As I mentioned earlier, Rebecca turned seven this week and it was her turn to have a party this year (the kids get one every second year at the moment) and she was pretty keen on a theme party with games. It took me a while to come up with one that fitted that description which would suit both boys and girls, but eventually (when she brought a few EJ12 books home from the library) I got my inspiration! It was a lot of fun. After doing a google search for 'spy party', this is what I came up with:
* As guests arrived, I fingerprinted them. I had name tags already prepared with their 'spy names' (based on the radio alphabet) with a space for their fingerprint. Then I laminated the name tag, hole punched it and put a safety pin on it. While I was laminating I got the child to choose a pair of sunglasses (cheap ones!) to wear during the party. A lot of the other websites suggested taking photos of the child to use for the name tag, but I just thought that was going to take too long and be too complicated, and parents might be a bit uncomfortable with me taking digital photos of their kids.
* After the 'trainee spy' was 'processed', they went outside where Dave was waiting with the first of their six 'training exercises'. The training exercises were:
- Voice recognition - a person closes their eyes and someone else in the group has to say 'good morning spy' in a disguised voice. The person with their eyes closed has to guess who it is.
- Object identification - put an object in a pillowcase, and the person puts their hand in and guesses what it is without peeking! (After all, you never know when you'll be out on an operation under cover of darkness and need to identify a dangerous object without being able to see it...)
- Undercover operation - a relay race where each person had to 'disguise' themselves by putting on a pink wig, funny glasses and a Hawaiian lei.
- Physical fitness - an obstacle course which included laser beams (elastic tied across the yard), snake pit (plastic snakes), water hazard (play swimming pool infested with sharks) and wooden plank.
- Code cracking - a treasure hunt where the clues were in code form, and the kids decoded them together. I just used the winding font on Word for this. Unfortunately, I didn't realise that Windings has different symbols for upper and lower case which meant that half the decoder sheet I gave the group was useless. Luckily Dave managed to wing it and they worked it out!!
- Target practice - at the end the of treasure hunt they got a water pistol with a note saying they'd need it for the next exercise. We then got them to practice their aim by each firing it at a balloon attached to the rafters on our back verandah.
Jacob was Dave's offsider and had a clipboard with everyone's spy names on it and a grid where he gave each kid a tick as they completed each activity.
At the very end, we had a 'presentation' where the trainee agents were given their spy licenses. (Dave didn't give them all a cuddle, of course - just Bec and Elsie...)
In the middle of all that we had a break for afternoon tea. I didn't do any spy themed stuff - just regular party food.
The birthday cake was one of my favourite things. My friend Jo (who is in the Bible study group I lead at College and is married to one of Dave's students) is a very talented cake decorator, and she made this amazing figurine for the cake. She even made it look like Rebecca. I just LOVE it.
At the end, each kid got a party bag, which was just a plain white paper bag, which I stuck a colour photocopied 'top secret' onto and labelled with their spy names. Inside, a pad of paper, pencil, magnifying glass, capsule letter (a capsule you can send letters in) and a few lollies.
The main work for this party was preparing for the games, and it was good that Dave was able to run them so well. I was really happy with it as a theme, and Rebecca had a wonderful time. I'm thinking of re-doing it again for Elsie next birthday (is that allowed?).