Ideas for the Party Human

Posts Tagged ‘snow

THEME:  Dog-sleds, Eskimos, Snow

INVITATIONS:  Draw, print or glue a picture of an Eskimo and his dog-sled on the outside of a regular card-type invitation.  Write message inside and ask guests to dress warmly and bring their sleds, saucers, etc.  This party is good for children aged 4-9.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Lots of clear space with plenty of snow, whistle, prizes.

FOOD:  Serve hot cocoa with white-frosted birthday cake.  Decorate cake with an Eskimo scene, if possible.

DECORATIONS:  None needed outside, just set up the snow areas for the various games.  Inside, decorate with toy sleds and posters showing Arctic landscapes, Eskimos, dog-sled races, etc.  You could make it look like an igloo, with sheets of white paper covering the walls and blankets and a fake campfire set up inside.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:             As guests arrive, you (the parent) make sure they all have plenty of warm winter clothing, especially gloves or mittens.  (Have extras on hand.)  When all have arrived, the children choose partners.  Each pair will need a sled, toboggan or saucer, and they will take turns pulling each other, switching at each stop.  The sleds then line up like a train, and you act as leader, blowing a whistle to start them moving.

            You will have arranged the route ahead of time, and it forms a circle (more or less) that will end up back at the house for refreshments.  The first stop will have a large circular path prepared in a clear area of snow.  There are paths crisscrossing it so it looks like a huge wheel with spokes.  (Preparing these stops for the games is an excellent activity for the excited birthday child to do with his parents earlier in the day.)  When the “Eskimos” arrive at the first stop, the leader blows the whistle to signal them to stop. 

            Here the children will play Eskimo Bear Hunt.  Divide the guests into two groups, Bears and Eskimos.  The Bears get a head start, then the Eskimos try to catch them, but everyone must stay strictly in the paths.  Allow no short cuts.  When a Bear is tagged, he is caught.  He then helps his captor catch the other Bears.  When the children begin to tire of this game, you blow your whistle, and lead the group to the next stop.

            At the second place, the guests will play Snowball Tag.  (Omit this game if there is a community ordinance against throwing snowballs in your area.)  Play this in a place where there are several trees or things to hide behind, for the tagging will be done with snowballs.  (A small neighborhood playground might work well.)  Only the player named “It” may try to tag the others with snowballs.  When a player is hit with a snowball, then he becomes “It” and repeats the process.  When everyone has had a chance to be “It,” conduct the “Eskimos” to the next stop.

            The third game is a Sliding Contest.  It will need to be prepared in advance with a long slide of hard-packed snow.  If done the night before, the slide could be sprayed with a fine mist of water.  For this game, the guests must take the dog-sleds apart and take turns sliding down the slide with their sleds.  Mark a starting line a few feet from the beginning of the slide.  Each player may start however he wishes, whether running and jumping on his sled, or having someone push him, but he must be sliding alone when he crosses the starting line.  The object is to see who can slide the farthest or the fastest.  You may give prizes for this contest.

            After the Sliding Contest, lead the Eskimos to an open area where they will have a Dog-sled Race.  Each pair will choose who will pull the sled and who will sit on it.  The sled teams line up at the starting line and, on a signal, race to the finish line, yelling “mush!” as they go.  The first team across the finish line may win a prize.

            When the race is over, the group returns to the “igloo” and parks their sleds there.  The children go inside for some much-needed warmth and sustenance.  After the refreshments, the guests can play games like “Musical Chairs,” or “Simon Says” while waiting for their parents to pick them up. 

Variations and Comments:        A fifth outdoor game can be added, if snowballs are legal in your area and the supervision is adequate to prevent injury.  This would ideally be the last stop and would need to be prepared in advance.  It should be relatively close to home, so the group won’t have far to travel in their wet and snowy condition after it’s over. 

            You will need two barriers, such as ditches or fences.  If these are not available, you can build two walls of snow about two feet tall and a few feet apart.  When the group stops, have the children choose sides for a Snowball Fight.  Each team takes a stand behind one of the barriers and begins the assault on the other team.  Whenever anyone is hit, a point is scored for the other side.  Set a score limit of 10 or 25 points, depending on how long you want the game to last.  When one side gains the score limit, they win the game.  Back at the house, the winning team should receive a prize they all can share, like a box of candy.

            Part of the Flexibility Principle for this party would be to take the children back to the house as soon as they complain of the cold, whether they have finished all the games or not.


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