Birthday Party

Minute to Win It Party

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What kind of party do you give your 14-year-old-Freshman-in-High-School son whose birthday is in October in New England where the weather can be anywhere from warm to snow?  We already did Amazing Race so that was out. I decided to do Minute to Win It. There was a total of 8 guys and we ran 8 games with a tie breaking game just in case and a $5 Amazon gift card for each member of the winning team. The boys were split into four teams of two picked randomly from a hat. Below are pictures from some of the games we played. Putting together these challenges took a lot of research, time and organization. Be prepared for a few minutes of lag time between each challenge because they do take time to set up. I had a table with all the supplies for each challenge laid out and did a run through the night before. I also prepared a Power Point with a video of how each challenge works for them to preview before performing the challenge.

Face the Cookie 

Face the Cookie is played by trying to get an Oreo from their forehead to their mouth only using their facial muscles and not their hands. They chose to eat the cookie which allowed them to get less cookies to their mouth overall.

This Blows

In This Blows, they needed to blow up a balloon and use the air to push plastic cups off the table.

Nut Stacker

In Nut Stacker, they had to use a stick (we used a bamboo skewer) to pick up a nut one at a time and stack them all on top of each other without any falling.

A Bit Dicey

For this challenge we had extra wide popsicle sticks and dice. They had to place 6 dice in a tower on top of the popsicle stick which was held in their mouth without dropping any dice.

Flip Your Lid

In this challenge, they had to flip a cup that was placed upside down on the edge of the table onto an empty bottle that was placed 12 inches away. (No worries, the bottles were empty before we started the game)

Tea Party 

The boys had to wear a hat that had two tea bags taped on underneath. In order to win the challenge, they had to flip the tea bags onto the rim of the hat without using their hands.

Spoon Frog

Spoon Frog required the boys to set up two spoons to act like a catapult and one had to land in a cup.

80’s Party – Adult

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My husband loves the 80’s so for his 45th birthday, I threw him an 80’s bash. The decorations included Slinky’s hanging from the ceiling, glow sticks, framed pictures of 80’s stars, posters, and toys and games from the 80’s. I made a ton of food and had all the guests dress up in their best 80’s gear. For the invitation, I purchased cassette tapes and then printed labels with the information for the party and stuck the label on the front of the cassette and mailed them to the guests. I also created a Family Feud game and rented a projector and screen and we had a lot of fun playing “boys vs. girls”

I made a welcome sign with glow sticks and magnets for the front door
I made a Pac-Man cake

For this cake, I covered a cardboard box in a black plastic table cloth and then clear plastic wrap. I found a flower pinwheel at the dollar store similar to the one below and I cut the petals to look like the Pac-Man ghosts and glued on googly eyes.  I made a circle cake and cut out the mouth to look like Pac-Man and made mini cupcakes to look like the dots Pac-Man eats. Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.38.12 AM


I displayed movie posters
I replaced family photos around the house with framed celebrity photos

IMG_1164IMG_1178For the 80’s photos, I just looked up 80’s celebrities and printed their photos and added a frame and placed them around the house as if they were our own.

IMG_1162I bought a pack of 80’s movie posters and randomly hung them on the walls around the house.

In the bathroom I wrote on the mirror in lipstick for a good time call 867-5309
This was a collage I made out of pictures from his life in the shape of 45
I made a glow stick decoration hanging from a record
The food labels were stuck in rubix cubes
I had a cassette tape centerpiece that lit up filled with glow sticks

Below is a picture of the light up cassette tape centerpiece I found on Etsy.

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Our Family Feud set up


Playing Family Feud.

Slinky’s hanging from ceiling
Overview of kitchen decorated


Our family version of the 80’s
I put cupcakes on a record cake stand I made with a cassette tape topper
I had guests send me pictures of themselves from the 80’s and made a “wall of fame”

Our guests all dressed up!

Amazing Race Birthday Party

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We had an Amazing Race party at our house for my son’s 11th birthday. I got the idea when I did a google search for “ideas for 11 year old birthday”. The first site I saw was I have to give a HUGE thank you to Sharon for sharing the invitation and card templates and some great ideas for this party. I must have went back to her site a thousand times over the course of planning this.

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We had thirteen eleven and twelve-year-olds (6th graders) to our house for 2 1/2 hours. I planned out seven challenges and then we had pizza and cupcakes. I can not believe how much fun the kids all had! The party started at 3pm, but I anticipated that we wouldn’t start the challenges until 3:30 pm accounting for late comers. We ended up started around 3:40 pm, but there was still plenty of time.


All of the challenges ended up taking about an hour. It is really important to have plenty of volunteers to oversee the activities and that they are prepped beforehand as to what the activities entail. Especially when more than one team comes rushing at you for their next clue and might need help navigating where to go or how to complete the challenge. So…here is how our party went!

First, we gathered the kids together at the mat, picked names out of the hat to make teams and handed out the color bandanas. For each challenge they received an envelope. To make it easier, I divided the challenge envelopes into colored baskets representing each team (I couldn’t find yellow, so I used white). Then we read the instructions (see below).


