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Cheap and Free Activities for Children’s Party

So, last weekend was B’s birthday party. I had mentioned in an earlier post that I didn’t want to splurge on a magician,  face painter, balloonist etc… you get the idea. It seemed rather excessive to pay more than $300 for an hour of entertainment.

So I had planned this idea of an amazing treasure hunt race ala amazing race style since B is really taken with the show.

So this was the planned itinerary.

 

B’s Amazing Race

TEAM 1

Activity 1

Take

 9

+

 8 =                   steps

 

from the spot marked with an X.

Look for a green leaf which will tell you your next clue.

On LEAF :

Look for a person who is wearing  a green leaf  for your next clue.

 

Activity 2

The person with a green lead stuck to her passes the team the instructions below and also directs them to a bunch of balloons of different colours  in the corner of the room. I hid a rolled up message in one of the many balloons. For example, upon decoding the message below, the team finds that they have a yellow balloon to find the message. There are about 5 yellow balloons, so the message is in one of them.

 

Balloon Station

You have to burst the right colour balloon for your next clue.

Decode the word and you will find out the colour of the balloon you have to burst.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

 

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

Decode this!

 27

14 

14 

17 

25 

 

 

Activity 3

Inside the balloons, there are different messages for the team to go to.

The message for Team 1 was:

Go to the Flower Station.

Your team has to complete a flower arrangement with these colours:  2 Red flowers , 1 Pink , 2 Yellow, 2 Orange  and  5 Purples

(I had bought 10 stalks of f chrysanthemum flowers with different colours and different shapes of the same colour too)

Flower Arrangement for Kids

 

By the way, this was such a hit with the girls and boys too that they made their own little bouquets to take home with the leftover flowers. I would definitely repeat this next year.

 

The message for Team 2 was:

Go to the Potato Head Station.

Your team’s Potato must have:

GREEN HAIR

2 eyes

1 Nose

1 moustache

2 eyebrows

2 legs

2 hands

RED shoes

Once you have completed your potato head, present it to the Game Master who will give your next clue

 

(I had cut out an A4 size potato head shape with legs and ears from  some recycled cardboard for the kids to draw on the features)

 

Activity 4

Rearrange the letters coins to form a word. Whisper the word to the Game Master who will give you your next clue to finding the treasure!

 

Activity 5

Find a heart shape each to claim your final treasure!

(I had stuck about 15 heart shapes under tables, chairs, on people, on birthday decor and anywhere that I could stick it on for the children to hunt)

 

SOOOOOO…. did the kids have fun? Of course!

Did all the activities work? Of course not! Ha ha ha

There were 10 kids, and they were all going crazy, ALL OVER THE PLACE! With my daughter being one of the chief screamers!

So… let me review what works for a 10 kid party with kids ranging from 4 to 8 years old on the budget…

TIP 1 : Get a function room.

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– I can only heave a sigh of relief that I did that. I paid $20 for 4 hours. It was worth every cent. It’s works pretty well as a containment unit for kids gone mad with happiness. You can literally shut them in and they are happy running round and round like what my brother describes as “crazy koi going in circles”.

– you can switch on all air conditioners at FULL BLAST. Kids running non stop, screaming … with the AC, you can minus out whining  – ” I’m soooo hot!”

TIP 2: Get a kids’ tent or any tent

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What is it with kids and tents? They just love it! And it kepts them entertained for hours.  We borrowed a tent and balls… what can I say? It kept them occupied. First the plastic balls went in and 6 kids fitted themselves inside… Then the balloons went in and all I could see were legs sticking out of the tent “door”

TIP 3 : Scatter big toys around

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Bring whatever outdoor toys you have and scatter it around the room. Believe me… they will find uses for it that you probably never thought of!  We brought down a little tikes playgym slide that had been lying around the patio and guess what? It’s not much excitement as a play gym for 6 year olds but it’s super exciting when you have 3 kids on it and 5 more kids pushing the thing around shouting “Ahoy mateys!”

TIP 3: Get the smallest size box drink

Box drinks are good because you just need to poke a straw in and it reduces spillage by alot! Buy the smallest box size because when they are running wild, chances are, they are going to forget where they left their drink.

TIP 4: Have games with little prizes to win

The kids really loved looking for hidden heart shapes and getting stickers and little trinkets as prizes. Brain games are not quite such a hit with young kids. But they enjoyed making the flower arrangement and potato heads drawing so much so that the girls continued doing a mini bouquet of flowers each to bring home.

TIP 5:  Don’t kill yourself over the food

Children – unless you are serving them cardboard, don’t care about food, not when they have 9 other friends to play with. All they need is something to fill their stomachs and water when they are thirsty. Having said that, as a host, you can’t serve your little guests plain white bread but there is no need to go overboard with the fancy stuff like hors d’oeuvre… that doesn’t impress them… but if you get or make something and call it Horse  Undders, that would be a better bet… especially with the boys.

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In any case, I couldn’t resist making her birthday cake and got her to decorate it herself. I had bought sugar flowers from the cake supply shop. It was a simple cake where I got a muffin  premix (no shame in that!) and added extra ingredients like grounded hazelnut, chopped cranberries, lime juice with some lime peel, chia seed… yes, my baking friends are always shocked to the roots of their hair that I take such liberties with a cake/muffin recipe but hey, it still rises and at least it’s not so sweet.

I cooked some macaroni with tomato base sauce with chopped vegetables and bacon and I bought myself some insurance with some grated parmesan cheese…I have learnt that 9 out of 10 kids don’t say no to cheese.

The rest, I bought, all individually wrapped, single food portions because if it weren’t finished, I didn’t want to waste any food.

As for the adults, we ordered pizza from Spizza.  It was quite delicious despite being a delivery order and the ingredients were fresh and the quality of the cheese was good. The Ursula came with a generous layer of smoke salmon and Isabella ‘s Pharma ham with rockets didn’t disappoint.

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One Response to “Cheap and Free Activities for Children’s Party”

  1. wonderful fun… I’m sure the adults had a good time catching up as with the function room “locked down”, it takes out the stress of keeping a constant hawk-eye over the children!

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