Hi everyone! Happy 2018! It’s a new year and that means more new fun ideas from us here at Bash Parties! Let’s get to it!
The cold weather has certainly settled in here in Upstate NY, as it has in most of the country, so we thought we’d provide some easy, inexpensive and fun activities to keep the kiddos entertained (and keep you sane).
5 Screen Free Indoor Activities for Kids
DIY Puffy Paint
We love our crafts at Bash Parties and this puffy paint looks like a ton of fun. It only requires three ingredients and it dries all fluffy and puffy. You can find the instructions on Our Little Project.
Paper Airplane Landing Strip
We may need to add this activity to our Spy Bash party theme. Let the kids try making different style planes to see which ones fly the furthest. You can find the full instructions from Meaningful Mama here.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Kids love going on the hunt for clues so this makes for an fun activity to get them up and moving. Simply print out and send them on their way. Older kids may like an additional challenge like a time limit or a restriction like they can only find one item per room. You can find the PDF here Indoor Scavenger Hunt Game_Bash Parties.
This one is easily overlooked. Put on some of your favorite music and get moving! Take the opportunity to show the younger generation some of the group dances that were popular when you were a kid. I bet they’ll love watching and learning from you (even if they laugh a little bit). Don’t know the moves? There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube to show you the steps. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
The Cupid Shuffle
Cotton Eye Joe
If your house is like mine, there’s a lot of leftover holiday candy in the house. Put some if it to use in a game! The Dating Divas have a few fun games to play with those extra sweets.
Know of anymore fun and easy screen free activities? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
I recently helped host a one year anniversary party at a local business here in Troy named Culinary Square. Run by Sam and her mom Carolyn, they offer a fabulous selection of high end cookware and kitchen appliances (To learn more about Culinary Square you can check out their website, Facebook and Instagram). This past October (2016) I was invited to host a Halloween cupcake bar for Troy Night Out, our monthly cultural event here in Troy that encourages everyone to get out and enjoy everything our awesome city has to offer. We had such a fun time that they asked me back to help them celebrate their one year anniversary this April!
My idea for a scavenger hunt came to me because they have SOOO much amazing inventory in their store and I thought it would be helpful to encourage customers to wander around the store to see what they can discover. Customers that completed the scavenger hunt during their one year anniversary party were entered into a raffle for a $100 mandolin (not too shabby for a free contest!).
Scavenger hunts are perfect for kids birthday parties but can be a pain to put together. This post lists 7 easy clues you can adapt and put it together in a timely manner. Let’s get hunting!
Getting Started: Determining Boundaries
I lucked out because I could use the entire store for my hunt but if you’re hosting a scavenger hunt it’s important to set boundaries. Kids are curious and when it comes to competition they can sometimes forget about manners so unless you want a child rummaging through your underwear drawer looking for their next clue I suggest you explain the Off Limit areas before you start. Some areas to consider off limits: bedrooms, bathroom cabinets, the garage, kitchen drawers, etc. You may also want to consider setting all drawers and cabinets off limits and explain that all of the clues will be out in the open. You just never know what kids can get into or find so it may be best to keep all drawers and cabinets off limits.
Select your Clue Locations
I find it’s easier to select the clue locations before you start creating your clues. In my case, I selected my spots then put them in order around the store so people wouldn’t have to keep walking from one side of the store to the other. If your scavenger hunt is for kids that may be exactly what you want them to do because it stretches out the activity and it keeps them moving around.
Coming up with Clues
This is where things can get tricky. To help you out I’ve put the clues in order of quickest to develop to most difficult so if you’re trying to throw this scavenger hunt together in a hurry I suggest sticking to the first three or four clues I’ve listed and use them multiple times.
I like to make all of my clues little games or puzzles. It makes the hunt more interactive and it slows the kiddos down a bit. After all, if you’re spending all of this time on a great scavenger hunt you don’t want the participants to run through it in five minutes.
Let’s get started with some of the easier clues to put together:
1. Word Scramble Clue
This clue is super easy to put together. Just take the letters and scramble them up in the wrong order and you’re done! One thing I like to do with younger groups is add a helpful picture to the background or attach a picture to the clue so it gets them on the right track.
The word scramble we did at Culinary Square was for their Viking Stainless Steel™ products so we added a viking hat and a stainless steel pot to the background to help the hunters out.
2. Jigsaw Puzzle Clue
Don’t let the sound of this one fool you, it’s super simple. Think of a picture that would tell the kids where to go next, for example a couch would tell them to go to the living room, a dining room table would send them to the dining room, etc.
Print out a picture of that item onto a sheet of paper (thank you Google images), use a pair of scissors and cut the picture up into various pieces (Use your discretion and based on the age of the group decide how small the pieces should be, but I’d say keep it to under 20). Take the pieces and throw them in a ziplock bag or envelope and boom, there’s your clue. See, I told you that one was easy.
