Those of you who have been around a while know that I do NOT consider myself a Pinterest-inspired Supermom. So I’m surprising even myself with today’s post recapping Sydney’s 6th birthday party. I consider this post a service to the other parents out there who may be faced with planning a party around a ROCK.
Yes, you read that correctly. A ROCK. Originally, Sydney wanted a princess theme. As I hovered over the “Confirm” button on my Oriental Trading order of wands and tiaras, I asked Sydney if she was SURE she wanted a princess theme. Actually, she wanted a ROCK theme. And ROCK as in geological formation, not Rock ‘n Roll.
As you’ll know, her prior birthday party, we used an indianapolis magician who came and delivered an amazing service. Her last birthday was more centred around being traditional – as in a magician, bouncy castle, lots of buffet food and singing/dancing – so we thought this one should be different.
Once I stopped hyperventilating, I turned to a party planner’s best friend: Google. I learned to search for “geology party” rather than “rock party”. This saves you from getting 82,614 Rock ‘n Roll birthday party results. I also told friends and co-workers about the theme. Turns out someone in my office had a large collection of rocks that she donated to our party. And just about any party game for kindergartners can be spun to focus on or include rocks.
Here’s how the geology-themed birthday party went:
The 10 kindergartners arrived and could get balloon animals, corsages, and swords made by the high schooler I hired for $25. Do animal balloons have anything to do with rocks? No, but the kids loved it!
Next, the kids decorated brown lunch sacks with stickers and pictures of rocks that I had printed. They needed those bags for our next activity, rock hunting. I wrote each child’s name on a rock and hid it in the basement (it was too cold and wet to go outside). To stretch the excitement out a bit, I made them go down 2 at a time. I dimmed some lights and provided 2 head lamps if they wanted to wear them for the hunt (most didn’t).
After everyone found their rock, it was time to paint them using tempura paints. Most kids liked this so much they asked for more rocks to paint. Then it was time for two games. I passed around a jar filled with rocks and each child guessed how many were in it. The person with the closest guess won a small prize.
Next we played “Pin the nose on Rocky the Rock.” I drew an amorphous blob on a giant piece of paper and gave each child a sticker. One by one they had a turn to try and get closest to the X where Rocky’s nose went. (Note: a concerned mom called to warn me that pink eye was going around and asked if I could NOT blindfold the kids. I gave them a tennis racket covered in posterboard to hold up in front of their face instead.)
Then it was time for cake and juice. I used chocolate frosting to make our rock cake dirty (!) and decorated with chocolate rocks that tasted really good.
Our final activity was arguably our easiest and most well-received. The kids sat in a circle and played hot potato, passing around a potato until the music stopped. When it did, whoever was holding the potato got to give Sydney his or her gift to open. Every child, including the very last one, was so excited when it was his or her turn to give Sydney her gift. And this eliminated the classic push and shove mob found at most kindergartner’s birthday parties when it’s time to open gifts.
The kids took home their painted rocks, bouncy rocks, Pop Rocks, and assorted candy as party favors from the successful geology-themed birthday party. As the last kindergartner left with a smile on her face and a bag full of rocks, I felt like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation in the closing scene: “I did it,” he says. I know how you’re feeling, Clark!
Good luck with your next birthday party. May it rock!
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