team has the opportunity to guess on any of the clues that weren’t answered once their time has started ticking. (2 points per word)
• Round 3 – The Mad Gab Round: Again, taking 60 second turns, each team will listen to the gabber read the Mad Gab Easter cards aloud. For example, “Kenya comfort He’s terd inner.” would be “Can you come for Easter dinner?” Their team will attempt to decipher what the gabber is saying. Any phrases passed on will be held over for the other team to steal once their time has started. (5 points per phrase)
• Final Round: Sync Round: Each team will need a reader. The reader will tell the category and then the 60 second timer starts. They then read the questions off and two prechosen players must answer at once, and at the same time. If they answer the same answer at the same time, they will get their 10 points. They answer as many questions as they can before time runs out. Then play switches to the other team team. (Each synced answer will be worth 10 points each) Here is an example of one of the cards:
Name one sweet thing that people find in their Easter basket:
What do people put in an Easter basket that you can’t eat?
Who gives you your Easter basket?
Where is a good place to hide an Easter basket?
There is no wrong answer of course, but the funny thing is that people’s answers can be very different! It was also quite a challenge for the teammates to answer at the same time.
• (Would be cool to have the other team be able to earn points as well during this time, by giving them red and black checkers and a can or cup for each question. They place a red checker in if they believe the other team will answer the question the same. Black means they won’t answer the same. If they don’t place a checker in the can, they won’t gain or lose points. But they can gain 10 points for each guess if they guess correctly. (We didn’t do this, and the game already moved so fast that I don’t know how it would have worked.)
The last activity we did was to make a bunny out of a washcloth. I made another classic mistake in this I can’t remember where specifically I found these directions, but it wouldn’t be too hard to find. I made the mistake of not trying this out ahead of time so that I could teach the girls. But I had the steps and we did eventually get it!
I like how they can all have the same items on hand and yet make their bunnies so different! You can get packs of 3 washcloths at the dollar store.
I don’t know if these sweet girls would have needed anything to entertain them, but they sure seemed to enjoy and appreciate the party.
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