3. Rebus Clue
A rebus is a puzzle that has pictures and letters that the solver puts together to make a word or phrase. For the Culinary Square event, Sam wanted to feature their new Corksicle™ tumblers (she was even kind enough to send me home with one as a thank you) so I thought Corksicle™ is an easy word to put together with a rebus. Here’s what I came up with:
I put it together pretty quickly – here’s how. I opened up Word and used their Clip Art to find the pictures then I pasted them in the right order in the document. To insert Clip Art go to Insert then select Clip Art (it’s the 6th button from the left) then enter in the image you’re looking for in the Search for: field at the top of the Clip Art box. A quick tip on working with pictures in Word: if you find that the pictures won’t move or go in the right direction, select the picture, go to Format then on the right there’s an area called Arrange from there select Wrap Text and then the In Front of Text option. This allows you to move the pictures around the page as you need.
At Culinary Square they have a large, colorful selection of kitchen towels with clever puns and adorable designs so I really wanted to find a way to show them off. For the towels I created an Idiom clue:
(One note about these clues, younger kids may have a hard time with these simply because they aren’t familiar with the phrases so that’s something to keep in mind.)
Some examples that you may be able to implement in your scavenger hunt are:
“The next step is up to you, the ball is in your ________ (court).” This one is perfect if you have a basketball hoop at your party location.
“Wow you are awesome! I’d say you’re the best thing since sliced _______ (bread).” This clue should send them to the kitchen.
“That’s top secret information, don’t let the ______(cat) out of the bag.” This can lead them to the cat’s water bowl or to a stuffed cat you set up somewhere.
5. Trivia Question Clues
One clue that I didn’t utilize in my scavenger hunt but does work well is Trivia Question clues. Some neat trivia categories that work great for kids of all ages are TV shows, movies, sports, food and candy. A few examples of some trivia questions that can work for your scavenger hunt:
“Where would Nemo and Dory enjoying spending time?” (the aquarium or fish bowl)
“In baseball, when you hit the ball over this thing it’s considered a home run” (a fence)
“Hermine from Harry Potter and Belle from Beauty and the Beast are bookworms. Where would you find them hanging out in the house?” (books or a bookshelf)
6. What Am I?
This clue has a fun twist to it because you get to describe the item as if you are that item. For the Culinary Square hunt the clue answer was a mandolin.
One clue I thought would be fun for a kids party is a television, here’s my description:
“I come in lots of different sizes and I’m usually black in the back and colorful in the front when I’m turned on. The whole family can use me at the same time. I can’t eat, but if I had a favorite snack it would be popcorn”
7. Password Cipher Clue
Here’s our final clue for today’s post. We used this as our last clue for our Culinary Square scavenger hunt. What you do is give the hunters a code they need to crack with a password cipher. The cipher will tell the hunter what each symbol means. Here’s the code I used for the Culinary Square, we used cooking and kitchen symbols for the password cipher:
The one we used for our hunt would be a little difficult to duplicate because we downloaded a new font for the kitchen symbols. However, a quick and easy way to come up with your own codes are Wingdings! You know that weird font that no one ever knows what to do with? Well now you have a reason to use it!
We even created this handy, dandy Scavenger Hunt Password Cipher Printable_Bash Birthday Parties. All you have to do is type out the clue words that you want the hunters to crack in CAPS, highlight the word and change the font to Wingdings and print. (Don’t forget to type the words in CAPS, otherwise it won’t match up to the password cipher) That’s it! Give them the password cipher and their code to crack and off they go.
You may want to use this as the last clue that way you can make it a message like, “go find Jack’s mom to claim your prize” or “You’ve complete the hunt, congratulations”.
Overall the scavenger hunt was a fun way for customers to enjoy the store and the anniversary party! I hope you’re able to take some of these clues and easily apply them to your own hunt. If you end up trying any of these out let us know in the comments section. We’ll be back with more party ideas (like our next post about the Girl Scout themed cupcakes I made for my friend’s bridal shower!). You can also check out our Facebook page or Instagram to see more of what we’re up to – lately it’s been a lot. Thanks for reading and talk to you soon!
Most kids love candy and of course parties are a special occasion, but when it comes to goody bags I like to send our guests home with interactive and playful items. Today, we’ve compiled a list of items that hopefully spark some inspiration for your child’s goody bag.
Working with your theme when putting together your goody bag
Something to consider is tying your goody bag to the theme of your party. For example, at our Girly Girl Bashes the girls receive cutesy stuff like nail stickers and lip gloss while our Spy Bash guests receive espionage tools like invisible ink pens and black sunglasses. Think about your theme, maybe you’re throwing a nature party so you can provide your guests with bug nets and magnifying glasses or a spa party so you can give out bubble bath and loofahs. That can help you come up some ideas of your own.
