I noticed at my nine year old’s last class party that they’re big kids now. I know. Fourth grade we’re still pretending they’re little but fact of the matter…they’re growing up! They’re still going to enjoy orchestrated events, but they also want some independence. Not every minute planned like previous years. I have to say this felt like the right direction, but they’re still kids. It got a bit loud and crazy at moments. So, needless to say, they had a blast!
I gathered just a few supplies and some treat bag sort of things…then at the last minute I received donations from other room parents…a few bags of candy (Air Heads, Hershey’s chocolates, and suckers, as well as a few more types of things…the prize of the hour was some slime.
So I set up three stations and let them do…or not do…whatever they wanted…
The Three Stations:
Red Hot Kisses Guessing Booth:
Whoever guessed the closest amount without going over won the cup with candy. Would you believe they were more excited over the fancy plastic cup than the candy? Well, I caught the boy who won the kisses remarking to himself, “47 kisses…47 kisses…”. It was so cute! Would you believe there were 357 red hots in that cup? Click here to print the guessing sheet…we used two for our class.
I saw this on balancinghome.com . The cups were filled and covered with tissue paper. I think she just had them poke with their finger but I wanted to make arrows from pencils I had already picked up.
The point of the arrow was too flimsy to puncture the paper (which is already hard to do when you’re aiming)…I didn’t want them sharpened and they didn’t look right with the arrow head further back on the pencil, so I’m just ended up setting out a cup of pencils. They picked one pencil and after they threw they kept it. They were supposed to take one turn throwing, collect their pencil and prize if they punctured the paper on a cup, or return to the back of the line to try again. I told them to try at least twice to throw it before they just poked one. They misunderstood and at first they were throwing twice before they went back in line, then were throwing twice before just picking one. So the game was over fast! An adult at the station would’ve helped, but we were a bit short staffed (just the teacher and I at times). They had fun, anyway!
To make your board start by laying your cups on a sturdy piece of cardboard (I bought a tri-fold display board) in a heart shape (I spent way too long laying them out!) Just make sure you have enough room around each cup to get your tissue paper on later!
Decorate your board a bit if you have time…my little ones love to help with this sort of thing…
Secret Messages and Decoders:
This is so cool! It’s really hard to get a picture that shows you, though! I got this from catholicicing.com. Hers turned out great!
Ideally I wanted big decoders the size of the hearts they’ll be writing their message on.
But the budget is a bit stretched so I settled on smaller ones so that it wouldn’t take so much card stock. I picked up this glitter paper at Wal-Mart. It has two sheets for $1.00. I also needed red cellophane, which I found at Dollar Tree. With the two packs of doilies this is a $4.00 project for a class of 24 (asking the students to use school supplies (markers/glue stick) along with your punches or scissors…but I have lots of markers from our pre-school class and did my glue-ing at home), and you could really cut printer paper into hearts and use if you wanted! Not a bad price for something they will keep doing once they have that decoder!
Let’s start with the decoders. If you have punches that will make the pieces line up exactly I would put a front, back, and piece of red cellophane in a baggie and let the kids do it. I just couldn’t come by the punches yet last night and wanted the party planning done. And it was
too much more than I wanted to cut by hand so instead of sandwiching the film between two pieces (which would have been cutting two outer hearts, two inner hearts and a cellophane heart = five hearts for each…that’s about four too many) I just made a template of a heart then cut a smaller heart out of the center for the front and left it at that.
I traced the heart template on one sheet of the glitter paper, then cut the outer shape from both pieces at once. I went back and added the inner heart to the second set, then cut them all out. I won’t lie. I was well over it before I was finished! If you have punches (I wouldn’t have cared if they were square because I was so over it) USE THEM!!
I used a glue stick to glue all the hearts to a sheet of cellophane, then cut them out…I tried a few different ways and this was what I thought was easiest. If you are taking them for the kids to assemble I would still cut the cellophane into extra large squares and have them trim it once they have it all together…it’s easier than trying to line it up just right!
I had planned on using the pile of scrap for the pencil arrows…but they were cut to decorate the board for the pencil toss instead…
The kids will make their message on the heart doilies, but I just used printer paper to display the directions for them.
Start by having the kids write a message in light blue. I think a colored pencil works best with marker to hide it. Marker for the message just showed up way too much!
Next take pink, orange and red and either doodle a whole bunch or just scribble lines going all different directions. Pretend like the previous color isn’t there and just keep layering them on!
Use your decoder to discover the message…
Group Game: Left/Right Game meets Pie in Your Face
At his harvest party a mom brought a game that had the kids sit in a large circle. While music played, the kids passed around a pie tin full of whip cream. When the music stopped whoever had it put it in the face of either the person on their left or right but the same person couldn’t get it in their face twice! It was a blast, and we did have once three girls sitting together that the girl in the middle would have gotten it twice except for that rule! I noticed a few things that I want to be different this time…
I noticed the students hesitate to pass it because, of course, they wanted it. Well, they actually wanted the person beside them to have it…crazy as that may sound! Also, there were a few times that I would see a kid beside the “pie holder” know that they were not going to be the one with pie in their face because the person’s friend was on the other side…
And…we just needed more pie! We only got through it maybe four or five times and the kids really wanted a chance to have the pie in their face.
So, I found on culdesaccool.com a game where a story is read containing “left” and “right” through out. As I read the kids followed the directions, passing several items which ever direction until the end when they keep whatever they have (or don’t have). I divided the story into three sections. Each student had a gift bag except for eight…four with pies…four without.
When we got to the end of a section whoever had a pie put it in the face of the student to their right without a pie (there were students between them, but still whoever was closest to the right).
That way there’s no hesitating to pass, no favorites for picking, and well, there was just more pie in the face action! Instead of pie tins I just used plates, though. Just cause they’re cheaper (you don’t reuse the same one for sanitary reasons…)! Whoever had the pie got a new one to pass, and we continued the story. The last round they had an all out food fight and everyone ended up pied…the floor…everything! I would suggest not more than two pies ever going around the circle. Sometimes I’m not brilliant and I still had seven plates at the last round and plenty of whipped cream. Why not just put them all going around? I found out why. I do have to say that it tipped us to the point of epic on the class party meter! When we finally got a handle on the mess I gave a gift bag to the students who weren’t holding one at the end. They were going to continue a movie just to help settle them until dismissal (about 15 minutes later) but…
I printed a mad-lib type game, also from culdesaccool.com, and we ran out the day throwing out adjectives and nouns to make a pretty funny story! I think it ended up that Elvis Presley had written the letter, requesting that his valentine wear the broccoli he gave her, he would wear his cow, and they could be cupcakes together. The kids really enjoyed it, and the teacher decided she needed to make it a weekly review activity!
Are you planning on trying any of these games? Inspired to try something else? What games do your kids love at parties? Is there one you keep going back to? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Need more? Check our this years upcoming party!
‘Til next time!