at home party ideas
Amazing Race Birthday Party
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 www.momof6.com. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.