We are finally on the Cusp of the Golden Age in the world of birthday parties..the kind where only the Nearest and Dearest are invited and Mom throws food at you and leaves you pretty much alone. From my side, I'm not worried about kids sneaking booze or sneaking out in the middle of the night to wander the parks. They just stay in, giggle, talk, cry a little, make cookies at 2am...Glorious.
The Cusp is not over the edge though and we have a transition period to get through. This year's 11th Birthday for my daughter was the year I said 'We're done with goodie bags'. So...what was I going to do then when her friends look expectantly at me at the end of the party? This is what I did to soften the blow:
Dani was having a sleepover and hot tub party, so I gathered a few things that would work for a Take-Away that the kids could use at
the party: a towel, re-useable water/juice bottle, re-freezable ice cubes, sleep mask, toothbrush and a washcloth. I found all of these items at Dollarama and the Dollar Tree.
It's always a good idea to have a few game ideas on hand just in case and I wanted to make the 'Transitional Goodie Bag' part of the fun. One of the games we loved as kids and my kids have enjoyed is a Treasure Hunt. With the towel and other items as the End Goal, I added a few games to get them on their way.
I found the cutest 'Rock, Paper, Scissor' erasers at Dollarama and each guest had a turn to play with the overall winner as a way to decide Who Goes First for the next game - Unwrap the Present. I found big dice at Dollarama and wrapped them in layers and layers of paper and tape. We used a sand timer from another game as a way to measure the time for each guests turn. Some tape was easier to find and peel up than others! When the dice were unwrapped..they were the game pieces for the next game - Yahtzee!
I created a simplified Yahtzee score sheet on a poster board (also from Dollarama) and each goal reached meant that they could turn over a clue written or drawn on the back of a post-it. These clues, when all put together, would lead them to their Treasure!
It was so much fun! The kids could do the entire process with little assistance and, upon finding their Goodie Bag, moved the party along to the Hot Tub portion of the evening!
The great thing about this game...it is re-useable! With little adjustment, I used it for my 9-yr old's birthday party a few days later!