A Fun Alternative – One Big Gift as a Favor
Something I’ve seen on Pinterest lately is in lieu of a goody bag, parents are handing out one large gift that fits the theme. Say you want a Curious George party, you could give away copies of a Curious George storybook. I saw a baseball party that provided each guest a wiffle ball and bat with a box of Cracker Jacks tied to the top – adorable! (http://catchmyparty.com/photos/1288843)
Creative ways to wrap up your goody bag items
Those little gifts don’t need to go in a plain, ole bag! Here’s another awesome way to get creative and tie the goody bag into your theme.
Girly Girl Bash Favors
The goody bags from our Spy Bash are known as “Spy Kits” and come in black cardboard boxes to simulate a briefcase.
A mom from one of our Cake Bashes this past Fall made these adorable, personalized cups with paint pens and filled with candy and lip gloss. Shout out to Tessla’s mom!
We use cellophane bags for our Girly Girl Bash favor bags that we tie off with pink ribbon and purple flower tags.
Now, what are we going to put in those goody bags?
15 Items to Include in a Goody Bag (That Aren’t Candy)
Playing Cards – these never get old and you can even buy the special game packs like Go Fish or Crazy 8’s.
Fake Tattoos – I’ve yet to meet a kid that has received one of these and not wanted to put it on immediately. It’s a fan favorite.
Glow Sticks – I think everyone has a soft spot for glow sticks.
Twisty Straws – Fun, safe and reusable.
Stickers – We all know how much kids love stickers. Make sure this is age appropriate for your group; you don’t want parents calling saying their child put stickers all over the window of their car.
Bubbles – Perfect for younger groups. Check out Pinterest for printables to make custom labels to add a bit of personalization.
Fake Mustaches – Awesome for kids of all ages.
Coloring Books – With the whole adult coloring fade, everyone is getting back into coloring.
Nail Polish – Again, make sure it’s appropriate for your age group.
Chapstick/Lip Gloss – Up here in the Northeast chapstick and lip gloss are most welcome in the winter.
If you haven’t noticed, not everyone is punctual. Call it fashionably late if you will, but either way, some people just don’t arrive at places (meetings, airports, weddings) on time.
I’m not here to judge those of you that run late, we’ve all done it. However, when it comes to event planning it can be tough to plan around you late-ys. This is especially the case with children’s parties because kids tend to be impatient (Are we there yet?). Of course you want to wait for everyone to arrive before you start the main activities and games, but what do you do with 10 excited kids while you wait for the last two to show up? Without a plan you can be in a real pickle (picture 10 kids running around the house and screaming – not fun).
The Solution – An Opening Activity!
A simple sanity saving solution is planning an opening activity. All of our Bashes include an opening activity because I’d say 5% of our parties have started right on time. This is an activity that will keep everyone occupied until the stragglers show up, but if someone misses it he or she isn’t terribly disappointed.
What’s required for the perfect opening activity? I’m glad you asked…
Keys to a Great Opening Party Activity
There’s lots to consider when picking an opening activity – I’ve created an infographic to guide you along.
Our Favorite Opening Activities
Like I mentioned earlier, all of our Bashes include some sort of opening activity. Here are a few of our favorites.
Decorate a Birthday Banner
If you have basic art skills (or ask a friend who does) use a black Sharpie marker and on the matte, non shiny side of a white poster board outline “Happy Birthday” as well as some smaller pictures like presents, confetti, etc. As the kids arrive they can use markers and crayons to color in the BIG banner. Ask them to sign the banner or write a nice message to the birthday boy or girl.
Decorate a Party Hat or Crown
Set up a table with blank party hats or crowns (you can find cute ones on Amazon or Michaels), stickers, markers, crayons, pom pops, ribbons, scissors and craft glue (raid your craft stash) and let the kids decorate their own party hat! Another option is printing hat templates on blank paper, letting the kids cut them out and then they can decorate (I found this template through Pinterest – it’s template #4). If you’re decorating the cone party hats, we recommend decorating while they’re flat. When the kids are done, you can help put them back together again with tape.
“Who Am I?” Game
Write different professions, TV/Movie characters, and famous people on index cards (one per card). Everyone will receive a card to put on their forehead with tape – they aren’t allowed to see what’s written on their card, but everyone else can see who they are. The kids will have to go around and ask each other questions to figure out who they are. One question is off limits: “Who Am I?”. Make up extra cards so if someone figures themselves out you can give them a new identity. This game works better for older kids (9 and up).