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Challenge #1: 

In this challenge, the kids shoes were spread all over the front yard and they had to help their other team member find and put their shoes on.

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Challenge Credit: Mom of 6

Challenge #2: 

This challenge sent them to the back deck where four 100 piece puzzles were set up and they had to work together to build it. I was naive to this challenge. I though this would be the easiest one, but it was the challenge that took the longest! The teams were building for at least thirty minutes. A few minutes after the first team got their puzzle built we released the other teams even if they weren’t yet done.

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Challenge credit: Chica and Jo

Challenge #3: 

For this challenge one team member needed to be blindfolded and dig into a bowl of cold spaghetti for coins. The other members of the team then had to inspect the coins for the year of the birthday boy- 2004. Once found, they could move on to the next challenge. But they each had a pound and a half of spaghetti and about 20 coins to sort through!

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Challenge credit: See Shell Space
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Challenge Credit: Mom of 6

Challenge #4: 

Here they had to build a marshmallow shooter out of a cup and balloon and then get three marshmallows into a bucket that was sitting on top of their team members head.

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Challenge Credit: Mom of 6 and Grandma’s Briefs
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Challenge Credit: Mom of 6

Challenge #5: 

I set up a “mini” pumpkin patch using small pumpkins. There were 4 pumpkins that had a colored ribbon taped to the bottom representing each team color. They had to sort through all of the pumpkins in the patch until they found their color. Then they had to bring the pumpkin back and have a relay while balancing it on top of their heads!

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Challenge Credit: Me!

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Challenge #6: 

The teams each had a bag with the letters to spell “Happy Birthday Luke” along with other random letters mixed in. They had to unscramble the letters and spell out the phrase before they could move on.

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Challenge #7:

For this challenge there were 10 ping pong balls (9 white and 1 pink and black) in a box with a small hole cut in the top. There was a belt threaded through the box to attach it to the kids’ waists. They had to jump up and down until the pink and black ball fell out. First team done, is finished with the Amazing Race and wins!


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Challenge Credit: Mom of 6 – slightly edited by me

And we have our winners….The Yellow Team!
(I felt this was the best team picture we had- forgot to take one of them at the end!)


Each member of the winning team received a small prize bag with a few items in it and a winning medal.


On to Pizza and Cupcakes! What a GREAT day!

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Finally, for thank you notes, Luke personalized these and we included a $5 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card for each guest. They also got to take home their bandanas and a pumpkin if they wanted.


Taylor Swift Rockin’ Birthday Party

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My daughter wanted a Rock ‘n’ Roll / Taylor Swift themed 8th birthday party. I love to run with a theme and this was one was a lot of fun! We started by sending out ticket invitations that I made on my computer and printed at home. ticket Decorations

I didn’t like the paper goods selection for the Rock ‘n’ Roll theme that the party stores sold, so we went with pink, black and zebra stripe patterns on the decorations and paper goods. My daughter and I handmade a lot of the decorations. We made our own glitter paper and used it for mini Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars for each child attending the party and a list of the days events. We hung some of these decorations surrounding a Happy Birthday sign on a silver backdrop.

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Some other decorations we used were streamers, balloons, wall stickers to decorate the pool, some fake rocks, a VIP Entrance sign, a VIP guest list and a Happy Birthday sign on the chalkboard in the kitchen.

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We went with chocolate cake and Funfetti cupcakes this year. The cake was in the shape of a guitar, I used a pan I had from one of my son’s previous birthdays. For the cupcakes, I bought a cake stand on Amazon and a lot of records on Ebay. I washed the records and used them as the tiers to hold the cupcakes. The cupcakes looked awesome. To me, the cake looked like a giant bowling pin and, of course, as with chocolate cake, the frosting ended in specks of cake mixed in.

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Games and Prizes

We have a pool and had other outdoor games like basketball and volleyball, but I made up a few Taylor Swift themed games as well for the kids to play. I’m done with the piñata days. I also purchased replica Oscar trophies and gold medals for prizes.

  • Guess the Song Based on a Lyric
  • Taylor Swift Trivia
  • Musical Records Played to Taylor Swift songs (Idea of Musical Chairs, except using records on the grass that the kids had to sit on when music stopped)
  • Put the Taylor Swift albums in order of release

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Goodie Bags 

All the goodie bags had Pop Rocks candy, glow sticks and sunglasses. The boys’ bags also contained boy rockstar tattoos while the girls’ bags had a girl tattoo and a microphone lip gloss.

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Finally “Taylor Swift and her Swifties”performed Shake It Off. You will have to excuse a few technical difficulties with the music in the beginning, but was still fun!!!

Links to Amazon Purchases for the Party 

vip signpink startableclothballoons

plateslip glossglow braceletssunglassessilver41e6Ei3u5NL61jUdTfsRxL._SL1000_pop rocksbagsbirthday