“Heads Up” Game
Ellen DeGeneres is a genius for giving us this game. We’ve played this as a closing activity at Bashes as well when parents are running late for pick up. It’s a free download from the App Store and there’s a deck of clues just for kids. One person holds the phone sideways up to their forehead and the kids have to describe what the clue is on their head. If the person guesses the clue right they flip the phone down for the next word or flip up to pass. Each round is a minute long so once your turn is over you pass it to the next person. This game works groups 7 years old and up.
Personality Quizzes/Would You Rather?
This is another one that works for slightly older groups so we would recommend this for
tweens and teens. You can find tons of free printable personality quizzes and Would You Rather questions for tweens on Pinterest. For the personality quizzes, they can work on their quizzes independently and then you can go over the answers with them later. For Would You Rather, you can print out the questions, cut them up and put them in a bowl. Everyone can get a turn picking a question out of a bowl and asking the group what they think. These activities definitely get a lot of giggles.
Like all children’s parties, planning is key and that starts with when the kids walk in the door. Let me know below what you think and if you have any of your own opening activities that have worked for you in the comments below. Be sure to follow us here, on Facebook and Instagram for more party planning ideas.
With St. Patrick’s Day a week away we thought we’d take a moment to remind everyone that leprechauns are active this time of year and that proper precautions should be taken. Leprechauns are historically very mischievous creatures and are know for getting into trouble which is great news for all of us. Legend has it if you’re able to catch one of these tiny gold loving people, they’ll lead you to fantastic fortunes – gold specifically.
To help you prepare, we’ve developed a Leprechaun Trap Supply List from Bash Birthday Parties and provided some examples of Leprechaun traps that we’ve deemed fit to capture one. Best of luck out there and please let us know in the comments below if any of your traps are successful – we’re always looking for new technologies to catch these little crazy people.
Leprechaun Trap Supply List
We’ve compiled a list of supplies you’ll commonly find around your home to help you outfit your very own leprechaun trap. Note, these traps need not be large so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get rid of scrap supplies you may have had lying around your arts and crafts bins. We’ve found that children are best equipped to develop these traps as they can be mischievous themselves at times so they are best able to get in the mindset of the leprechaun. While they may need some assistance from a grown up, most children will be able to use the supplies given to them and come up with a trap with their own imagination. A downloadable pdf version can be found here: Leprechaun Trap Supply List from Bash Birthday Parties.
Leprechaun Trap Inspiration
To help get the creative juices flowing we’ve found 4 traps that we thought were fully capable of catching a leprechaun.
That’s it from us, hopefully you found some inspiration to make a successful leprechaun trap. We’ll be setting ours up before heading to a St. Patrick’s Day Parade Party in Latham tomorrow!
Next Saturday, March 18th is the Collar City Kilt Fest in Troy, NY and we have some exciting announcements next week about our DIY beer koozie booth that we’ll be hosting in the Arts Center before the 5K race at 1:00. Lots of fun stuff going on this March!
Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to let us know in the comments about hour your trap turned out! Happy hunting!
Full disclosure, I love St. Patrick’s Day. My grandfather was from Ireland and as a kid my brother, cousins and I would march with him and the Albany Ancient Order of Hibernians in the Albany St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year, shillelagh in hand. Walking in a big parade is one of the coolest experiences for a multitude of reasons. If you’ve walked in a parade you know what I mean. If you haven’t, find your nearest parade and look for an opening to hop in – it’s all about blending in.
Please allow me to explain some of the reasons why walking in the Albany St. Patrick’s Day Parade is awesome:
Everyone you wave to smiles and waves back.
You get to walk down the center of Albany like you own it!
It’s a reason to wear face paint (this one is more for the kids, but I know there’s adults out there that love an excuse to wear face paint too).
Your family runs up to you as you walk by and takes your picture like you’re some sort of celebrity strutting the red carpet.
You can high five strangers on the parade route – sometimes it’s welcome, sometimes it’s not – but no one gets mad about it.
The color green is flattering on everyone.
You get to hear the sweet sound of those plastic green horns.
Not all of us can get the chance to march in the parade (unless you try the maneuver I mentioned earlier – remember, just blend in). Let’s face it, someone has to watch the parade go by and throw their hands up for high fives from to the parade participants.
Those of you parade viewers out there may be bringing their kids down to the St. Patrick’s Day parade this Saturday, which is great! However, once you’ve gotten your spot, there is some downtime before the parade steps off and that’s when the chorus of “When is it going to start?” begins.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade Bingo
To help distract the little ones before the parade begins at 2:00, we’ve come up with St. Patrick’s Day Parade Bingo! It’s picture bingo and all of the bingo cards have the same images, just in different spots. Print these out for your little shamrocks and let them X out the items as they see them to keep them entertained before and during the big parade! St. Patricks Day Parade Bingo Cards_Bash Birthday Parties